Health Watch — Over the Counter: Steroids

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about treating yourself by using over-the-counter drugs and supplements. While over-the-counter drugs can be used safely according to directions, most supplements aren’t under government regulation and may contain ingredients that aren’t on the label or that are in strengths different than advertised.

Steroids are often abused to improve athletic performance, and it’s not just pro athletes who take steroid and hormone supplements. Doctors are seeing more girls and young women who take steroids without medical supervision to improve their appearance. Dr. Richard Auchus, an endocrinologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says dosing yourself with steroids is risky. They increase the risk for heart attack and behavior problems. In women, they can cause baldness, facial hair and deeper voices.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical service in endocrinology. 


March 2008

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