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Toxicol Lett. 2005 Sep 15;158(3):167-75.

Adverse effects of anabolic steroids in athletes. A constant threat.

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Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, University of Athens, Medical School, 75 Mikras Asias Street, Goudi, Athens 115 27, Greece.


Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are used as ergogenic aids by athletes and non-athletes to enhance performance by augmenting muscular development and strength. AAS administration is often associated with various adverse effects that are generally dose related. High and multi-doses of AAS used for athletic enhancement can lead to serious and irreversible organ damage. Among the most common adverse effects of AAS are some degree of reduced fertility and gynecomastia in males and masculinization in women and children. Other adverse effects include hypertension and atherosclerosis, blood clotting, jaundice, hepatic neoplasms and carcinoma, tendon damage, psychiatric and behavioral disorders. More specifically, this article reviews the reproductive, hepatic, cardiovascular, hematological, cerebrovascular, musculoskeletal, endocrine, renal, immunologic and psychologic effects. Drug-prevention counseling to athletes is highlighted and the use of anabolic steroids is must be avoided, emphasizing that sports goals may be met within the framework of honest competition, free of doping substances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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