Androgen abuse in athletes: detection and consequences.
ABSTRACT Doping with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) both in sports (especially power sports) and among specific subsets of the population is rampant. With increasing availability of designer androgens, significant efforts are needed by antidoping authorities to develop sensitive methods to detect their use.
The PubMed and Google Scholar search engines were used to identify publications addressing various forms of doping, methods employed in their detection, and adverse effects associated with their use.
The list of drugs prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has grown in the last decade. The newer entries into this list include gonadotropins, estrogen antagonists, aromatase inhibitors, androgen precursors, and selective androgen receptor modulators. The use of mass spectrometry has revolutionized the detection of various compounds; however, challenges remain in identifying newer designer androgens because their chemical signature is unknown. Development of high throughput bioassays may be an answer to this problem. It appears that the use of AAS continues to be associated with premature mortality (especially cardiovascular) in addition to suppressed spermatogenesis, gynecomastia, and virilization.
The attention that androgen abuse has received lately should be used as an opportunity to educate both athletes and the general population regarding their adverse effects. The development of sensitive detection techniques may help discourage (at least to some extent) the abuse of these compounds. Investigations are needed to identify ways to hasten the recovery of the gonadal axis in AAS users and to determine the mechanism of cardiac damage by these compounds.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Men who have symptoms associated with persistently low serum total testosterone level should be assessed for testosterone replacement therapy. Areas covered: Acute and chronic illnesses are associated with low serum testosterone and these should be recognized and treated. Once the diagnosis of male hypogonadism is made, the benefits of testosterone treatment usually outweigh the risks. Without contraindications, the patient should be offered testosterone replacement therapy. The options of testosterone delivery systems (injections, transdermal patches/gels, buccal tablets, capsules and implants) have increased in the last decade. Testosterone improves symptoms and signs of hypogonadism such as sexual function and energy, increases bone density and lean mass and decreases visceral adiposity. In men who desire fertility and who have secondary hypogonadism, testosterone can be withdrawn and the patients can be placed on gonadotropins. New modified designer androgens and selective androgen receptor modulators have been in preclinical and clinical trials for some time. None of these have been assessed for the treatment of male hypogonadism. Expert opinion: Despite the lack of prospective long-term data from randomized, controlled clinical trials of testosterone treatment on prostate health and cardiovascular disease risk, the available evidence suggests that testosterone therapy should be offered to symptomatic hypogonadal men.Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 04/2014; · 2.86 Impact Factor
- 06/2014; Centre for Public Health.
Article: Drug abuse in athletes.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Drug abuse occurs in all sports and at most levels of competition. Athletic life may lead to drug abuse for a number of reasons, including for performance enhancement, to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illness, and to deal with stressors, such as pressure to perform, injuries, physical pain, and retirement from sport. This review examines the history of doping in athletes, the effects of different classes of substances used for doping, side effects of doping, the role of anti-doping organizations, and treatment of affected athletes. Doping goes back to ancient times, prior to the development of organized sports. Performance-enhancing drugs have continued to evolve, with "advances" in doping strategies driven by improved drug testing detection methods and advances in scientific research that can lead to the discovery and use of substances that may later be banned. Many sports organizations have come to ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs and have very strict consequences for people caught using them. There is variable evidence for the performance-enhancing effects and side effects of the various substances that are used for doping. Drug abuse in athletes should be addressed with preventive measures, education, motivational interviewing, and, when indicated, pharmacologic interventions.Substance abuse and rehabilitation. 01/2014; 5:95-105.