Health risks of selected performance-enhancing drugs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reviews adverse effects of and the difficulty of attributing toxic effects to selected drugs and dietary supplements that purportedly enhance athletic performance. On surveys estimating the extent of performance-enhancing drug use, 5% of high school students indicated anabolic-adrenergic steroid use, and approximately 28% of collegiate athletes and 5.6% of middle and high school athletes admitted creatine use. Many adverse health effects from the abuse of androgenic-anabolic steroids and androstenedione (a prodrug) are exaggerations of excessive testosterone on hepatic, cardiovascular, reproductive, and behavioral functions that can produce permanent changes. With creatine use, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated serum transaminase concentrations, hypertension, fluid retention, muscle cramping, and muscle strains have been reported. Ephedra stimulates adrenergic receptors, leading to tachycardia and hypertension, with central nervous system effects of anxiety, tremor, and hyperactivity. From 1997 to 1999, 10 people died and 13 suffered permanent disabilities due to ephedra. γ-Hydroxybutyrate and several prodrugs (γ-butyrolactone and 1,4-butanediol) can produce alternating agitation and coma, amnesia, hypotonia, ataxia, nystagmus, tremors, bradycardia, respiratory depression, and apnea. Although γ-hydroxybutyrate abuse began as a bodybuilding aid, most serious adverse effects are from acute overdoses. Adverse effects from performance-enhancing drugs do occur, but their extent and frequency are unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

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Performance-Enhancing Substances
Ephedra
Testosterone Congeners
Hydroxybutyrates
Creatine
Prodrugs
Tremor
Athletes
Hypertension
Athletic Performance
Muscles
Muscle Hypotonia
Amnesia
Androstenedione
Poisons
Health
Apnea
Ataxia
Bradycardia
Coma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Health risks of selected performance-enhancing drugs. / Chyka, Peter.

In: Journal of Pharmacy Practice, Vol. 16, No. 1, 01.02.2003, p. 37-44.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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