Deca - Durabolin
("Deca") is actually the brand name for Organon´s version of the compound Nandrolone Decanoate. This is a 19-Nor compound (some would say that it is the 19-nor compound), and as such, it shares basically the same characteristics with all of them. One thing unique to Deca, above nearly all steroids, is the mystique it has had for the last quarter of a century. On a personal level, I´ve included Deca in cycles at doses ranging from 100mgs/week to 2,000mgs per week. Suffice to say, I have my fair share of experience with this compound. This drug was regarded very highly by Dan Duchaine in his Underground Steroid Handbooks as well as many of his later writings. For many, this was and is the final word on Deca. Let´s delve into some of the reasons that Deca´s mystique may be well deserved.
First of all, Deca (and Nandrolone in general) doesn´t produce many estrogenic or androgenic side effects. This is because Deca has a very low rate of aromatization (conversion to estrogen via the aromatase enzyme), roughly equal to 20% the rate of Testosterone.
Also, I´ve read many places that Deca stores water in connective tissue, thus alleviating joint pain. I have no idea what "storing water in the joints" means. I have no idea how to really quantify that statement, or where it started. However, in one study of postmenapusal women, Deca impoved collagen synthesis (1), and in another study deca increased bone mineral content. (2)Both of these studies used VERY low doses, which were far too low to promote muscle growth. In my estimation, based on these 2 studies, an athlete attempting to use Deca only for these two effects (increasing bone mineral content and collagen synthesis) should be using 100mgs of deca every week. That´s actually a higher dose than those two studies used successfully. Even at ½ of this dose, in HIV+ patients who have experienced significant wasting, a 100mg/E2W (every 2 weeks) injection of Deca resulted in a "significant increase in weight" (5). I´d never recommend that low of a dose for an athlete, but it´s evidence of Deca´s strong anabolic properties. Deca is a very nice anabolic, causing nice (albeit slow) gains in quality muscle. This could be due to its moderately strong binding to the Androgen Receptor, or its many positive non-Androgen-Receptor mediated effects. One such effect is nitrogen retention, which is a major factor in muscle growth and lean mass gains; in one study, with low-doses (65 mg/week) and high-doses of Deca (200 mg/week), both low-doses and high-doses resulted in significant nitrogen retention (33-52 g nitrogen/14 days, representing gains of 0.5 to 0.9 kg lean tissue/week), and body weight increased by 4.9 +/- 1.2 kg, including 3.1 +/- 0.5 kg lean body mass, and treadmill exercise performance (cardiovascular fitness) also improved (7). Need I say that the higher doses in this study produced more gains? Steroid.com members who have posted their results with deca confirm this in many posts and threads, with their average reccomendation being to take 400-600mgs/week for muscle gain. I have to agree.
Deca also has a very long active life. We can see from the chart below that a 100mg shot Deca (represented by the circles) produced relatively active and stable plasma nandrolone levels until day almost 10, hence once a week shots are all that´s necessary for stable levels of nandrolond decanoate (as a side note, the nandrolone phenylpropionate used in this study was active, and only experienced a severe drop off around day 5, shooting NPP every 4th day is the way to go). You´ll also note that higher blood plasma levels of Nandrolone are found with Gluteal injections as opposed to Deltoid injections (this is true for all oil-based steroids, I suspect).
In another study of HIV+ men (6) we can see that deca ( 200mgs on week 1, 400 on week 2 and 600mgs for weeks 3-12) caused NO negative side effects in total or LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, or insulin sensitivity and there was a reduction of HDL cholesterol(8-10 points) in both groups. Also, in most studies with HIV+ subjects, deca also improved immune function.
So what do we know so far about this compound? So far, we know that Deca is a very safe drug for long term use, will help with joint problems, could improve immune function, and is highly (!) anabolic, and not very androgenic.
That´s the good news (and there´s a lot of it), now for the bad news:
Deca is known for producing quality weight gains, but it has to be used for 12 weeks at a minimum, as well as my own personal experience. This shouldn´t cause any problems, since it is a very mild drug in terms of side-effects.
Deca - Durabolin Side Effects
Many members are also complain of water-retention with this drug, and again, I´m inclined to agree. Letrozole seems to be a preferred choice to combat this, and it´s my favorite for this use. This water retention would seem to make Deca more suitable for bulking rather than cutting, although it can be successfully used for either.
Now for the worst news: Deca is a progestin (as are all nandrolones), unfortunately; it happens to stimulate the progesterone receptor 20% as well as progesterone itself (3), and this opens the door for many possible unwanted side effects (water retention, acne, etc...). It must be noted that most of those are rare, though. This also may be the major reason that Deca is such a suppressive drug when it comes to your natural testosterone levels. We can see from the chart below that a simgle measly 100mg injection of Deca caused a total (100%) reduction of natural testosterone levels, and it took roughly a month to return those testosterone levels to baseline! All from 100mgs of Deca!
The moral of this story? Always use Testosterone with your Deca! I suggest 200mgs, minimum, to avoid impotence and sexual dysfunction. For an anabolic effect from that Testosterone, I recommend at least double that, with an equal amount of deca (minimum). I´d also recommend taking an anti-progesteronic drug with deca (or at least having it on hand): Cabergoline and Bromocriptine are both good choices.
Deca - Durabolin Cycle
So where are we? Well, I´d be comfortable recommending Deca for use in a bulking cycle at up to 600mgs/week for an extended duration (12-16 weeks), or up to 400mgs/week in a cutting cycle (again, for 12-16 weeks), as long as something to combat water retention is present. Whichever purpose you decide to use Deca for, you still need to include Testosterone in your cycle and have some anti-progesteronic drugs on hand (see paragraph above), just in case.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT), though beyond the scope of this profile, needs to be commented on. Due to the highly suppressive nature of Deca, I will speculate that testosterone in a deca-inclusive cycle needs to be run for at least 2 additional weeks upon cessation of Deca. We remember from the chart above that baseline testosterone levels took roughly a month to return. Hence, a nice long estered testosterone should be run about 2 weeks longer than deca, to prevent having a lag in time when the deca is not producing an anabolic effect, yet is still suppressing your natural testosterone levels. I´d also suggest that a particularly aggressive PCT be run after your cycle; nolvadex, HCG, and perhaps clomid should all be utilized in an effort to restore your natural hormone levels as quickly and efficiently as possible.
(Nandrolone Base + Decanoate Ester)
Molecular Weight (ester):172.2668
Formula (base): C18 H26 O2
Formula (ester):C10 H20 O2
Melting Point (base): 122-124°C
Melting Point (ester):31 - 32 C
Release Date (in USA): 1962
Effective Dose (Men): 200-600mgs/week (2mg/lb of Bodyweight)
Effective Dose (Women): 50-100mgs/week
Active life: 15 days
Detection Time: Up to 18 months
Anabolic/Androgenic ratio: 125:37
How To Inject Steroids
The best site for steroid injections is in the gluteus medius muscle which is located in the upper outer quadrant of the buttock. The iliac crest serves as a landmark for this quadrant. The spot for an injection in an adult is usually to 7 1/2 centimeters (2 to 3 inches) below the iliac crest. The iliac crest is the top of the pelvic girdle on the posterior (back) side. You can find the iliac crest by feeling the uppermost bony area above each gluteal muscle. The upper outer quadrant is chosen because the muscle in this area is quite thick and has few nerves. The probability of injecting the drug into a blood vessel is remote in this area. Injecting here reduces the chance of injury to the sciatic nerve which runs through the lower and middle area of the buttock. It controls the posterior of each thigh and the entire leg from the knee down. If an injection is too close to this nerve or actually hits it, extreme pain and temporary paralysis can be felt in these areas. This is especially undesirable and warrants staying as far away from this area as possible.
Three Acceptable Sites for Intramuscular Injections are Shown:
If the gluteal region cannot be injected for some reason, the second choice would be the lateral portion of the thigh. Usually, intramuscular injections in the thigh are only indicated for infants and children. The vastus lateralis muscle is the only area of the thigh that should be injected intramuscularly. This site is determined by using the knee and the greater trochanter of the femur as landmarks. The greater trochanter is the bony area that you can feel where the femur joins the pelvic girdle. The mid portion of the muscle is located by measuring the handbreadth above the knee and the handbreadth below the greater trochanter. Injecting into the front of the thigh or inside of the thigh is extremely unwise. These areas contain nerves as well as a number of blood vessels.
It is important to choose the proper syringe for the administration of injectable anabolic steroids. The principle components of a syringe include a cylindrical barrel to one end of which a hollow needle is attached, and a close fitting plunger. The most acceptable syringe for injecting anabolic steroids is a 22 gauge 1 1/2" or 23 gauge 1" apparatus with a 3 cc case. This length allows for penetration to reach deep inside the muscle tissue. Shorter needles, 5/8" or 1/2" are usually not sufficient for intramuscular injections and occasionally leave a portion of the Injection in a subcutaneous area which will cause a swell between the skin and muscle as well as impaired absorption. The gauge size of a syringe represents the needle's diameter. The lower the gauge number, the wider. A 27 gauge needle is very thin. An 18 gauge is quite wide; it is often referred to as a cannon. Both 22 and 23 gauge needles are not so large that they are difficult to insert, yet are large enough for solutions to easily be propelled through them.
Deltoid injections: 25 gauge 1 inch long needles will do.
There are a number of steps that should be understood in order to complete a safe and proper intramuscular injection. First off, before handling any needles or vials, the user should take a thorough shower. Next, an alcohol swab should be used to clean the injection site and another alcohol swab should be used to clean the rubber stopper on top of the vial which will be drawn from. Then, take a brand new syringe out of its wrapper, remove its plastic top, draw about 2 ccs of air into it and insert it into the vial. Inject this air into the vial; this creates pressure within the vial and makes it easier to draw out oil based preparations. Then, turn the vial upside-down and slowly draw out the oil until you have overdrawn at least 1/4 cc. For example, if someone were to take an injection of 1 cc, they should pull out approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ccs of liquid, then tap the side of the case to help get the air bubbles that were drawn into the syringe to come to the top. At that point, the excess 1/4 to 1/2 cc could be injected back into the vial and the needle removed. Then, hold the syringe needle-side-up and continue to tap it to encourage all the air bubbles to come to the top of the syringe. Now, take another clean syringe, remove it from its sterile package and unscrew the needle from the syringe. Exchange the brand new needle for the one that has just been injected into the stopper. By using two needles for every injection, you can take advantage of using the full sharpness of the pin. The needle does suffer some dulling when it is pushed through the firm rubber stopper on a vial. It is important not to touch this needle before the injection. It should not come into contact with a counter top, your fingers, nor should it be cleaned with alcohol. This needle is sterile and should not be touched. At this point, once again swab the injection site with alcohol, then press the stopper of the syringe holding it needle-side-up, until the slight air bubbles that are at the top are pressed out. Once a bead of oil has appeared at the top of the needle, allow it run down the surface of the needle which provides lubrication. At this time, take the syringe and hold it like a dart. Use the other hand to stretch the skin at the injection site and simply push the sharp clean needle in. After inserting it deep into the muscle, pull back on the stopper for a few seconds to make sure it does not fill up with blood which would indicate that the needle had been injected into a blood vessel. Providing there is no blood present in the syringe, slowly press the stopper down until all the oil is injected. Then, quickly pull the needle out and take another alcohol swab and press firmly on the injection site. This will minimize bleeding, if there is any, and by firmly pressing on the injection site and slightly massaging it, some of the soreness may be eliminated. It is important that the liquid is not injected too quickly as this causes more pain at the site during the injection and in the proceeding days. After this procedure has been completed, return the plastic caps to shield the needles and make sure they are discarded properly. To avoid discomfort and excessive scar tissue at the injection site, it is not wise to inject more than 2 ccs of solution per shot. It is also not prudent to use the same injection site more than twice a week (once a week is preferred).
Hints for Injections:
1) Always warm up the vial or ampule to body temperature before injection. You can do that by placing it under your arm for about five minutes or placing the amp in warm water. DO NOT MICROWAVE.
2) Just before injection push the plunger to allow a drop of liquid to form on the end of the needle and let it run down the needle by holding it upside down. That lets the oil coat the needle and give it a bit more lubrication through the skin and muscle.
3) Some people have reported rubbing Viatamin E on the injection site aids in recovery
3) Some people have reported rubbing Viatamin E on the injection site aids in recovery