Formebolone is a form of methandrostenolone (Dianabol). It has the same base structure, but with a few key alterations such as the attachment of 2-carboxaldehyde group and an 11-hydroxyl group. As with Fluoxymesteron (Halotestin) the 11-hydroxyl-group keeps the steroid from aromatizing. That means no estrogen can be formed. As we all know Methandrostenolone can form a quite potent estrogen that causes bloat and swelling, fat gain and even gyno. One would not encounter such problems with formebolone. But as we also know, methandrostenolone is largely dependent on estrogen for its gains because it is a particularly weak androgen. That makes this a relatively weak steroid, with little or no potency for growth. My best guess is that the attachment of the 2-carboxaldehyde group serves the main purpose of stabilizing the 3-keto group, in the hopes of increasing androgenic binding a little bit. The 3-keto group is after all essential to androgen receptor binding. But Methandrostenolone already has next to no affinity for the enzyme 3alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which removes the 3-keto group, so it's a structural change with very little use.
What the 2-carboxaldehyde group also does however, is render formebolone very irritative. And that, surprisingly, has made the injectable version of it very popular with bodybuilders. Here you have a weak steroid, with little to no inherent anabolic activity, in a vial at only 2 mg/ml. And yet it's a much sought after product by many professionals. Why? Well the irritative quality seems to provide a swelling in the injected area for a certain duration, giving the injected muscle a much fuller and bigger look. Much like that crap being used today, synthol, but then more even and more temporary. Its no secret that bodybuilders of the late 80's and early 90's loved this stuff. Its mostly reserved for professional and semi-professional bodybuilders however, because the cost on the black market was phenomenal, due to the limited availability of legitimate Esiclene. At 15 bucks per 2 ml vial sometime, a two week treatment for 2 or 3 bi-lateral muscle groups would soon run you 500-800 dollars. And obviously in competition, formebolone was never the only steroid used.
In medical circles formebolone was mostly used to treat children with a growth deficiency. The mild nature of a non-aromatizing methandrostenolone, and the absence of an estrogenic component which could stunt growth, a decent amount of success was obtained with these trials. They caused an increase in bone age, without jeopardizing the final height of these pre-pubescent and pubescent children. This indicates a mild anabolic activity, corroborated by another study done on people with renal insufficiency. Formebolone was capable of increasing nitrogen retention to a point where excess excreted amino acids no longer taxed the liver. But the degree of anabolic action itself, is too mild to warrant its use for performance enhancement.
The swelling usually lasted 3-4 days, and treatment often limited to the 10-14 days preceding a show. At that top level, the use of Esiclene alone could make the difference between a winner and a loser.
The oral form may offer a little bit of anti-catabolic activity, but as you can imagine, methandrostenolone without estrogen is basically like a bar without beer. Its there, but what is the point? Like methandrostenolone it comes in 5 mg tabs, and equal doses (25-40 mg/day) would elicit maybe 1/4th or 1/5th of the action of methandrostenolone. Maybe not bad for women (studies show the absence of any severe degree of virilizing properties, further justifying the low androgenic potency), or those really prone to gyno, but basically a waste. Especially if you know the oral form is extremely hard, if not impossible to find (I have yet to come across it) and therefore it will probably cost an arm and a leg. This is one steroid best forgotten in my opionion. The injectable form however remains a very popular and welcome commodity.
One could stack the oral form with most anything. Although its inherent weak nature and lack of estrogenic conversion would suggest its best used when cutting, and stacked with drugs that serve that purpose as well, such as stanozolol (Winstrol), Trenbolone (Finaplix), Methenolone (Primobolan) and oxandrolone (Anavar). Although its mostly a waste. Even doses of 50 mg per day would offer us little if any anabolic benefit because it's a very poor androgen. This steroid is also 17-alpha-alkylated and thus toxic to the liver. Use should never be longer than 5-6 weeks maximum to be perfectly safe. But these points are mostly moot. Even if you had the money and the resources to do this, you'd be a fool not to spend them on more effective steroids.
The injectable version is used in the final 10-14 days leading up to a contest. Usually starting with 1 ml in each muscle being treated to assess your tolerance, and then a full 2 ml (1 vial) in each muscle daily. This treatment is really only suited for deltoids, biceps, triceps, calves and hamstrings. In larger muscle groups the results may be somewhat distorted and uneven, which may cost you more points than anything in a contest. The alternative is to do multiple even shots per muscle, but then you need someone with experience to apply it everywhere evenly. It would be impossible to do that yourself. Little bit of advice, never use it on the forearms, they consist of over 20 muscles, most of them with their own fascia. You would have to inject all muscle separately to get a good effect, and poking yourself 40 times a day is not something you want to do. Also, in muscle groups that consist of different muscle or muscle bellies, make sure you inject in the same place on both sides, so you get the same part of the muscle to swell. I can only imagine how ridiculous it looks to see the biceps femoris swollen to the brink on one leg, and the semitendinosus on the other side blown out of proportion.