Many websites on the Internet sell “legal steroids”. However, in fact, these medicines are not legal if they are sold as non-RX meds (supplements). In this article, we’ll tell you which steroids are legal, whether there are legal anabolic steroids, and other immersing things.
Are Steroids Legal or Not?
Many people are wondering: are steroids legal? Meds based on steroids are legal if they are sold for medical reasons. These can be corticosteroids and testosterone. Other steroid pills that are legal include hormonal contraceptives, estradiol, and others. Use of steroids in sport is prohibited if we talk about anabolics. Almost each country has specialized anti-doping organization (agency), for instance:
- USADA in the US;
- RUSADA in Russia;
- Nationale Anti-Doping Agentur Austria;
- VADA in Vietnam;
- Instituto Panameño de Deportes in Panama;
- NADOMALTA in Malta;
- Iran NADO;
- Ethiopia NADO;
- Egyptian NADO;
- Swedish Sports Confederation;
- Seychelles Anti-Doping Commission;
- Organisation nationale antidopage du Sénégal.
Legal Steroids – List of Corticosteroids
Corticosteroid hormones and their synthetic analogs are used as steroids that work for treating autoimmune and other diseases. Natural glucocorticoid hormones are contained in hydrocortisone (OTC drug, the best on the market) and cortisone. There have also been obtained a number of their synthetic replicas, the pharmacological effect of which is higher than that of natural hormones medications. The fluorinated derivatives of corticosteroids are the most appropriate for topical application since they are less absorbed (they are used in the form of topical remedies). Synthetic analogues of glucocorticoid molecules include:
- Prednisone (Meticorten and Delta-Cortef).
- Hydrocortisone (Locoid, Laticort, Ceneo, Corhydron, Bactine, etc.). “Hydro” drug may also be combined with antibiotics, e.g. with ciprofloxacin (Ciprocort, Ciprobay Otic, and other trademark names), antifungal meds like miconazole (Cortimyk).
- Prednisolone (Unipridol, Prelone, Prenilone, Kidsolone, Predonema, Predsim, Prednisolut, Deltacortenesol, Lyo-Donisol, Predonine, Sophipren, and a crowd of others).
- Dexamethasone (Acolon, Tobralex, Dermadex, Decalin, Dexpak, Orgadrone, Isodexam, Lanadexon, Orazone, Erizas, etc.).
- Triamcinolone (Nasonide, Kenalog, Glytop, Triesence, Kenonel, Amnicol).
- Methylprednisolone (Alergolon, Somerol, Tison, Toras, Capripted, Methylprednisolone Jubilant Cadista, Nicort, Prea, and Pridol).
- Other steroids that work fast (but now right away), like budesonide (Entocort, Uceris, Allercort, Novopulmon, Budesoderm).
Are Steroids Illegal?
When people ask “are steroids illegal”, they usually mean anabolic steroids. These meds have been used for non-medical purposes since the beginning of 60s (XX century). Athletes received drugs from the team doctors. Soon, athletes began to independently buy and sell those chemical substances. The astounding ability of steroids to boost muscle mass growth and strength promptly changed the situation in sport. By the mid-60s, anabolics had spread everywhere, in many sports activities, especially in athletics, American football and bodybuilding. The withdrawal of steroids from sales in brick-and-mortar pharmacies has become a common phenomenon, and the shadow economy in this area has started to develop intensively. The most common places for illegal of steroids are gymnasiums and sports schools. Therefore, many countries have adopted legislation to combat the illegal spread of steroids.
Anabolics, such as oral Turinabol, Anavar, and Oxandrolone, are not legal in USA and several EU countries. For instance, the US parliament adopted Anabolic Steroid Control Act (ASCA) in 1990. However, “juice meds” can be easily purchased in the Republic of Turkey, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Thailand, and other Eastern countries. They are also available without a prescription in the United Mexican States. In some jurisdictions, they can be bought in any pharmacy, licensed website. In others, only special dealer networks can offer them. In virtually any country, anabolic drugs can be found on underground economy markets, but in this case the risk of buying a fake medication increases.
Interestingly, in Mexico, where anabolic steroids are not prohibited, there is no steroid problem. Anyone can go to the pharmacy and buy steroids. However, in this country, there are virtually no known cases of side effects from the abuse of steroids. Sport does not abound with charlatans and accusations of crimes. Therefore, some people believe anabolic steroids (without a prescription) need to be legalized in the US and other countries.
Nevertheless, Chris Street and Jose Antonio in their article published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2000) revealed that Mexico represents a key source for androgens
for individuals living in the US. The authors also assessed using of steroids in 2 gymnasiums located in El Paso, TX. According to them the most common adverse events included hypersexuality, belligerent behaviour, edema, acne, uncommon effects (like radial nerve palsy), and some underrecognized effects.
Legal Anabolic Steroids – Testosterone
Prescription testosterone is a method for HRT against hypogonadism. It can be sold in tablets, injections, plasters and as implants that serve as alternatives to internal male hormones. Intramuscular injection of testosterone is the most frequently used way of replacement therapy. Increasingly popular are the transdermal forms of T-hormone containing iatrical substances (gels, patches). They quickly create the necessary level of androgens in the plasma but do not go through hepatic metabolic pathway as oral meds. They also do not create a supraphysiological rate of T-hormone, as is the occasion with its esters (cypionate, enanthate) and a mixture of esters (Omnadren). The superior feature of transdermal forms is their non-invasiveness and ease of the use. Moreover, they do not cause noticeable bad effects. In some countries, implants are a common choice of therapy for androgen deficiency. With the help of surgery, the graft is placed into the subcutis, releasing the substance for 6-month period.
Some Illegal Anabolic Steroids
Illegal anabolic steroids are often offered by moneymakers in gyms or on dubious online sites. This creates a risk of purchasing counterfeits. Sometimes, people sell veterinary steroids (such as Trenbolone acetate). Because these “best steroids” were developed for pigs, bulls, cows and poultry, no one investigated their effects on the human system, possible doses, patients’ reviews, and side consequences.
Just like all black-market drugs, counterfeit anabolics are fabricated in clandestine labs. They may look like uncounterfeit ones, but key agents in them can be different or feature poor action. For example, methandrostenolone was a mainstream anabolic (there were many steroids before and after stories associated with this drug). The official companies removed it from sales, but it is still available on the black market. It is offered under-the-counter. According to one study, three purchased drugs with the label “methandrostenolone” were tested in a laboratory, and inappropriate components (such as caffeine) were found.