Fact Sheet: Side Effects of Steroid Use

ByABC News

March 17, 2005 — -- Most of the studies done on the negative side effects of steroids are anecdotal and based on case reports -- no large retrospective or prospective studies have been conducted.

Here is a list of some of the known potential side effects of steroid use, compiled by the ABC News medical unit from interviews with medical specialists and information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Symptoms will start off with a mania that leads to aggressiveness, reckless behavior and diminished need for sleep -- also known as "'roid rage." Some athletes could actually be seeking this last side effect, as it could lead to motivation to work out harder and a higher level of aggression when playing sports. It is almost always followed by a profound depression that can then lead to suicidal behavior.

There is a suspected psychologically addictive aspect to steroid use that leads athletes to become addicted to the way they feel on steroids and the way they look -- possibly leading to continued steroid abuse after their sport-playing days are over.

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