Anabolic Steroids (Oral Androgens)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Are these drugs abused?

Anabolic steroids often are abused by athletes for increasing muscle mass and performance. Non-athletes and non-competitive body builders also abuse anabolic steroids for cosmetic reasons.

What are the side effects of oral anabolic steroids?

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What are the side effects of oral anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids have many side effects because testosterone, which they mimic, has many effects in the body. The long list if side effects include:

Liver disease and liver cancer also can occur.

What drugs interactions occur with this class of drugs?

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What drugs interactions occur with this class of drugs?

  • Anabolic steroids increase blood levels and effects of cyclosporine by decreasing the breakdown of cyclosporine.
  • They reduce the breakdown of warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), increasing blood levels of warfarin and the risk of bleeding from warfarin.

List of generic and brand names available for oral anabolic steroids available in the US

Examples of anabolic steroids available in the use are:

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What formulations are available?

This medication is available as tablets.

Is it safe to take these drugs if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding my baby?

  • No, they are not safe to take if you are pregnant or nursing your baby. The FDA classifies anabolic steroids in pregnancy as category X, which means that they are harmful to the fetus and should not be used during pregnancy.
  • Doctors and researchers don't know if this type of drug is excreted in breast milk. Therefore, you shouldn't take these drugs if you are breastfeeding, and if you are taking them you should stop due to the risk of serious adverse effects in the infant.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Summary

Oral anabolic steroids (androgens) are man-made drugs that have the effect on the body similar to testosterone. Oral anabolic steroids are prescribed to treat:

Examples of oral anabolic steroids that are available in the US include oxymetholone (Anadrol-50), and fluoxymesterone (Android-F, Halotestin). Common side effects of anabolic steroids include:

Drug interactions, pregnancy and breastfeeding safety, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

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Reviewed on 3/17/2017
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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