Anabolic steroids: side effects

Anabolic steroids (AS) effectively enhance athletic performance, but they can cause several unwanted side effects which can jeopardize health. Before using the AS you need to know/understand the consequences of their use.

Many anabolic drugs were originally invented for use in medicine. Over time, their anabolic properties attracted athletes. It should be borne in mind that athletes use these drugs in dosages that are many times higher than therapeutic.

Anabolic steroids can have a strong impact on the internal organs and hormonal system. The frequency and severity of side effects varies greatly and depends on many factors, such as the type of drug, dosage, duration of use and individual sensitivity/tolerance.

It is possible to distinguish the general measures for prevention and prophylaxis of side effects:

  • do not conduct high-androgenic programs;
  • do not take programs that are longer than 12 weeks;
  • do not take drugs in high doses;
  • give preference to drugs that are less inhibited secretion of testosterone, as well as are non-toxic to the liver;
  • correctly carry out PCT;
  • systematically take tests to monitor the state of the hormonal system.

Anabolic steroids: side effects

The following describes the side effects that occur most often, as well as generally accepted recommendations that will avoid/minimize them:

  • liver damage. AS, which have a methyl group in position 17 (tableted drugs) can have a profound negative impact on the liver. It should be noted that in most cases, side effects that affect the liver are reversible. During the PCT use hepatoprotectors, they stimulate the removal of bile and contribute to the restoration of the liver. When choosing a steroid, it is worth considering that the drugs in the injection form have a much smaller negative impact on the liver than in the tablet;
  • suppression of own testosterone production. Inhibition of testosterone production is a consequence of the AS use. Gonadotropin and antiestrogens are used to normalize the hormonal system;
  • acne (blackheads). Anabolic steroids increase the production of sebum, which clogs pores. In order to avoid this side effect, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the skin, keep it clean (it should not be greasy), systematically wash with soap. If acne appears, wipe the skin 1-2 times a day with salicylic alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Try to exclude from the diet fast carbohydrates, fatty and fried food;
  • Occurs due to aromatization of anabolic drugs. Aromatase inhibitors help block the aromatization process;
  • left ventricular hypertrophy. The use of AS affects the cardiovascular system. In order to avoid heart problems, it is recommended not to conduct long programs, as well as not to use large doses of drugs;
  • increase of level of cholesterol. Some AS can raise the level of “harmful cholesterol” in the blood. To prevent this side effect take omega-3;
  • increased blood pressure. Anabolic steroids increase blood pressure. You can normalize it with Metoprolol and enalapril;
  • atrophy of the testicles. This effect is manifested in connection with the suppression of the production of natural testosterone. In order to avoid this, athletes should take gonadotropin;
  • The effects of topical at young age, is one of the reasons why the AS is strongly not recommended to use at young age;
  • Due to changes in hormonal background. To solve this problem, post cycle therapy is carried out;
  • hypertrophy of the prostate. The main cause is dihydrotestosterone, which is formed from testosterone. In sports circles, for the prevention/treatment of this phenomenon, the use of Finasteride is recommended;
  • formation of blood clots. AS can lead to increased blood clotting, which increases the risk of blood clots formation. In order to avoid this effect use medications that prevent platelets from sticking together to each other (antiplatelet agents);
  • as well AS can cause side effects such as virilization, baldness, increased aggression, and others.

Contraindications to the use of steroids:

  • it is not advisable to use the AS before turning 25 years. The use of these drugs at a young age can lead to changes in hormonal background, which in turn can cause a halt in bone growth;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • high blood pressure;
  • anabolic drugs are not advisable for women, as this may cause masculinization;
  • the presence of heart disease is an absolute contraindication, so the use of steroids can aggravate the condition;
  • the tumor of the prostate;
  • kidney and liver failure.
The website of provides information only for informational purposes. "IronSet" does not sell and does not call for use of potent substances, including anabolic steroids. This information is collected from public sources and can not serve as a basis for deciding on the use of certain drugs. The information presented on the website does not call for the use or distribution of potent substances.


Andrey is a coach, sports writer and editor. He is mainly involved in weightlifting. He also edits and writes articles for the IronSet blog where he shares his experiences. Andrey knows everything from warm-up to hard workout.

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