How Long do Steroids Stay in Your System?

Steroids are powerful substances with a lot of potential. Consequently, traces of steroids can stay in a persons body for a longer time than over-the-counter medications and other substances. If you want to know more about the chemistry, we recommend checking out our article on what exactly anabolic steroids are. So, whether you’re a health nut or you have a big competition this raises an interesting question – How long do steroids stay in your system?

The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might have hoped and there are a lot of factors to take into account. You have to consider an individual’s physique, and the steroids being used and how they were taken. We’ve touched on the subject before in our article about whether steroids will show up on drug tests or not if you want to check that out. However, we’re going to go into more detail on the subject here, so you can find out exactly how long steroids stay in your system.

Steroids stay in the body for different periods of time

Before we continue we want to say that we’re not here to judge anyone who uses steroids. This article is just so that people can have all the facts so that they can make an informed decision.

How long Does Any Substance Stay in Your System

Before diving straight away into how long steroids stay in a person’s system, we have to talk about what that actually means. The phrase ‘staying in your system’ is pretty vague when you think about. So we’re going to first explain the difference between a substance’s half-life and its detection time.

All steroids have different half-lives

The Half-Life of Substances

So let’s start with the basics. The period that any substance is sill affecting someone’s body chemistry  is commonly referred to as its half-life. You cannot figure something’s half-life just based on what kind of chemical it is. Different substances that seem similar can have wildly different half-lives. For example some emergency asthma medications have a half-life of less than 10 minutes, while asthma medication for every day use often have half-lives between five and seven hours. That’s a huge difference!

Biggest Factors For Staying in Your System

As with most things in medicine, a lot of things can affect the half-life of a given substance. The factors include things like someone’s age, gender, hydration levels, and whether or not they have any kind of liver disease. As a result, the half-life of the same drug can differ a lot between different users. This is especially true for people who have very different physiologies. Healthy bodies tend to metabolize substances quicker, meaning that those substances have a shorter half-life.

On the other side, substances taken by people who are older, don’t exercise regularly or have any kind of liver disease will have longer half-lives since it will be harder for the the body to metabolize it. As such, all the information that we give will be approximate and assumes that the person is in good health.

The Half-Lives of Steroids

Just like our example with the asthma medications, the half-lives of steroids can vary greatly. However, there are some general guidelines. For one, any steroid that is taken by injection will have a much longer half-life than a steroid that’s taken orally. You can see that difference below with injectable Wistrol having a half-life that’s seven times as long as its tablet form.

  • Anadrol – 16 hours or less
  • Anavar – 8 to 12 hours
  • Deca Durabolin – 14 to 16 days
  • Dianabol – 6 to 8 hours for oral
  • Dianabol (injectable) 60-72 hours
  • Primobolan (tablets)– 4 to 6 hours
  • Masteron (enanthate) – 8 days
  • Masteron (propionate) – 2 to 3 days
  • Primobolan  (injectable) – 10 to 14 days
  • Trenbolone – 2 to 3 days
  • Winstrol (tablets) – 8 hours
  • Winstrol (injectable) – 48 hours

At the same time, other bodybuilding supplements that aren’t anabolic steroids all have half-lives that you might have to consider. As you can see in the list below, these times also have a huge amount of variation. Arimidex only stays in the body for up to six hours, while Clenbuterol can remain in your system for almost three whole days.

  • Arimidex – 4 to 6 hours
  • Clenbuterol up to 68 hours
  • Clomid – 8 to 12 hours
  • HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) – 64 hours
  • Nolvadex – less than 24 hours

Half-Live and Detection Time

Now that we’ve explained how a a substance’s half-life works and how long a given substance can still have effects on a person’s body. While you might now better understand how long steroids stay in your system, it’s important to recognize that this is not the same as detection time. As the name implies a substance’s detection time refers to how long the trace of a substance could be detected in the body. This means the time between a substance’s ingestion and its totally removal from the body. If you’re considering drug testing than you should pay extra attention to a substances detection time.

Five main factors to help determine exactly how long steroids stay in your system.

  • Time of Use

This one’s pretty simple. If someone’s been using steroids continuously for a long period of time then the steroid’s detection period is longer. Simply put – longer cycles mean a longer half-life and detection time.

  • Fat Solubility

Looking at anabolic steroids on a chemical level, it’s important to remember that they are lipids. This means that they are fat soluble and can be stored in a person’s fat deposits.  Some steroids are more prone to this than others. As a general rule to remember, the more fat soluble a steroid is the longer its detection time will be. Steroids like Winstrol and Deca Durabolin have particular issues with this and have longer detection times.

  • Method of Ingestion

As we said before, steroids metabolize more quickly when taken orally. Consequently, the detection time of injected steroids is much longer than steroids that are taken orally.

  • Size of the Dose

This one explains itself pretty well. Larger does equals larger detection time.

  • Ease of Metabolization

As you’ve probably gathered, every anabolic steroid has different chemical structure. Some break down more easily for the body to metabolize, while others stay prove most difficult. One of the primary examples is Trenbolone, which doesn’t metabolize easily in the body. As a result, it’s far more easily detectable in someone urine than most other steroids.

Detection Time of Some Steroids

Now that you understand how detection times work, you can see for yourself how different they can be. Some like Andriol have super low detection times of only about 1 week, while heavy-duty stuff like Deca Durabolin can be detected in a person’s system for over a year.

Anabolic Steroids can have very different detection times

Remember that these are all approximate timeline that vary from person to person based on the factor we mentioned before. So keep that in  if you’re up for drug test any time soon.

  • Anadrol – 8 weeks
  • Anavar – 3 weeks
  • Andriol – 1 week
  • Dianabol -5 weeks
  • Deca Durabolin – 18 months
  • Masteron (enanthate) – 12 weeks
  • Masteron (propionate) – 3 weeks
  • Primobolan  (injectable) – 4-5 weeks
  • Trenbolone – 5 months
  • Winstrol (tablets) – 3 weeks
  • Winstrol (injectable) – 9 weeks

What to do about Steroids in your System

As bodybuilding continue grow as serious enterprise, the tests that can detect traces of steroids are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. Not surprisingly, these tests are better at detecting different substances after longer and longer periods of time after entering the body. The only sure-fire way to be sure that the detection time for an anabolic steroid has passed is to let enough time pass. So, now that you know just how long steroids can stay in your system, we wish you happy lifting.


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  2. Drug facts: What are anabolic steroids? (2016, March)
  3. Hoffman, J. R., & Ratamess, N. A. (2006, June 1). Medical issues associated with anabolic steroid use: Are they exaggerated? Journal of Sports Science, 5(2), 182-193
  4. Kicman, A. AT. (2008, May 26). Pharmacology of anabolic steroids. British Journal of Pharmacology
  5. What are anabolic steroids? (2016, March)
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