Peliosis hepatis, a condition in which liver and sometimes splenic
tissue is replaced with blood-filled cysts, has been reported in
patients receiving androgenic
anabolic steroid therapy. these cysts
are sometimes present with minimal hepatic dysfunction, but at other
times they have been associated with liver failure. they are often
not recognized until life-threatening liver failure or
intra-abdominal hemorrhage develops. withdrawal of drug usually
results in complete disappearance of lesions.
Liver cell tumors are also reported. most often these tumors are
benign and androgen-dependent,
but fatal malignant tumors have been reported. withdrawal of drug
often results in regression or cessation of progression of the
tumor. however, hepatic tumors associated with androgens or anabolic
steroids are much more vascular than other hepatic tumors and may be
silent until life-threatening intra-abdominal hemorrhage develops.
Blood lipid changes that are known to be associated with increased
risk of atherosclerosis are seen in patients treated with androgens
and anabolic steroids. these changes include decreased high-density
lipoprotein and sometimes increased low-density lipoprotein. the
changes may be very marked and could have a serious impact on the
risk of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.
Hypercalcemia may develop both
spontaneously and as a result of androgen therapy in women with
disseminated breast carcinoma. If it develops while on this agent,
the drug should be discontinued. Caution is required in
administering these agents to patients with cardiac, renal or
hepatic disease. Cholestatic jaundice is associated with therapeutic
use of anabolic and androgenic steroids. Edema may occur
occasionally with or without congestive heart failure. Concomitant
administration of adrenal steroids or ACTH may add to the edema.
In children, anabolic steroid treatment may accelerate bone
maturation without producing compensatory gain in linear growth.
This adverse effect may result in compromised adult stature. The
younger the child the greater the risk of compromising final mature
height. The effect on bone maturation should be monitored by
assessing bone age of the wrist and hand every six months.
This drug has not been shown to be safe and effective for the
enhancement of athletic performance. Because of the potential risk
of serious adverse health effects, this drug should not be used for