Nilevar (Norethandrolone)

This is supposedly one of the first steroids in circulation in bodybuilding circles. Its what Arthur Jones had Bill Pearl on in 1956, and it gave him a gain of 30 pounds to win the Universe that year. Not coincidentally 1956 was the release of Nilevar by Searle in the US. The same company that would later bring us Anavar (oxandrolone) which was a lot milder on the system and notably less toxic. Nilevar is rarely used these days.

One could state, though not technically correct, that the substrate is an oral Deca preparation. It stems from the same base steroid (nortestosterone) and acts in a very similar fashion. It too is a potent stimulator of the androgen receptor, substantiated by its readiness to cause virilization in female users. Its likewise deactivated by the 5-alpha-reductase, which explains why in lower end doses its actually one of the mildest steroids, androgenically, in men. Norethandrolone is also a noted progestin and also aromatizes at some rate. This means, very much like nandrolone, that it can cause estrogenic side-effects with small amounts of circulating estrogen thanks to the estrogen-agonizing properties of the progestagenic activity.

It's basically nandrolone every step of the way, just slightly weaker androgenically and a little more potent estrogenically. The gains will be bulky due to high water retention, a lubrication of the joints is noted because of this. Nortestosterone metabolites such as norandrosterone can be detected quite long after use in tests, again due to high amounts of esterification in the adipose tissue, so norethandrolone should not be used by drug-tested athletes.

When 30-40 mg are used, good gains in strength can be maintained as well as decent size gains, but they aren't particularly easy to maintain due to the suppressive effect norethandrolone has on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (HPTA).

Unlike nandrolone, one thing should be noted. Norethandrolone is a 17-alpha-alkylated compound. This gives it two distinct differences from the parent compound. The first being that its not esterified rapidly. So while detection of metabolites can be seen a long time after last use, its not quite as long as you would notice with nandrolone. The second is that it has a certain degree of hepatoxicity. That means you probably wouldn't use Nilevar as a base compound for stacking like you would Deca. Its use should be limited to 4-6 weeks and no longer, and regular checks of liver values are recommended just to be on the safe side. Liver values should restore rapidly after cessation of use. Use of the compound is usually accompanied by headaches, gastro-intestinal discomfort and high blood pressure.

Unlike Anavar, which was Searle's reply to the high rate of side-effects with norethandrolone, Nilevar is very readily available and isn't expensive at all. Probably because not many athletes consider using it anymore. Its most used in the higher weight classes of weight-lifting competitions. And with great success I might add. Powerlifters are also very fond of it. But due to the high rate of side-effects, the limited use and the bulky results, Nilevar is mostly passed up for more effective compounds in bodybuilding circles. Its progestagenic activity also makes a lot of people weary of stacking it for bulking purpose with other compounds that may aromatize, as this heightens the risk of estrogen related side-effects.

Stacking and use:

Nilevar is a moderately anabolic oral 17-alpha alkylated steroid. Its alkylated with an ethyl group rather than a methyl group, as is commonly done. Its hepatoxicity is well-established, though not quite at the level of anadrol or Halotestin. But nonetheless you want to refrain from using it for long periods of time. Using 20-40 mg a day seems to be the proper use. There is no need to split doses up. In fact it may not even be necessary to take it every day, since nandrolone interacts very well with esterase and stores well in the adipose tissue. Mind you, norethandrolone's effect in this matter is strongly reduced as opposed to a nandrolone ester due to its ethyl group. But single daily dose seems to make most sense.

The best stacking opportunities are analog to those of nandrolone esters, meaning aromatizable steroids such as testosterone, dianabol or anadrol. The orals make most sense since they would be used for a similar period of time as the Nilevar. There is of course the hazard of stacking norethandrolone and oxymetholone, both steroids that cause estrogenic build-up. In this case the stacking with an anti-aromatase AND a receptor antagonist would be highly advised, as well as adding in some Stanazolol. But 30-40 mg of Nilevar with 30-40 mg of methandrostenolone or 50-100 mg of anadrol would deliver very positive results. Methyltestosterone at 30-40 mg might make a pretty good match for some real bulk as well. The danger of stacking 17AA orals of course is a very real increase in liver toxicity.

The use of secondary drugs is highly advised with Nilevar, especially when stacked with the four aforementioned substances. Using Nolvadex throughout the stack at about 20-30 mg every day seems to be the best way to go. And adding in some arimidex (0.5 mg ed) or Proviron (50-100 mg ed) seems cautious as well, especially with dianabol or methyltestosterone. Post-cycle use of clomid or Nolvadex should be encouraged and maintained for 3-4 weeks with tapering doses between 50 and 25 mg. Nolvadex being the preferred compound over clomid due to its higher affinity for the estrogen receptor.


The first steroid use among athletes in North America was probably in California. In1958, successful bodybuilder, Bill Pearl (Mr. America, Mr. Universe), was told by Arthur Jones (inventor of the Nautilus exercise machines) about a new “chemical” that the Soviets were using. This aroused his curiosity and he began to do research on his own. At the University of California, a veterinarian informed Pearl about the anabolic steroid, Nilevar. This drug was used to promote strength and growth in cattle. Pearl took this drug for three months and gained 25 pounds of muscle mass. He also experienced a dramatic increase in strength. Steroids effects, and anabolic steroid information was beginning to cause some of the most dramatic changes of the decade. During his preparation for the Mr Universe 1961 Bill Pearl took Nilevar again. In the pic a lean and young Bill Pearl on the right a much more muscular and a bit bloated Bill after his discovery of early steroids. He also acted as a strongman.

The man who would go on to become the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, gained 8 pounds of muscle in two months between the 1960 Mr. Los Angeles (in which he placed third), and the 1960 Mr. California (which he won, defeating the two men who had placed above him in the Mr. Los Angeles two months earlier). A year earlier he had won the Mr. Idaho weighing just 152 pounds. Larry credits Rheo Blair, and his protein powder, as being instrumental in his sudden improvement. However, considering Larry's dramatic gains from that point onward, and Blair's reported possession of Nilevar a few years earlier before he even moved to California, it is quite likely that this time in 1960 also marks Larry's first usage of steroids (something to which he admits but, to my knowledge, hasn't specified the date). It is known that  Irvin Johnson (aka Rheo H. Blair - 'father' of the first protein powders) experimented with Searle’s Nilevar.