Health care professionals should be on alert for patients with the warning signs associated with the use of steroids or steroid-like substances including liver injury, kidney injury, stroke, and hormone-associated adverse effects including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
FDA encourages health care professionals and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of body-building products to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Safety Reporting Portal:
Abuse of anabolic steroids, however, can result in significant harm to the body. In humans, abuse can lead to coronary heart disease , sexual and reproductive disorders, immunodeficiencies , liver damage, stunted growth, aggressive behaviour , susceptibility to connective tissue injury, and (in females) irreversible masculinization. Similar side effects can occur in livestock and other animals. In horses , for example, anabolic steroids can cause liver damage and weakening of the tendons and can result in decreased testis size and sperm production in stallions and altered reproductive cycling in mares. Anabolic steroids are readily detected in urine and blood .
Laws and Penalties: Concerns over growing illegal AAS abuse by teenagers, and many of the just discussed long-term effects, led Congress in 1991 to place the whole AAS class of drugs into Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Under this legislation, AAS are defined as any drug or hormonal substance, chemically and pharmacologically related to T (other than estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids) that promotes muscle growth. The possession or sale of AAS without a valid prescription is illegal. Since 1991, simple possession of illegally obtained AAS carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a minimum $1,000 fine if this is an individual’s first drug offense. The maximum penalty for trafficking (selling or possessing enough to be suspected of selling) is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if this is the individual’s first felony drug offense. If this is the second felony drug offense, the maximum period of imprisonment and the maximum fine both double. While the above listed penalties are for federal offenses, individual states have also implemented fines and penalties for illegal use of AAS. State executive offices have also recognized the seriousness of AAS abuse and other drugs of abuse in schools. For example, the State of Virginia enacted a law that will allow student drug testing as a legitimate school drug prevention program (48, 49).