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Anabolic Steroid: The Use In Practice

Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs that mimic the action of testosterone in the human body. They have a high potential for abuse, misuse, and side effects. Anabolic steroids are often prescribed to build muscle mass and improve athletic ability. They have a similar powder-like appearance to flour or talcum powder.

Anabolic steroids can be divided into oral and injectables.

Oral anabolic steroids

Oral anabolic steroids (tablets, capsules) are almost always “17α-alkylated”. This chemical process ensures that the anabolic steroid is not disabled by the liver and can exert its effect on the body (1). However, a disadvantage is that 17α-alkylated agents put a strain on the liver (2). Because of their short duration of action, the intake of oral anabolic steroids is usually divided over 2 to 3 moments per day. Well-known oral anabolic steroids are Anavar (oxandrolone), Winstrol (stanozolol), Dianabol (methandrostenolone), and Anapolan (oxymetholone). The best place to buy steroids in Canada is online.

Injectable Anabolic Steroids

Injectable anabolic steroids are less taxing on the liver than oral anabolic steroids (1). With injectable anabolic steroids, the active substance (the anabolic steroid) is usually bound to a so-called “ester”. This chemical compound controls the rate at which the anabolic steroid is released into the body. The longer the ester, the slower the drug is released, and the longer the anabolic steroid will be active. Short ester anabolic steroids such as Testosterone Propionate are active for only a few days, while long ester anabolic steroids such as Testosterone Enanthate are effective for up to two weeks.

Injectable anabolic steroids are dissolved in an oily or aqueous liquid to which a small amount of benzyl alcohol and/or other substances may be added to maintain sterility. How often a drug is injected depends on the ester; Anabolic steroids with a very short ester, such as testosterone suspension or trenbolone acetate, are injected daily, while testosterone undecanoate, a drug with an exceptionally long ester, only requires one injection every eight weeks. Some injectable anabolic steroids commonly used by athletes are testosterone enanthate, Sustanon (testosterone bound to 4 different esters), trenbolone acetate, trenbolone enanthate, nandrolone decanoate, and boldenone undecylenate.

Substances that are combined with anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids are often combined with other drugs (3). This may be to counteract side effects from steroid use or to achieve greater performance-enhancing or cosmetic effects.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) such as Nolvadex (tamoxifen) and Clomid (clomiphene) is taken during and/or after steroid use to counteract unwanted effects caused by the presence of high levels of estradiol (the “female” hormone) (4-6). SERMs attach to the estradiol receptor and have an antagonistic (blocking) or agonistic (stimulating) effect there. For example, Nolvadex blocks the estradiol receptors of the mammary gland, which can prevent gynecomastia (male breast formation). SERMs, therefore, do not prevent the formation of estradiol but only prevent estradiol from exerting certain undesirable effects.

Aromatase inhibitors, such as Arimidex (anastrazole), Femara (letrozole), and Aromasin (exemestane), take this a step further. They counteract the formation of estradiol from testosterone by counteracting the enzyme involved (the aromatase enzyme) (7). Like SERMs, they are used to counteract estrogenic side effects of anabolic steroid use, such as fluid retention and gynecomastia.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), for example, “Pregnyl”, is taken by male steroid users to stimulate the testes to produce testosterone (8). Under normal circumstances, luteinizing hormone (LH) does this. However, during steroid use, the production of LH by the pituitary gland is minimal. This means that the testicles remain “idle” all this time. HCG mimics the action of LH, allowing the testicles to be stimulated during and/or after steroid use (5, 9). The idea is that this allows natural testosterone production to start up again more quickly after stopping steroid use.
Growth hormone (HGH), insulin, Clenbuterol, ephedrine, and thyroid hormones are other agents that are regularly combined with anabolic steroids (3). When using these drugs, the goal is usually not to counteract side effects caused by steroid use, but rather to achieve a synergistic (1+1=3) effect, for example even more muscle building, or burning fat while preserving muscle mass.

Cures of Anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids are often used cyclically, for example for a period of 8 to 12 weeks, after which no anabolic steroids are taken for at least an equally long period. The idea behind this setup is that the body can recover after the “cure” and negative effects are limited. Steroid use disrupts the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, especially in men; by limiting the duration of a course, the hope is that the HPG axis will recover in time, and hypogonadism (too low testosterone production) after a course of treatment is of short duration (5, 10).

In the last phase of a cure or immediately after a cure, an “after cure” is sometimes started. After treatment, SERMs, aromatase inhibitors, and/or HCG are taken with the aim of restoring the body’s own testosterone production as quickly as possible (5, 10).