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What are steroids?



 
      The word "steroid" is the name for a group of chemicals whose
 structures are very much alike.  There are three types of steroids
 familiar to most people:  

      1)   Drugs like hydrocortisone:  Known medically as
           "corticosteroids," these steroids are found in
           prescription and non-prescription cremes and ointments
           that control rashes and itching.  Two common trade names
           are Cortaid(R) and Lanacort(R).  Corticosteroids are not
           thought to be addictive.

      2)   Female sex hormones:  Known medically as "estrogens" and
           "progestogens," these steroids cause the development of
           secondary sexual characteristics in women and maintain
           the female reproductive system.  Estrogens and
           progestogens are the active ingredients in prescription
           birth control tablets.  Estrogens and progestogens are
           not thought to be addictive.

      3)   Male sex hormones:  These are known medically as
           "androgens."  Testosterone is the androgen that leads to
           the development of male secondary sexual characteristics
           and maintains the male reproductive system.  Drugs like
           testosterone have only recently been identified as having
           abuse and addiction liability.(1)  These drugs are
           also known as "Anabolic Steroids."(2)
 
      There are only minor chemical differences between the members
 of one class of steroid and another.  Under certain conditions the
 body changes one type of steroid into another.  This will be
 covered in detail under the question, "What effects do anabolic
 steroids have on male sexual function?"
 

       

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REFERENCES 1. Yesalis CE, Wright JE, Bahrke MS. Epidemiological and policy issues in the measurement of the long term health effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Sports Medicine 1989 Sep;8(3):129-38. 2. Wagner JC. Abuse of drugs used to enhance athletic performance. American Journal Of Hospital Pharmacy 1989 Oct;46:2059-67. by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph. (c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

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