Health consequences associated with anabolic steroid abuse include:
(Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse)
- In boys and men, reduced sperm production, shrinking of the testicles, impotence, difficulty or pain in urinating, baldness, and irreversible breast enlargement (gynecomastia).
- In girls and women, development of more masculine characteristics, such as decreased body fat and breast size, deepening of the voice, excessive growth of body hair, and loss of scalp hair, as well as clitoral enlargement.
- In adolescents of both sexes, premature termination of the adolescent growth spurt, so that for the rest of their lives, abusers remain shorter than they would have been without the drugs.
- In males and females of all ages, potentially fatal liver cysts and liver cancer; blood clotting, cholesterol changes, and hypertension, each of which can promote heart attack and stroke; and acne. Although not all scientists agree, some interpret available evidence to show that anabolic steroid abuse-particularly in high doses-promotes aggression that can manifest itself as fighting, physical and sexual abuse, armed robbery, and property crimes such as burglary and vandalism. Upon stopping anabolic steroids, some abusers experience symptoms of depressed mood, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, headache, muscle and joint pain, and the desire to take more anabolic steroids.
In injectors, infections resulting from the use of shared needles or nonsterile equipment, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and infective endocarditis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections can develop at the injection site, causing pain and abscess.