Possible Negative Effects of Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids (AAS)

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Long Term Effects

  • Long term effect of AAS in general are unknown
  • Specifically, as related to:
    • Type of AAS
    • Dose
    • Frequency of use
    • Age at initiation
    • Concurrent drug use
  • Other confounds
    • Varied AAS practices of individuals
      • large dosages for prolonged time
      • therapeutic dosages intermittently
  • Investigation has been proposed
    • Study the long term effects of AAS
    • Costing approximately $1 million
    • Approved but never funded

Also see Problems with Current Information.

Physical effects

  • All effects fully reversible (adult males)
    • Within several months after cessation
    • Except postulated changes in the myocardium
      • which have not been followed
  • Effect vary significantly
    • Types of AAS
    • Dosages of AAS
    • Individuals
    • Other situations
  • Best documented effects
    • Liver
    • Serum lipids
    • Reproductive system
  • Other effects
    • Psyche and behavior
    • Glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinism
    • Cerebrovascular accidents
    • Prostatic Changes
    • Immune function
  • Cardiovascular risk factor
    • Hyperinsulinism and decreased glucose tolerance
    • Changes in lipoprotein fraction
    • Increased triglyceride levels
    • Increased concentration of several clotting factors
    • Hypertension
    • Changes in myocardium
  • Liver structure and function
    • Cholestatic jaundice
    • Peliosis hepatis
    • Hepatocellular hyperplasia
    • Hepatocellular adenomas
    • Associated with 17 alpha-alkylated (oral) steroids
  • Male reproductive system
    • Decreased endogenous testosterone
    • Decreased gonadotrophic hormones
    • Decreased sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)
    • Decreased testicle size
    • Sperm
      • decreased count
      • decreased mobility
      • altered morphology
    • Gynecomastia
  • Women
    • Some effects not reversible
    • Menstrual abnormalities
    • Deepening of the voice
    • Shrinkage of the breasts
    • Male pattern baldness
    • Increased libido, acne, body hair, clitoris size
    • Greatly increased testosterone levels
    • Decreased sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)
    • Decreased follicle-stimulating hormone
    • Decreased thyroid-binding proteins

Also see Physiological Effects of Anabolic/Androgenic Streroids.

Psychological

  • Research in the last half century
    • AAS used for mood & mental disorders
    • Generally positive findings
  • Self reported changes
    • Increased self-acknowledged acts of violence
    • Mood
    • Behavior
    • Somatic perceptions
  • Case reports noted by steroid users
    • Hypomania
    • Schizophrenic episodes
    • Psychotic episodes
  • Transient upon discontinuation
  • Seem to be related to type
    • Not dosage
  • Unclear factors
    • Previous history
    • Genetic susceptibility
      • addictions or mental disorders
    • Environmental and peer influences
    • Individual expectations

Also see Psychological Effects of Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids.


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