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Clin Pharm. 1987 Sep;6(9):686-92.

Adverse effects of anabolic steroids in athletes.

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Department of Pharmacy Services, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Redwood City, CA.


The effects of anabolic steroid use on athletic performance and the adverse effects associated with the use of anabolic steroids are reviewed. Anabolic steroids increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscles and reverse catabolic processes. Because of these properties, some athletes use anabolic steroids in an attempt to improve their athletic performance. However, studies indicate that increases in muscle mass and strength during anabolic steroid administration are observed only in athletes who already are weight-trained and who continue intensive training while maintaining high-protein, high-calorie diets. Adverse effects attributed to anabolic steroid use occur frequently. Serious adverse effects include hepatic and endocrine dysfunction; cardiovascular and behavioral changes also are reported. Some of the adverse effects associated with the use of these agents are irreversible, particularly in women. The use of anabolic steroids to improve athletic performance has become prevalent. However, the reported benefits are tempered by numerous adverse reactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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