Steroid: Types of steroid medicine, benefits, side effects

Jagdish Tandia

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What is steroid

Steroid is synthetic or man-made drugs with properties like natural hormones produced in the body. The steroid that is misused is anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). These male hormones produce effects similar to the effects of testosterone. People use AAS to build muscle or increase strength.

This type of steroid can be injected into the muscle or swallowed by mouth. There is a considerable difference in the use and effect of both AAS and corticosteroids.

Corticosteroids have been prescribed for therapeutic use in the treatment of conditions such as asthma (asthma). Corticosteroids replicate the effects of the cortisol hormone produced in our body and do not have muscle building or performance-enhancing levels.

Thus, steroids have many valid medical uses. However, men and women taking steroids who use it to increase muscle do so illegally. People using steroids typically experience a rapid increase in muscle strength.

This increased ability to lift heavier weights leads to faster muscle growth – meaning that people can exercise more frequently and for longer periods due to the quicker recovery of their muscles.

Steroid medicines can be taken in many different forms, which are as follows –

  1. In the form of tablets, syrups, and liquids, such as prednisolone.
  2. As inhalers and nasal sprays, such as beclometasone and fluticasone.
  3. Injections (given in joints, muscles, or blood vessels), such as methylprednisolone.
  4. In the form of creams, lotions, and gels such as hydrocortisone.

Most steroids are available by prescription only by a doctor, but some, such as some creams or nasal sprays can be purchased from medical stores and cosmetic stores.

Some slang terms are used for anabolic steroids such as ‘roids’, ‘gear’ and ‘juice’ etc.

Types of steroid

Medications are commonly known as “steroids” are classified as corticosteroids or anabolic (or anabolic-androgenic) steroids.


Corticosteroids, such as cortisone, are drugs that doctors use to help control inflammation. These are a very good treatment to reduce inflammation and mucus production in the respiratory tract. They also help other quick-relief medicines work better.

These steroids are similar to the hormones that make your adrenal glands naturally in the body to fight stress associated with illnesses and injuries. Normally the adrenal glands release cortisol into the bloodstream every morning. Your brain monitors this amount and controls adrenal function but the brain cannot differentiate between its natural cortisone and steroid drugs.

Therefore, when a person takes high doses of steroids for a long period of time, the brain can reduce or stop cortisol production. This is called adrenal suppression. Healthcare providers typically reduce the steroid dose gradually to correct the adrenal gland and resume the production of cortisol at normal levels. If you have been on steroids for a long time, do not stop them suddenly. Follow your prescription.

You may need to take corticosteroids to treat the following diseases –

  • arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis
  • Skin irritations like eczema and rashes

Some types of cancer

Steroids are very strong drugs and can cause several side effects including weak bones and cataracts. Because of this, you usually take them for as little time as possible.

Anabolic Steroid

Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that can increase the body’s ability to produce muscle and prevent muscle breakdown.

Some athletes take steroids in the hope that they will gain the ability to run faster, hit farther, lift heavier weights, jump higher or bear more. In India, it is against the law to use anabolic steroids without a prescription.

Androstenedione or “andro,” is a type of anabolic steroid. It is taken by athletes who want to build muscle. It is now a controlled substance due to suspected health risks and is available only by prescription. There is no evidence that it has any significant anabolic effect.

The use of steroids for sports is completely illegal in India and some steroid drugs that are banned are also illegal. Since it is not legally correct for athletic purposes, there is no legal control over the quality or use of drugs sold for this purpose.

Illegal steroids are obtained through the Internet and informal dealers like other illicit drugs. However, they may also be available through unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, and veterinarians.

“Designer” steroids are sometimes produced to enable athletes to pass doping tests. Their creation and use are completely unregulated, so they endanger your life.

Athletes often consume steroids on a “trial and error basis” using information obtained from other athletes, coaches, websites, or gym “gurus”. As a result, they do not have access to good medical information and support that can keep them safe while using these drugs. You should not consume any such product at all.

Benefits of steroid

Steroids have different benefits if they are used in the right amount and correctly. Here the benefits of both types of steroids are explained.

Benefits of corticosteroids –

  1. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and affect the immune system.
  2. Steroids can help treat inflammatory conditions such as asthma and eczema.
  3. It can help treat autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  4. Often, people worry about taking corticosteroids (“steroids”). Please discuss concerns about steroid use with your health care provider thoroughly.

Tell your health care provider about all the medicines and herbal supplements you are currently taking to ensure that they do not react to the steroids you take. It is very important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions while taking steroids.

Benefits of anabolic steroid

The following effects are claimed by people using AAS –

  • Increases muscle mass and strength without fat.
  • Hunger, energy, and motivation increase.
  • According to him, the confidence of the taker also increases.
  • AAS drugs affect people in different ways and with varying levels of intensity. However, adverse effects are greatly aggravated by the prolonged use of drugs. In such a situation there are more disadvantages than advantages.
  • When people take multiple AAS drugs simultaneously, that is, “stacking” increases the risk and harm associated with its use. AAs are generally not prescribed as a treatment.
  • Steroid damage

Corticosteroids side effects

The unwanted side effects of corticosteroids depend on both their dose and duration of treatment. There are not many side effects of steroids that are taken for short duration or in low doses.

But sometimes they can cause minor side effects, such as increased appetite, mood changes, and difficulty sleeping, etc. These are the most common effects that occur with steroid pills.

Once you finish treatment the side effects will usually cease, but do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor. Because it can cause some other side effects (symptoms arising from quitting the drug).

Side effects of anabolic steroid

Adverse effects of anabolic steroid (AAS) use are products, user’s age, and gender, how much use, and for how long? Depend on it.

Taking anabolic steroids in legally prescribed normal doses can have the following side effects –

  1. Acne can occur.
  2. Fluid retention (fluid retention) may cause discomfort.
  3. There may be pain or discomfort while urinating.
  4. Enlargement of male breasts, known as gynecomastia.
  5. The number of red blood cells may increase more.
  6. “Good” HDL cholesterol levels can decrease and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels can rise.
  7. A sudden increase in hair growth or hair fall may begin.
  8. Decreased sperm count and infertility can also occur.
  9. There may be a change in libido.

Nonmedical use of anabolic steroids may also include doses 10 to 100 times greater than the amount used for medical purposes. Incorrect use of steroids can increase the risk of the following problems:

Cardiovascular problem

  1. Sudden cardiac death (if not treated in time, sudden heart failure can lead to death) and heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  2. Liver problems and other types of damage including tumors
  3. Tendon rupture problem due to collagen degeneration
  4. Osteoporosis and bone loss, such as steroid use affect the metabolism of calcium and vitamin D.
  5. Adolescents may stop their body’s growth from taking it permanently.
  6. In men, its use may cause problems of testicle shrinkage, sterility, enlarged breasts, etc.
  7. In women – change in the menstrual cycle, change in voice, increase in the length of the clitoris, increase in hair on face and body, shrinkage of breasts, increased sex drive ie libido, etc. Some of these changes may persist forever even after discontinuation of drug use.
  8. There are other risks as well – damage to the liver, increased feelings of aggression and hostility, mood and anxiety disorders, poor behavior, psychological dependence, and addiction, etc.
  9. People who abruptly discontinue AAS after using them for a long period of time may experience withdrawal symptoms such as getting sick, including severe depression.