Known Name Brands: Erythropoietin, Epogen
Epogen or EPO comes in 2000, 3000, 4000, and 10,000 IU vials.
EPO is an injectable protein hormone that acts on bone marrow
to stimulate red blood cell production. This is a new drug which
is being experimented with by some elite athletes especially distance
runners and elite cyclists. It was developed for patients suffering
aneniia due to disease. It has been very effective for what it
is designed for and sometimes is used as a replacement for blood
transfusions. Athletes use this drug to dramatically increase
red blood cells which are the oxygen carrying components of blood.
Athletes are well aware that if they can increase the oxygen-storing
ability of their blood they can increase performance. This is
the theory behind blood doping. EPO does the same thing but is
more convenient considering the use of EPO just requires a number
of injections. Blood doping requires drawing out approximately
a liter of blood, freezing it, then thawing it and reinfusing
it several weeks later.
Unfortunately, EPO has some serious dangers associated with it.
It is suspected to be the cause of over half a dozen deaths amongst
a circle of elite Dutch cyclists. EPO has a dramatic effect on
hematocrit which is the percentage of red blood cells in blood.
A hematocrit of 40 means that 40% of the volume of blood is composed
of red blood cells which is about normal. Athletes not uncommonly
have a higher-than-average hematocrit. When an athlete injects
EPO, there hematocrit can rise as much as 40%. This results in
an especially high concentration of RBCS. The danger sets in when
this hematocrit level gets too high. At this point, blood could
literally 'clog up' an artery leading to a vascular disaster in
the form of a heart attack stroke, cardiac failure, or a condition
called pulmonary edema; this is a form of water logging of the
lungs because of left ventricular failure. The potential for arterial
accidents becomes even greater when an athlete gets dehydrated.
Obviously, marathon runners and cyclists lose large amounts of
fluid during competition. This loss of fluid can raise the concentration
of hematocrit even more, increasing the risk of a fatality. EPO
use is most widespread amongst endurance athletes yet a number
of weightlifters have been experimenting with it. Effective Dose:
Between 50-300 IU/kg of bodyweight. Not to be used for more than
6 weeks. Will start seeing effects after week 2.
Street Price: I don't have a clue on the street price of this
compound. The late Dan Duchaine did say in his Underground BodyOpus
book that the cost was more than Growth Hormone - oouch!!!