Esiclene (formebolone) was originally used to treat children deficient in growth; this was due to its (mild) steroidal yet non-estrogenic properties which can cause growth in children. The injectable version is commonly used in bodybuilding circles to cause (temporary) localized growth, much like Synthol yet more “even” and much more temporary.
Formebolone is produced pharmaceutically by LPB, Biofarma and comes in 4 mg/2ml ampoules, 1 mg drops and 5 mg tabs. It is extremely difficult to find and extremely expensive on the black market. It comes in a box of 6 ampoules each containing 2 ml of liquid and 4 mg of dissolved substance. Because the inflammation caused by the Esiclene is quite painful, each ampoule also includes 20 mg of the mild painkiller, lidocaine.
Formebolone is available in various forms of administration and is actually a mild (non-anabolic, for all intents) form ofmethandrostenolone(Dianabol). There is very little, if any potential for growth with its use in any other form other than the injectable version. In bodybuilding, the injectable form of Esiclene is commonly used due to an inflammatory response which causes a significant (though temporary) increase in muscle size and diameter at the site of injection. This local inflammation is due to an accumulation of lymph fluid within the injected muscle (the fluid is not under the skin, it is actually with in the muscle tissue). Esiclene is water soluble, therefore its effects begin to decrease after one day and most swelling subsides with in 4-5 days. Small muscle groups including triceps, biceps, calves and deltoids are most responsive to this compound’s effects. Aside from significant pain due to the inflammation, the only other negative effect is the possibility for an odd shaped (awkward) muscle while it is inflamed.
A study done on a group of people with kidney disease strongly suggested Formebolone’s ability to increase nitrogen retention. In the presence of esiclene, excretion of excess amino acids did not negatively affect kidney or liver function (1).
In three studies of children with growth deficiencies, significant success was reported with Esiclene therapy.
It was preferred in children over more androgenic and anabolic compounds because the conversion into estrogen with more harsh compounds is known to cause growth cessation in adolescents. Results included an increase in bone age without effecting final height at maturity (2).
In a 2 week (unpublished) study athletes were given a 1 ml injection (administered in an insulin syringe) the first week and increased to 2 mls (1 ampoule per muscle) the second week. Average (temporary) growth obtained was 1.5 inches and 1.2 inches on arms and calves respectively. Subjects also noted a painful feeling at the point of injection. Most stated that they felt an unpleasant feeling for about 24 hours at the injection site.
In another short (and yet again, unpublished) study Esiclene was administered to athletes (both males and females successfully) in regular intervals of 2 ml every 5-7 days for much longer duration. It was further discovered that due to its water solubility it decreased water retention and also was found to stimulate growth of an extremely unresponsive arm and calf muscles.
I haven’t actually used Esiclene (I’m not a bodybuilder of any sort) and don’t know anyone who has used it. It was made popular in the 80’s with pre-contest bodybuilders who used it to take advantage of its ability to cause localized swelling in the injected muscle group.
Really, to be totally honest, it’s not of much use to bodybuilders today. Synthol (Chris Clark’s invention) has taken it’s place because it appears to cause a more permanent increase in muscle size. However, based on past literature, 1-2mls of this stuff, injected in a (small) lagging bodypart just prior to competition can bring it up to par with the rest of the body.
For an athlete it has no merit at all.
- Esposito R, Pluvio M, Giordano D. Anabolic agents in kidney disease: the effect of formebolone on protein synthesis in patients with renal insufficiency or nephrosis. Curr Med Res Opin 1975;3(1):43-5
- Cuatrecasas Membrado JM, Bosch Banyeres JM. Study of non-hypophysiary growth retardation treated with formebolone. An Esp Pediatr 1985 Jan;22(1):27-32