Anabolic steroids are man-made substances related to male sex hormones. Doctors use anabolic steroids to treat some hormone problems in men, delayed puberty, and muscle loss from some diseases.
Bodybuilders and athletes often use anabolic steroids to build muscles and improve athletic performance. Using them this way is not legal or safe. Abuse of anabolic steroids has been linked with many health problems. They include
- Breast growth and shrinking of testicles in men
- Voice deepening and growth of facial hair in women
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems, including heart attack
- Liver disease, including cancer
- Kidney damage
- Aggressive behavior
NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Anabolic Steroids (For Teens) (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Are Steroids Worth the Risk? (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Drug Facts: Anabolic Steroids (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Also in Spanish
- Hormone Abuse Prevention and What You Need to Know (Hormone Health Network)
- Mind Over Matter: Anabolic Steroids (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Performance-Enhancing Drugs and Teen Athletes (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Performance-Enhancing Drugs: Know the Risks (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Steroids (Drug Enforcement Administration)
- Steroids (Nemours Foundation)
- Steroids (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Teens and Steroids: A Dangerous Combo (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Advantages and Limitations of Androgen Receptor-Based Methods for Detecting Anabolic...
- Article: Potential of atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source in gas chromatography...
- Article: Heavy Testosterone Use Among Bodybuilders: An Uncommon Cohort of Illicit...
- Anabolic Steroids -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)