FAQs about Ligandrol

Monday - July 29th 2019

Ligandrol has been in mentioned in the news recently, and athletes are warned that ligandrol (LGD-4033) is prohibited in sport. It is also not yet cleared through clinical trials.

Alternative names: LGD-4033, VK5211, Anabolicum

Main points:
1.    Ligandrol is not approved for human use, although the substance has been found in anti-doping samples.
2.    Known side-effects are an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and liver toxicity.
3.    Ligandrol is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). Of the SARM products sold on the black-market, only around 50% had the substance present, which highlights the risks of using unregulated substances. 
4.    DFSNZ cannot approve any supplement product, and substances such as these are taken at the athlete's own risk

What is it?
Ligandrol is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). SARMs are prohibited at all times in WADA's Prohibited List, see S1.2. Other Anabolic Agents. The substance acts on the androgen receptors in the muscle (and bone). Sports anti-doping agencies use urine tests to detect the presence of ligandrol.  

What does it do?
It is used to increase bone density, muscle size and strength. 

Risks and side effects
Ligandrol can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Ingestion of ligandrol can result in life-threatening liver toxicity. The medium to long-term side effects are not known due to the lack of longitudinal studies.

Substance status
Ligandrol was designed by a pharmaceutical company to improve bone density. It is in phase two clinical trials for the treatment of patients recovering from non-elective hip fracture surgery.

Scientific research
A study* found that many SARM products being sold illegally did not contain the substances or were mislabelled products. This raises concerns about what is being sold and ingested.
Chemical analyses of 44 products sold via the internet as selective androgen receptor modulators revealed that only 52% contained selective androgen receptor modulators and another 39% contained another unapproved drug. In another four products (9%), no active compounds were detected.  

Reference:
* Van Wagoner RM, Eichner A, Bhasin S, Deuster PA, Eichner D. “Chemical Composition and Labeling of Substances Marketed as Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators and Sold via the Internet.” JAMA.2017;318(20):2004–2010. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17069