Contemporary Patterns of Anabolic Steroids Abuse and Associated Short Term Side Effects in Athletes

Thomas A. Pagonis, Panagiotis P. Givissis


Introduction: Anabolic steroids (AS) are synthetic derivatives of the testosterone molecule. In recent years, AS abuse by athletes of different levels has become more prevalent and circumspect. The objectives of this study were: Recognition of AS abusers, verification of individual biostatistic and demographic parameters, stratification, recognition and evaluation of the AS abuse patterns. Methods: We constructed specialized questionnaires used to identify users and collect data. In a time period of 12 years, 5074 people were evaluated and the relevant questionnaires were filled, 4146 (81.7%) by amateur and 928 (18.3%) by recreational athletes. The data provided by the evaluation of the questionnaires were categorized and elaborated. Studied parameters included: types of AS used, percentage of AS abusers in athletic populations, gender percentage, stratification according to severity of abuse, AS used and use parameters, observed side effects. Results: Categorization of the results has four directions: 1. Separation of users according to sex and athletic category, 2. Stratification of users according to AS abuse severity by use of the Abuse Stratification System (AbuStraS). Categorization of AS regimens (AS frequencies, duration, type and doses) used by the cohort and 4. The immediate results of AS abuse to the users' organism and the long term influence in a four years time interval. Conclusions: Contemporary AS users consistently practice overdose polypharmacy. Knowledge of this type of abuse can be beneficial for the treatment of the side effects.


Anabolic steroids; Abuse; Anabolic steroid toxicity

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