The drug was prescribed to promote muscle regrowth in disorders which cause involuntary weight loss, and is used as part of treatment for HIV/AIDS . It had also been shown to be partially successful in treating cases of osteoporosis . However, in part due to bad publicity from its illicit use by bodybuilders , production of Anavar was discontinued by Searle Laboratories in 1989. It was picked up by Bio-Technology General Corporation, which changed its name to Savient Pharmaceuticals who, following successful clinical trials in 1995, released it under the tradename Oxandrin. BTG subsequently won approvals for orphan drug status by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating alcoholic hepatitis , Turner syndrome , and HIV-induced weight loss . It is also indicated as an offset to protein catabolism caused by long-term administration of corticosteroids .
Oxandrolone appears to offer less hepatic stress than other c-17 alpha alkylated steroids. The manufacturer identifies oxandrolone as a steroid that is not extensively metabolized by the liver like other 17-alpha alkylated orals, which may be a factor in its reduced hepatotoxicity. This is evidenced by the fact that more than a third of the compound is still intact when excreted in the urine. 405 Another study comparing the effects of oxandrolone to other alkylated agents including methyltestosterone, norethandrolone, fluoxymesterone, and methandriol demonstrated that oxandrolone causes the lowest sulfobromophthalein (BSP; a marker of liver stress) retention of the agents tested. 406 20 mg of oxandrolone produced 72% less BSP retention than an equal dosage of fluoxymesterone,which is a considerable difference being that they are both 17-alpha alkylated.
The original brand name of oxandrolone was Anavar, which was marketed in the United States and the Netherlands .   This product was eventually discontinued and replaced in the United States with a new product named Oxandrin, which is the sole remaining brand name for oxandrolone in the United States.   Oxandrolone has also been sold under the brand names Antitriol ( Spain ), Anatrophill ( France ), Lipidex ( Brazil ), Lonavar ( Argentina , Australia , Italy ), Protivar, and Vasorome ( Japan ) among others.     Additional brand names exist for products that are manufactured for the steroid black market.