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Athletic ergogenic aids.

The term "ergogenic" stems from the Greek roots--"Ergon" and "genes," meaning "work" and "born," respectively. Any means of enhancing energy production or utilization may be described as an ergogenic aid. (1) Ergogenic aids have classically been classified into five categories: mechanical, psychological, physiologic, pharmacologic, and nutritional. (2) The present use of the term "ergogenic aid" usually revolves around the physiologic, pharmacologic, and nutritional categories.

While ergogenic aids have been linked to athletic "doping," the terms are not synonymous. Doping is a term used by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to describe the administration or use of a substance by a competing athlete with the sole intention of increasing in an artificial and unfair manner his or her performance in competition. (3) Not all ergogenic aids are banned by the IOC. A partial listing of substances banned by the United States Olympic Committee is found in Table 1.2,3 Table 2 provides a list of commonly used athletic ergogenic aids.

Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids

Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are testosterone derivatives that exert anabolic (tissue building) and androgenic (masculinizing) influences on the body. (3) Since the discovery of the chemical structure of testosterone in 1935, attempts to separate the anabolic and androgenic effects of AAS have been unsuccessful. (3) Athletes have been using AAS since the 1940s in efforts to improve their performance. (2) Concerned with widespread abuse of AAS among athletes, the IOC banned AAS use in the early 1960s. (2) The Anabolic Steroids Control Act was legalized in 1990, making it a felony to possess or distribute AAS for non-medical purposes in the United States. (3,4) Oral, parenteral, transdermal, and intra-nasal forms of AAS are available. The vast majority of AAS used by athletes is thought to be obtained on the "black market," as only an estimated 10% to 15% of AAS used by athletes for performance enhancement are obtained by prescription. (3)

AAS are believed to exert their main effect by increasing anabolic processes and inhibiting catabolic processes via specific receptor mediated responses within the target cells. (5) Effects of AAS include: the anabolic build-up of muscle mass, the androgenic development of secondary male sexual characteristics, an anti-catabolic reversal of cortisol's action, and a direct psychological effect thought to allow a more intense and sustained workout. (2,5-8) Early studies of AAS and athletes produced mixed results. (5,6) More recent reviews support the notions that AAS can provide significant increases in muscle mass and strength in athletes. (2,5,6) In order to maximize the effects of AAS on strength and power athletes, an adequate diet and exercise regimen is needed. (5) There seems to be little advantage gained while using AAS in the untrained individual. (5,9) Benefits obtained from AAS are more established in strength-dependent sports. Data supporting increased aerobic capacity and improved endurance with AAS use is limited and inconclusive. (4) AAS effect on endurance sports is currently an area of great interest given the large number of endurance athletes who still use AAS. (4,10)

An intricate terminology describing the dosing practices of athletes has evolved. Athletes will commonly use AAS over 6 to 12 week "cycles." (4) "Pyramiding" describes a gradual escalation in the dose of AAS taken over a cycle. (2,11) "Stacking" involves the use of more than one AAS, usually with staggered cycles of the individual drugs. (2-4) An "array" describes the practice of using other drugs to counteract side effects or enhance the effects of AAS. (3) The practices of cycling, pyramiding, and stacking are used by athletes in an attempt to minimize the negative effects of AAS while maximizing the desired enhancements. (2,4) At the current time, no solid scientific support exists for these practices. (2,4,5)

The adverse effects attributed to AAS abuse have been historically overstated. (4,12) The majority of AAS side effects are considered minor and reversible following the cessation of use. (4) While the incidence of serious side effects from AAS use has been low, devastating consequences have been reported. (13) Documented fatalities from myocardial infarction, stroke, and hepatocarcinoma have been attributed to AAS use. (2,3) The long-term effects of AAS use are generally unknown. (3,11)

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a precursor to testosterone produced primarily in the adrenal glands. (4,14) Natural sources of DHEA include wild yams. The FDA banned sale of DHEA in 1996 due to insufficient evidence of safety and value; however, DHEA remains a legal and popular item sold as a nutritional supplement. (14,15)

The mechanism of action of DHEA is poorly understood but most likely revolves around the conversion of DHEA to testosterone in peripheral tissues. (4,14) Preliminary studies suggest that DHEA may have a broad range of clinical uses including anti-Alzheimer and anti-Parkinson capabilities, however randomized, double-blinded clinical studies are lacking. (5)

DHEA is a pre-cursor to testosterone and theoretically may enhance athletic performance in a manner similar to AAS. Investigations of DHEA use and athletic performance are scarce. (14) Existing studies do not support a significant increase in lean body mass, strength, or testosterone levels with the use of DHEA in athletes. (14,16-18)

Long-term side effects of DHEA use are currently unknown but are probably similar to those associated with AAS use. (6,14)

Androstenedione

Androstenedione is a testosterone pre-cursor produced in the adrenal glands and gonads. Several professional athletes have used this substance, bringing it to national attention. (2) Androstenedione is found naturally in the pollen of Scottish pine trees. (19)

Similar to DHEA, the mechanism of action and side effects attributed to androstenedione are poorly understood and thought to be related to the conversion of androstenedione to testosterone in the peripheral tissues. (5)

Despite manufacturers' claims to the contrary, there is little scientific evidence of the purported ergogenic effects of androstenedione. (2,5,16,20) Recently concerns have grown over the unfavorable alterations in blood lipid and coronary heart disease profiles seen in men using androstenedione as an ergogenic aid. (2,20,21)

Dietary Supplements

The increased visibility of ergogenic aids in the last decade has occurred primarily because of the passage of the United States Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. (22) Certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and other botanical preparations can be classified as a "dietary supplement" under the DSHEA guidelines. Dietary supplements, as a result of DSHEA, are no longer under the direct regulatory control of the FDA. In fact, substances sold as a dietary supplement do not require FDA evaluation for safety or efficacy, and do not have to meet quality control standards expected of approved drugs. (5) The content and purity of dietary supplements are not regulated and can vary widely. (5,23) Since androstenedione and DHEA have been found to occur naturally in plant sources, these testosterone precursors can be labeled as "dietary supplements" and sold legally over-the-counter.

Ephedra

Dietary supplements containing Chinese ephedra, also known as Mahaung, are marketed as performance enhancers and weight-loss aids. (24) Ephedra species of herb have been used for over 5,000 years for respiratory ailments. (25) Currently, ephedrine alkaloids are found in hundreds of prescriptions and over-the-counter products, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and appetite suppressants. (24-26) Ephedra and related ephedrine alkaloids are sympathomimetic agents that mimic epinephrine effects.

Multiple studies of isolated ephedrine alkaloids have shown no significant enhancement of power or endurance at dosages considered to be safe. (24,27-31) In contrast, the combination of caffeine with ephedrine has been associated with improvements in performance and may promote metabolic effects that are conducive to body fat loss. (26,32)

The actual content of ephedra alkaloids in 20 ephedra-containing dietary supplements was studied using highperformance liquid chromatography. (33) Ten of the twenty supplements exhibited marked discrepancies between the label claim for ephedra content and the actual alkaloid content. Between 1995 and 1997, 926 cases of possible Mahuang toxicity were reported to the Food and Drug Administration. (34) A temporal relationship between Mahuang use and severe complications including stroke, myocardial infarction, and sudden death was established in 37 of the 926 cases. In 36 of these 37 cases, the Mahuang use was reported to be within the manufacturers' dosing guidelines.

Ephedra and related ephedrine alkaloids are currently banned by the U.S.O.C. and cannot be recommended for general use given their association with potentially life-threatening side effects. (2,34)

Creatine

Creatine use in athletes has grown as a result of a 1992 study that showed that creatine supplementation produced a 20% increase in skeletal muscle creatine concentration. (2,35) In the phosphorylated form, creatine serves as an energy substrate that contributes to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) re-synthesis during high-intensity exercise. (36) Creatine remains popular with power and resistance athletes as it is thought to produce increases in strength, muscle mass, and to delay fatigue. (2,14,36)

Creatine is synthesized from amino acids primarily in the liver, pancreas, and kidney and is excreted by the kidneys. Creatine is found in skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, brain, retinal, and testicular tissues. (2,37) The interest in creatine as an ergogenic aid revolves around its ability to participate as an energy substrate for muscle contraction. (14) Creatine, which easily binds phosphorus, can act as a substrate to donate phosphorus for the formation of ATP. Furthermore, creatine-phosphate (PCr) can help buffer lactic acid because hydrogen ions are used when ATP is regenerated. (14,36,38) This role of creatine in exercise is governed by the following reaction:

PCr + ADP (adenosine diphosphate) [left arrow][right arrow] Creatine + ATP.(metzl)

Creatine kinase

Normally PCr stores deplete within 10 seconds of short, high-intensity exercise. (14,39) Increasing the level of PCr in skeletal muscle, in theory, should result in the ability to sustain high-power output longer and lead to a greater resynthesis of PCr after exercise. (14) The beneficial effects of creatine in response to resistance training are most likely mediated by the following sequence: increased muscle creatine concentration, increased training intensity, which lead to an enhanced physiologic adaptation to training with increased muscle mass and strength. (36)

Studies evaluating the effectiveness of creatine as an ergogenic aid are mixed. (2,36,40) Multiple reports do conclude that short-term creatine supplementation significantly enhances the ability to maintain muscular force and power output during high-intensity exercise. (2,36,41,42) Data on results of creatine supplementation with highly trained athletes is inconclusive. While some papers report improvements with creatine use in highly trained individuals with regards to high-intensity exercise, many show no improvements. (2,36,43)

Most investigators agree that creatine supplementation does not seem to enhance aerobic-oriented activities.2,36,44

Human muscle is thought to have a maximum concentration of creatine that it can hold. (14,45) There appears to be no additional benefits of increasing creatine supplementation above this storage capacity of muscle as the excess is simply excreted by the kidneys. (2,46) Humans have differing baseline levels of muscle creatine. (14) Accordingly, athletes with lower baseline levels of creatine may be more sensitive to creatine supplementation than those with a relatively higher baseline creatine level. (14,36) The terms "responder" and "nonresponder" have been used to describe two groups of athletes: those with relatively low baseline creatine levels that may show significant performance enhancement with creatine supplementation, and those with high baseline creatine levels that do not show marked improvements with creatine supplementation. (14,36,47) These differences in creatine concentrations are thought to play a significant role in the varied results on performance found in the literature examining creatine supplementation. (14)

Reported side effects from creatine use have been scarce. (2,14) The major reported side effect associated with creatine use is weight gain, which is thought to be primarily a result of water retention. (2,14,48) Some reported longer-term side effects include dehydration, muscle cramping, nausea, and seizures. (2,49) Given the relative lack of studies, caution still remains about the long-term effects of creatine usage. (14) As creatine use among younger athletes continues to increase, concern is growing over the lack of studies that examine the possible side effects specific to this age group. (14,38)

Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone (hGH) is a polypeptide produced in the anterior pituitary gland. After its release from the pituitary, hGH can exert its effect in all cells of the body via tissue specific receptors. Human growth hormone is shown to promote protein anabolism, carbohydrate tolerance, lipolysis, natriuresis, and bone and connective tissue turnover. (4,50)

Potential benefits of hGH abuse in athletes revolve around its anabolic effect on the body. (4) Human growth hormone is thought to increase muscle mass, and spare muscle glycogen by stimulating lipolysis during exercise. (2,3) The popularity of hGH among athletes is furthered by the fact that hGH remains extremely difficult to detect by current drug screening processes. (3,51) Human growth hormone may be particularly attractive to female athletes as the virilization side effects associated with AAS use are not thought to occur with hGH. (4)

There are no studies that demonstrate significant increases in athletic performance with the use of hGH. (3,52,53) Neither human or animal studies show any significant strength gains with supplemental hGH use in non-deficient individuals. (4) The abuse of hGH is thought to be increasing despite the lack of scientific evidence linking hGH to improved athlete performance. (3,52) A survey of high school males revealed that as many as 5% reported past or present use of hGH. (54) The purity of hGH abused by athletes may be poor as Drug Enforcement Agency estimates project that up to 30% to 50% of the hGH products sold are phony. (4,55)

Adverse effects of exogenous hGH use are extrapolated from the findings seen in patients with endogenous oversecretion of hGH. (2) Adults with high levels of hGH are at risk for the clinical syndrome of acromegaly. Medical complications associated with acromegaly include: diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, menstrual irregularities, and osteoporosis. (2,4) High levels of hGH in individuals with open physis may lead to gigantism. (2)

Erythropoietin (EPO)

Recombinant EPO (r-EPO) was approved by the FDA for manufacture in 1989 after the EPO gene was cloned in 1985. (14) Since its approval, r-EPO has been abused for athletic personal gain as an alternative to blood doping. (3,14) Recombinant EPO has largely replaced the practice of blood doping, as r-EPO produces a dose-dependent increase in hematocrit. (2) In theory, r-EPO should provide all of the benefits of blood doping without the risks involved in blood transfusion. (3)

There are few studies evaluating the use of r-EPO in healthy athletes; however, numerous studies have shown a significant increase in work capacity due to r-EPO use in patients with renal disease. (14) Berglund and Ekblom reported an increased maximal oxygen consumption and increased time to exhaustion in male athletes after a 6 week trial of r-EPO. (56)

The risks associated with r-EPO abuse involve the potential for dangerously high hematocrit levels. (14) A resulting hyperviscosity syndrome may lead to a decreased cardiac output, hypertension, and potential heart failure. (3) Furthermore, thrombosis could be manifest as myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, or cerebrovascular accidents. (2,3) Although the use of r-EPO has been banned by the IOC since 1990, its use is extremely difficult to detect with current drug screening measures. (2,14)

Antioxidants

The antioxidant capabilities of certain vitamins are believed by many to counter-act the production of free-radials that occurs during exercise. (14) Most of the research to date involves vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotene. (2) The existing literature does not support the notion that antioxidants have significant ergogenic capabilities. (2,14,57) There are currently no recommendations for antioxidant use in athletes that exceeds the normal adult recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine. HMB is theorized to inhibit muscle breakdown during strenuous exercise but its exact mechanism of action remains unknown. (14,58) Studies show that HMB supplementation may significantly lower serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), lower serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels and delay blood lactate accumulation after endurance training compared to placebo. (59,60) Furthermore, short-term HMB use has been shown to significantly increase strength gains with resistance-exercised training over placebo in one double-blinded study. (61)

HMB is a relatively new ergogenic aid and published results are considered preliminary. (14,58) Although there is evidence for a potential ergogenic advantage with HMB use in resistance and endurance training, its use can not be recommended until more studies are performed and potential side effects are elicited.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a methylxanthine occurring naturally in many species of plants. Caffeine is thought to work through a variety of mechanisms. The central nervous system effect of caffeine is probably the result of adrenergic receptor antagonism. (3) Its use by athletes stems from the theory that caffeine may delay fatigue by enhancing skeletal muscle contractility and spare muscle glycogen levels by enhancing fat metabolism. (6) Multiple studies have reported an improved endurance time with caffeine use. (6,62,63) There is evidence that caffeine use may enhance performance with more intense short-duration exercise as well. (2) The caffeine dosages most associated with an ergogenic effect range in the literature from 3 to 9 mg per kilogram of body weight. (2,6)

Side effects associated with caffeine use include anxiety, diuresis, insomnia, irritability and gastrointestinal discomfort. (2,6) Higher doses of caffeine ingestion can lead to more serious consequences such as cardiac arrhythmia, hallucinations, and even death. (2,3)

The legal urine level of caffeine for athletes is 12 [micro]g/ml (IOC standards) and 15 [micro]g/ml (National Collegiate Athletics Association standards). (6) An athlete would need to drink six to eight cups of coffee in one sitting and be tested within 2 to 3 hours to reach urine levels over the IOC legal limit. (3) The amount of caffeine needed to produce ergogenic benefits is potentially far less than that required to exceed the athletic legal limit. (3)

Summary

Claims championing exotic substances that produce healing or ergogenic powers have been around for centuries. The competitive, peer-pressured environment enveloping today's athletes and adolescences makes these groups particularly susceptible to the uproar surrounding the current ergogenic aid market. Presently, it seems that rumor and anecdotal information overwhelms the available scientific data. While there is evidence that some touted ergogenic aids do indeed enhance performance, there are many unanswered questions about product safety, efficacy, and long-term consequences. A working knowledge of specific ergogenic aids is essential for the treating physician in order to best advise patients and athletes as to the possible benefits and risks of any substance they may be using.

References

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(52.) Bidlingmaier M, Wu Z, Strasburger CJ: Doping with growth hormone. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 14(8):1077-1083, 2001.

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(59.) Vukovich MD, Dreifort GD: Effect of beta-hydroxy betamethylbutyrate on the onset of blood lactate accumulation and VO2 peak in endurance-trained cyclists. J Strength Cond Res 15(4):491-497, 2001.

(60.) Knitter AE, et al: Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate on muscle damage after a prolonged run. J Appl Physiol 89(4):1340-1344, 2000.44

(61.) Jowko E, et al: Creatine and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight-training program. Nutrition 17(7-8):558-566, 2001.

(62.) Graham TE, Spriet LL: Performance and metabolic responses to a high caffeine dose during prolonged exercise. J Appl Physiol 71(6):2292-2298, 1991.

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Adam Bernstein, M.D., is a Senior Resident, NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York, New York. Jordan Safirstein, M.D., is a Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York. Jeffrey E. Rosen, M.D., is in the NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York, New York.

Reprint requests: Jeffrey E. Rosen, M.D., NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 303 Second Avenue, Suite 2, New York, New York 10003.
Table 1 Partial List of Substances Banned by the United
States Olympic Committee

Prohibited Classes of Substances
 Stimulants
 Narcotics
 Anabolic agents
 Diuretics
 Peptide hormones, mimetics and analogues
 This is not an exhaustive list of prohibited substances - many
 substances not appearing on this list are considered prohibited
 under the term "and related substances."
Prohibited Methods
 Blood doping
 Pharmacological, chemical and physical manipulation
 Use of substances and methods that alter the integrity and
 validity of urine samples during drug testing
Classes Subject to Certain Restrictions
 Alcohol
 Cannabinoids
 Local anesthetics
 Glucocorticosteroids
 Beta-Blockers
 Caffeine

Table 2 Ergogenic Aids in Athletes

Prohibited How Substance has been
Classes Employed by Athletes Mechanism of Action and
of Substances (Sport Example) Effects

Stimulants
 Amphetamines Central nervous system Release: various neuro-
 stimulant transmitters
 Reduce fatigue Inhibition: uptake of
 Improve reaction times neurotransmitter
 Increase alertness and Direct impact: neuro-
 aggression (Endurance transmitter receptors
 sports) aggression Inhibition: monamine
 oxidate activity
 Sympathomime- Create vasoconstrition Activation of alpha-1
 tics (OTC and higher blood pressure adrenoreceptors in
 decongestants) (Milder) centeral nervous vascular smooth muscle,
 system effects (see decrease in mucus
 above) secretion
 (Aid in fat loss, e.g., Effects on central
 ephedrine use by female nervous system, similar
 body builders, also to amphetamines, but
 endurance sports) weaker (see above)

 Caffeine Delay of fatigue by (Milder) centeral
 enhancing muscle nervous system effects
 contractility Antagonist of adosine
 Enhance performance on receptors
 short, intense periods Inhibits phosphodieste-
 of exercise rase type enzymes,
 Sparing of muscle glyco- resulting in activation
 gen levels of cyclic AMP, link
 (Various sport activi- between receptor acti-
 ties, endurance sports) vity and cell response
 Cocaine Possible distortion of Includes inhibition of
 perception of enhanced various neurotransmi-
 performance and reduce tters, such as dopamine
 strength
 (Ergogenic effects in
 sport are inconclusive;
 accumulation more likely
 from recreational use by
 athletes)
 Agonists Improves activities Bronchodilation (also
 (Beta2) dependent on aerobic used for asthma) by
 (GREEK BETA) function stimulation of Beta2
 Promotes muscle growth adrenoreceptors in
 Reduction in body fat respiratory tract
 Used as alternative to (smooth muscle)
 anabolic steroids (see Also anabolic effect
 below) (see below)
 (Endurance sports, sports Higher doses: stimulate
 with an "appearance" Beta1 adrenoreceptors
 aspect, like weight (with side effects)
 lifting)
 Narcotics Pain reliever Interaction with brain
 (Variable use across receptors sensitive to
 athletic activities) endorphin transmitters
 (also affecting
 emotions)
 Anabolic Improve lean body mass/ Act on endogenous
 androgenic strength androgen receptors
 steroids Reduction of body fat Increase protein syn-
 Relative to training, thesis
 enhances recover time, Antagonist to glucocor-
 promotes energy and ticoid hormones/anti-
 aggressive performance catabolic effects
 Concomitant drugs (hGH, Tissue building/anabo-
 hCG) * have been taken to lic effect
 enhance anabolic effects Virilizing/androgenic
 or to minimize adverse effect
 effects (diuretics,
 opiates, among others) or
 to maximize intensity of
 training (added
 stimulant). No solid
 evidence to support above
 practices. (2,4,5)
 (Strength-dependent/
 Endurance sports)
 Diuretics No sport enhancing Effect on kidney resul-
 effects ting in excessive loss
 Reduce weight of fluid
 Manage fluid retention
 Increase urine to dilute
 other doping agents
 Human Growth Increase muscle mass Polypeptide hormone of
 Hormone Spares muscle glycogen pituitary gland.
 More intense training may Activates growth hormo-
 be possible ne receptors to allow
 Quicker recovery follo- the producton of
 wing training insulin-like growth
 (No support for enhanced factor-1 (IGF-1) with
 performance (3,52,53) anabolic effects
 Erythropoietin Increases oxygen capacity A glycoprotein hormone.
 of red blood cells Manufactured mostly in
 An alternative to blood kidney. Endogenous
 doping production influenced
 (Endurance sports) by a decrease in oxygen
 to the kidney. Result:
 increased number of
 RBCs produced from
 bone marrow and
 increased rate of RBCs
 into blood circulation
 Peptide hor- Acquire substances which hCG and LH provoke
 mones, mime- provoke other agents that testosterone release
 tics and have ergogenic attribu- Insulin may ease glu-
 analogues tes, such as testosterone cose entry into cells
 with its effects or those and promote bulking of
 that increase muscle muscle tissue
 tissue
 (Variety of activities)

Prohibited
Classes
of Substances Adverse Affects *

Stimulants
 Amphetamines Milder doses: insomnia, irritablity, tremor,
 increase in aggressive behavior, restlessness
 Higher doses: tachycardia, sweating, arrhythmias
 higher blood pressure; can impede ability to
 to reduce body temperature
 Chronic use: danger of amphetamine psychosis
 Abuse in endurance sports: contribute to heats-
 troke
 Sympathomime- Headache, dizziness, hypertension, irritability,
 tics (OTC some anxiety tachycardia
 decongestants) Higher doses: mania or psychosis; possible
 cerebral hemorrhage/stroke
 Caffeine Mild: insomnia, irritablitiy, GI disturbances
 More severe: peptic ulcer, seizure, coma,
 arrhythmias, hallucinations, death
 Cocaine Note: complex pharmacology
 Abuse can effect: hypertension, seizures, psycho-
 sis, negative impact on glycogenolysis, myocardial
 toxicity/intense exercise (possible ischemia,
 arrhythmias, sudden death)
 Agonists Beta2 adrenoreceptors: higher doses allow Beta1
 (Beta2) adrenoreceptor stimulation
 (GREEK BETA) At higher doses: Beta1 adrenoreceptor stimulation:
 hand tremor, tachycardia, arrhythmias, insomnia,
 headache, nausea
 Anabolic effects (related to high dose): example
 of clenbuterol-myalgia, dizziness, nausea,
 periorbital pain, and/or asthenia (also see below)
 Narcotics Absence of pain could exacerbate underlying or
 mask new condition
 High doses: coma and stupor, possible lethal from
 respiratory depression
 Withdrawal symptoms following dependence:
 sweating, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, aching
 muscles, and others
 More severe--cardiovascular collapse
 Anabolic Adverse effects historically overstated. (4,12)
 androgenic Majority are minor and reversible following
 steroids stoppage. (4) Incidence of serious effects are
 catastrophic, but low. (13) Long term effects
 generally unknown. (3,11)
 Broad classes--cosmetic: masculinization and
 gynecomastia; liver abnormalities: dysfunction,
 tumor; infection/injection techniques: hepatitis
 mycobacterial, HIV/AIDS; cardiovascular: may
 increase risk of atherosclerosis; reproductive:
 atrophy of testicles, decreased sperm producation;
 psychiatric/psychological: mood swings,
 depression and mania/hypomania
 Diuretics Diuretic use during exercise produces harmful
 effects
 Hypohydration: electrolyte disturbances can
 compromise the muscles and heart
 Side effects can worsen if accompanied by fatigue
 and/or glycogen production
 Human Growth Adverse effects in sport are not well evidenced
 Hormone due to short-term substance usage, where effects
 and features of acromegaly do not occur
 Erythropoietin Little published research on EPO and athletes. In
 patient use headaches, flu-like symptoms, joint
 pain may occur (all of which appear to resolve).
 Abuse risk involves too high a hematocrit. An
 increase in hematocrit occurs which increases
 blood viscosity, a state that can be exacerbated
 by dehydration, possibly viscosity syndrome
 (hypertension, decreased output, possible heart
 failure). At a certain level of increased
 hematocrit, a risk of cerebral or coronary
 occlusion.
 Peptide hor- Little published research in sports. Information
 mones, mime- becomes constrained to studies of individual agent
 tics and effects, e.g., hCG may produce symptoms of
 analogues fatigue, headache, and mood swings, among others.
 There are no published reports of adverse effects
 of insulin use in sports.
COPYRIGHT 2003 J. Michael Ryan Publishing Co.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
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Author:Bernstein, Adam; Safirstein, Jordan; Rosen, Jeffrey E.
Publication:Bulletin of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Words:5628
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