The common side effects of oxymetholone include depression , lethargy , headache , swelling , rapid weight gain , priapism , changes in skin color, urination problems, nausea , vomiting , stomach pain (if taken on an empty stomach), loss of appetite , jaundice , breast swelling in men, feeling restless or excited, insomnia , and diarrhea .  In women, side effects also include acne , changes in menstrual periods , voice deepening , hair growth on the chin or chest , pattern hair loss , enlarged clitoris , and changes in sex drive .   Because of its 17α-alkylated structure, oxymetholone is hepatotoxic .  Long term use of the drug can cause a variety of serious ailments, including hepatitis , liver cancer , and cirrhosis ; therefore periodic liver function tests are recommended for those taking oxymetholone. 
Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone . Nitrogen balance is improved with anabolic agents but only when there is sufficient intake of calories and protein . Whether this positive nitrogen balance is of primary benefit in the utilization of protein-building dietary substances has not been established. Oxymetholone enhances the production and urinary excretion of erythropoietin in patients with anemias due to bone marrow failure and often stimulates erythropoiesis in anemias due to deficient red cell production.