Oxymetholone is a synthetically produced drug from the group of anabolic steroids and is a derivative of the physiologically occurring sex hormone dihydrotestosterone.
Oxymetholone was developed and marketed by the Syntex company in 1960. The field of application at that time was in the treatment of anemia, as the active ingredient has the ability to increase the number of red blood cells. The production of the product was stopped by Syntex in 1993 because newer active ingredients had proven to be more effective and better tolerated in the treatment of anemia. In 1998, Oxymetholone was temporarily re-launched on the market by the pharmaceutical company Unimed, as it had proven to be an effective means of increasing body weight in diseases such as AIDS, which are associated with severe weight loss.
As a derivative of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), oxymetholone cannot convert to estrogen in the human body, but in contrast to DHT, it causes fat tissue to accumulate and water to be stored in the body. The reason for this is an activation of estrogen receptors by oxymetholone and the resulting estrogen-typical effects. Oxymetholone also stimulates the formation and development of red blood cells.