University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors

Anabolic androgenic steroid abuse in the United Kingdom: An update

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2180-2198
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Early online date3 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


Anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) are prescribed for medical conditions related to low testosterone. Abuse of AASs has surged as they become recognised as potent image enhancement drugs. The primary goal of most abusers is to obtain a more attractive outward appearance. Abuse is complex. There are a vast range of AAS substances illegally available, the nature of their true composition is difficult to evaluate. Users follow dosing patterns which incorporate a number of different AASs, in addition to other pharmaceutical substances believed to complement the desired physical effects or manage unwanted effects. Animal work and medical case reports suggest potential to cause serious hepatotoxicity, plus possible neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity and damage to the cardiovascular and reproductive systems. As the long-term AASs users reach maturity, further controlled experimentation, with larger sample sizes, is required. Data gathering should be directed towards the most vulnerable group of AAS users, females and adolescent boys.


© 2020 The British Pharmacological Society. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mullen, C, Whalley, BJ, Schifano, F, Baker, JS. Anabolic Androgenic Steroid Abuse in the United Kingdom; An Update The increasing popularity of anabolic androgenic steroids. Br J Pharmacol. 2020, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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