OBJECTIVE: To identify unsupervised anabolic steroid regimens used by athletes. METHODS: 100 athletes attending four gymnasia were surveyed using an anonymous self administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Anabolic steroid doses ranged from 250 to 3200 mg per week and users combined different drugs to achieve these doses. Injectable and oral preparations were used in cycles lasting four to 12 weeks. Eighty six per cent of users admitted to the regular use of drugs other than steroids for various reasons, including additional anabolic effects, the minimisation of steroid related side effects, and withdrawal symptoms. Acne, striae, and gynaecomastia were the most commonly reported subjective side effects. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple steroids are combined in megadoses and self administered in a cyclical fashion. Polypharmacy is practised by over 80% of steroid users. Skeletal muscle hypertrophy along with acne, striae, and gynaecomastia are frequent physical signs associated with steroid use.
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