Like other AAS, drostanolone is an agonist of the androgen receptor (AR).  It is not a substrate for 5α-reductase and is a poor substrate for 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3α-HSD), and therefore shows a high ratio of anabolic to androgenic activity.  As a DHT derivative, drostanolone is not a substrate for aromatase and hence cannot be aromatized into estrogenic metabolites .  While no data are available on the progestogenic activity of drostanolone, it is thought to have low or no such activity similarly to other DHT derivatives.  Since the drug is not 17α-alkylated , it is not known to cause hepatotoxicity . 
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.