Esiclene was never considered to be a very anabolic drug. In fact, the oral form of this steroid was ignored completely. However, the injectable form was very sought after especially in the competitive bodybuilding ranks. The reason it was so desired was because, when injected into specific muscles this steroid caused a local inflammation and swelling of the muscle into which it was injected. This effect was of course temporary, but allowed for lagging body parts to be brought up by as much as an inch in some cases right before a competition. The cause of the swelling was thought to be due to the large crystal size of the drug in suspension causing irritation and therefore inflammation in the muscle or possibly due to the liquid that the steroid was suspended in. There is evidence in scientific literature that there were several chemical impurities present in the formulation that resulted from the manufacture of the formebolone molecule1. All three of these probably contributed to the inflammation. This steroid cannot convert to estrogen because of the protection offered by the 2-formyl group. The molecule itself, although no direct binding data exists, most likely has poor affinity for the AR. However, because of the hydroxyl group at the C-11 position as well as the formyl group at C-2, this molecule is most likely a fairly strong antagonist of the GR, which would only add to the proinflammatory properties of this molecule. (Many people know that cortisol is a terrific anti-inflammatory therefore if you oppose the actions of cortisol you have pro-inflammation). This drug does not appear to be available on the black-market and even though the oral was not used in the past it does have anticatabolic and androgenic activity.
1. Sperandeo F, Pedrazzini S, De Marchi G, Marre E. Study on potential and real impurities present in a synthetic steroid: formebolone. Boll Chim Farm. 118(4):200-21, 1979
Adapted with permission from Seth Robert’s Anabolic Pharmacology, all rights reserved.