View Full Version : Common Side Effects of AAS

06-15-2005, 08:54 AM
Common Side Effects of AAS
Anabolic Reference Guide, 6th Issue
~Bill Phillips

*Acne~ AAS can cause acne or make an existing acne problem worse
*Gynocomastia~ this is abnormally large mammary glands in males. This occurs as a steroid aromatizes (converts to estrogen). When these estrogen levels get too high there will usually be pain or tenderness in the nipple area. Then these areas will begin to grow. The only way to address this problem is through expensive surgery which removes the fatty tissue. Sometimes gyno will occur either during or just after a cycle of anabolic steroids.
*Aggression~ Increased aggression in steroid users is somewhat common. Many users are more tempermental and can get set off easier when using these compounds. Using alcohol concurrently with steriods may intensify one's aggression.
*Hypertension~ High blood pressure is a result of the steriod user having excessive water retention, which the more adrogenic products are usually noted for. In alot of instances the extra weight gain will also be responsible. The user may then experience insomnia, headaches,difficulty breathing, and perhaps arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis may lead to an aneurism, stroke, and or accelerate heart disease.
*Cardiovascular Disease~ Conventional wisdom claims that cholesterol plays a part in heart disease. AAS users frequently experience an increase in total cholesterol, a decrease in HDL (the good cholesterol) and an increase in LDL (the bad cholesterol).
*Heart palpitations~ have been reported by a number of AAS users. Palpitations may indicate an excited or elevated level of the central nervous system. These can come in the form of PVC's(Premature Ventricular Contractions). This is a condition where one ventricle of the heart contracts out of order, producing a very noticeable and abrupt heartbeat. This can be an exceptionally frightening sensation. Often they occur during heavy training but more often after the strenuous activity has subsided and the heart rate is returning to normal. It is important to note that PVC's are not dangerous on their own. Most athletes that report this effect have experienced it at another time before they began using steroids. On this anecdotal evidence, it would seem, steroids may aggravate this condition.
*Enlarged Heart~ On occasion , the long-term, heavy steroid user may develop cardia hypertrophy. This enlarged condition of the heart can be very dangerous. This effect is diagnosed by a chest x-ray or ultrasound. Enlargement of the heart is very rare, but has been associated with the long term use of high doses of AAS.
*Virilization~ This is a group of side effects that are specific to female users of AAS. Virilization refers to attaining the characteristics of a mature male. Most often the first sign of this adverse reaction is hoaseness leading to deepening of the voice. This seems to be irreversible as permanet changes in the larynx take place. Clitoral enlargement is another common adverse reaction by women that use AAS. Sometimes the clitoris looks like a small penis. The extent to which this will occur is related to which compounds are used, the dose taken, and the duration of use. The more androgenic a compound is, the more the severe the side effects will likely be. Facial hair is another adverse side effect and is often irreversible. Other side effects are loss of menstual cycle and a change in skin texture. Psychological changes often occur in women that use androgens. Some report aggressiveness, anxiety, and depression.
*Bleeding~ Another side effect in AAS users is decreased blood clotting time. This is technically called *prothrombin time* or *pro time*. An increase in pro time means an increase in time for plasma to clot. Aspirin also increases protime. The use of anticoagulants and even aspirin is contraindicated in users of AAS. If the user suffered a laceration or internal injury the athlete could quite possibly bleed to death. Commonly seen side effects of an increase in *pro time* is persistent nose bleeds and an increased time for small cuts to stop bleeding.
*Headaches~ Many steroid users suffer acute headaches. This is often a symtom of hypertension and should be treated. Vascualr headaches and migraines do seem to have a hormonal connection. Classic migraines which involve things such as flashinf lights or prodromal spots, are called endocrine headaches by some physicians. Since AAS and other drugs used by athletes can seriously alter the natural function of the endocrine system this might explain the occurence of vascular headaches in some AAS users. HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin), which is not a steroid but is used to get the hormonal axis *back on line* after a cycle of AAS, has a reputation for causing migraines in some athletes that use it.
*Impotence~ Many male athletes suffer transient changes in the libido as they go on and off their steroid cycles. On some occasions these users experience a hyper stimulation of sexual interest early in a cycle and with prolonged use this reaction rebounds, leaving the user incapable of achieving erections. This condidtion is reversible and can be avoided. The physiological factors involved in impotence include a decreased production of natural testosterone in the testes by the user as the exogenous steroid short circuits the natural endocrine feedback system. Occasionally the user that chooses to use the more anabolic drugs as opposed to the adrogenic ones that control the ability to maintain an erection can not achieve erections. Often times impotence occurs after a steroid cycle when natural testosterone levels are supressed by the use of exogenous testosterone. Testicular atrophy often occurs in the AAS user . Both testicular shrinkage and impotence are usually reversible after discontinuing the drugs and allowing the natural hormonal axis to recover.
*Stomach Aches~ Some users report after ingesting oral AAS they experience stomach pain and nausea.
*Jaundice~ This is a serious liver disorder indicated by an enlarged liver, yellowing of the eyes and skin, and flu like symptoms. Jaundice can be associated with hepatitis. Jaudice can be detected by a blood test by an elevated bilirubin level. If jaundice is experienced the user should discintinue use and seek medical advice. Jaundice occurs more often in users that use oral AAS compounds.
**Muscle tears~ Tendon Detachments AAS users usually experience torn muscles more often than non users. These are serious injuries that require surgery. Even after surgery the muscle usually does not regain it's prior original appearance. It is likely that the muscle grows much stronger and quicker because of the AAS and the ligaments and tendons do not- this can result in muscle tears and the tearing of tendons from the bone they are attached to.
*Enlarged Prostate~ Anabolic steroid use has been tied to benign enlargement of the prostate. This can cause pain during urinating and increase in the feeling of needing to urinate. Sexual dysfuntion can occur from an enlarged prostate.
*Premature Hair Loss~ Many athletes notice they begin to lose significant amounts of hair when using AAS. Athletes that are genetically predisposed to balding will probably experience an acceleration in balding. Steroids that are derivatives of DHT are known for premature balding. Women can also have the same experience.
*Shortness~ Teenagers who use AAS risk the chance of not reaching their full height. Steroids have been shown to mature the epiphyseal plates (the end of the growing bone). Once these are matured, the bone can no longer grow. *Immune System Suppression~ Some athletes have reported viral illnesses after cycles of steroids. This effect of immune suppression seems to be more prominent in athletes who have used steroids for longer periods of time, over 12 weeks.
*Insomnia~ Steroid using athletes often complain that they have difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep at night. Steroids may have a slight central nervous system stimulating effect. This problem is reversible upon stopping the steroid supplementation.
*Sterility~ High dose anabolic steroid administeration has extreme effects on the body's natural endocrine system functions. Nearly all steroid users will have subnormal values in these areas during a cycle. Depending upon the duration of AAS use and the period of time since the last drug intake, percentages of motile and normally formed sperm can be significvantly reduced. In fact, testosterone therapy is being studied as a possible form of male birth control.
*Adrenal Genital Syndrome~ This is a rare side effect that occurs when genetic females are exposed to too many androgens during the prenatal period. Such females are born with what appears to be male reproductive organs. This can occur when a female uses anabolic steroids during critical phases of gestation.
*Anaphylactic Shock~ This is a fatal allergic reaction which can occur with the injection of any substance. This is an extremely high level allergic reaction to a foriegn organism or protien substance. In a lesser degree it produces bronchial spasm, pallor, and collapse. With the abundance of black market drugs and products from underground labs, not to mention converted cattle pellets, this potential problem becomes a concern

06-15-2005, 11:42 AM
*Enlarged Heart~ On occasion , the long-term, heavy steroid user may develop cardia hypertrophy. This enlarged condition of the heart can be very dangerous. This effect is diagnosed by a chest x-ray or ultrasound. Enlargement of the heart is very rare, but has been associated with the long term use of high doses of AAS.

I thought this was only attributed to GH?