the difference between corticosteroids and anabolic steroids

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Corticosteroids are medications used to treat inflammatory, immune, and allergic disorders. They treat severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, lupus, and skin conditions such as eczema and rashes. They can also treat ear and eye problems and rectal conditions.

Corticosteroids are immunosuppressive, that is, they decrease the activity of the immune system and, thus, they are recommended for short-term use only. Doctors are careful about prescribing corticosteroids because of the possible side effects.

Corticosteroids are strong medicines, and they carry a risk of side effects such as: weakened bones (osteoporosis), cataracts, increased risk of infections, elevated pressure in the eyes (glaucoma) and so on.

Examples of corticosteroids: Hydrocortisone, Prednisone, Prednisolone, Cortisporin, Flovent, Orapred, Mometasone, Triamcinolone, Cortisone shots.

Anabolic steroids are man-made substances related to the male sex hormone. Medical uses of anabolic steroids include some hormone problems in men, late puberty, and muscle loss from some diseases.

Anabolic steroids are classified as a C-III drug and are controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Examples of anabolic steroids: Anadrol (oxymetholone), Oxandrin (oxandrolone), Winstrol (stanozolol), Dianabol (methandrostenolone), Equipoise (boldenone), Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone).

Anabolic steroids are also called performance-enhancing drugs because bodybuilders and athletes often use anabolic steroids to build muscles and to improve athletic performance. But, it is illegal and unsafe for bodybuilders and athletes to use anabolic steroids for increasing muscle mass, strength and endurance because anabolic steroids have long-term harmful effects.

The harmful effects include:
-- kidney failure
-- acne and cysts
-- aggressive behavior
-- liver disease, including cancer
-- heart problems, including heart attack
-- breast growth and shrinking of testicles in men
-- voice deepening and growth of body hair in women