by Bill Roberts – Deca, also known as Deca Durabolin or nandrolone decanoate, is perhaps the second-best known injectable anabolic steroid after testosterone. It seems that almost every steroid novice and many who are experienced with steroid cycles believe that for best results they may need to include Deca. However, in fact this compound has no special anabolic properties: other injectable steroids can do everything for muscle growth that Deca can.
Popularity of Deca Durabolin
The unusual properties of Deca Durabolin are due to its parent steroid, nandrolone, also known as 19-nortestosterone. One of the principal positive qualities of nandrolone is that it has relatively low conversion to estrogen compared to testosterone.
In earlier years, testosterone and nandrolone were the only pharmaceutical injectables that were both widely available to bodybuilders and economical. Estrogen control did not then exist. For this reason, Deca’s low aromatizing properties were then quite useful. Deca therefore won wide popularity.
An additional advantage of Deca Durabolin (nandrolone) is that this compound is relatively mild in terms of adverse side effects on the scalp and skin. This is because the 5-alpha reductase enzyme acts to reduce the potency of nandrolone, while in contrast many other anabolic steroids are unaffected by this enzyme, and testosterone’s potency is actually increased by it.
Deca Durabolin and Joints
Further, where athletes have joint problems, in many instances use of Deca in a steroid cycle has the positive side effect of providing some aid. Even doses as low as 100 mg/week can entirely suffice for this purpose in many instances.
Deca Durabolin and Recovery of Testosterone Production
Unfortunately, Deca Durabolin usage very commonly has the adverse side effect of interfering with recovery of natural testosterone production after a steroid cycle. Adverse side effect on libido and/or erectile function is also common, but typically only when dosage is at least 200-400 mg/week or when the drug is used alone at any effective dose. Problems are worse when Deca is not combined with testosterone or substantial doses of more androgenic compounds such as trenbolone, Masteron, or Dianabol. There is wide individual variability in response with regard to side effects on libido and erectile function. Depression of mood is also possible.
Deca Durabolin Recommendations
For these reasons I generally recommend against Deca Durabolin use except where the athlete already knows that he can experience joint relief from the compound, or he wishes to see if that will be the case for him and he understands the possible adverse side effects. I prefer for Deca use to be as low as is effective for any such joint problems, and for the majority of the total steroid dosage to be from other compounds.
The long half-life of the drug results in slow clearance. For this reason, Deca Durabolin is unsuited to short cycles or where drug testing is a possibility. I also consider the drug a poor choice for women due to being at least as virilizing per milligram as most other anabolic steroids except testosterone and taking too long to clear if side-effects occur.
“Deca Durabolin” is a registered trademark belonging to Organon. Injectable steroid products are properly called this only when produced by Organon, but the name is often used for underground preparations as well. The Organon preparation is provided at 200 mg/mL.