Side Effects of Stanozolol

Stanozolol falls into the drug classification of anabolic steroids -- drugs made to mimic the effect of male hormones in the body. These hormones, testosterone and dihydrotesterone, increase the synthesis of protein within the cells, resulting in a faster buildup of cell tissue. These drugs were once used exclusively by athletes and bodybuilders. However, individuals not happy with their current body shape today are more likely to turn to these drugs to help improve their perceived appearance.

Skin Changes lists acne as a common side effect of anabolic steroids such as stanozolol. If an individual does not have acne, it can become a problem, and if the person already has acne, stanozolol may exacerbate the condition. Acne will commonly be found on the face, upper arms, back and chest area. The pores in the skin may also enlarge, making the skin rough. This is called virilization and is irreversible in women. Men and women may suffer from stretch marks over the arms and upper legs as the muscles grow too quickly for the skin to accommodate the changes. These stretch marks are also irreversible.

Sexual Characteristics

Testosterone is a naturally occurring male hormone that drives the development of secondary sex characteristics and the sex drive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, the addition of anabolic steroids to the human system can cause shrinking testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development in men and an increased risk of prostate cancer. Women also suffer from side effects that include growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, adverse change in the menstrual cycle leading to infertility, enlarged clitoris and deepened voice. Once the drug has been withdrawn from the system, many of these side effects may be reversed.

Psychiatric Dysfunction

According to NIDA, clinical and anecdotal evidence shows that anabolic steroids may contribute to psychiatric dysfunction, such as aggression, mood swings and manic-like symptoms. Each of these changes may lead to violent behavior. Other reported emotional effects include paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability and delusions.

Cardiovascular Effects

Stanozolol may have a negative effect on blood pressure and plasma proteins, both of which affect the cardiovascular system. According to the Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science, high-density lipoproteins will be reduced well below the normal range, and total cholesterol levels will rise when individuals use anabolic steroids such as stanozolol. Evidence also suggests that the effect on blood pressure is dose dependent, but blood pressure appears to normalize approximately two months after the drug has been withdrawn.

Less Common Side Effects

Individuals less commonly experience adverse side effects contributing to the development of certain cancers, bone pain, continuing headaches, loss of appetite and slowing of normal bone growth in prepubescent boys and girls, according to Boys and men may experience an increased number of erections that are prolonged and not associated with sexual stimulation. Sexual desire in men and women may be abnormally increased or decreased, and they may suffer from chills, diarrhea or trouble sleeping.

RxList warns that in rare cases, serious and even fatal liver problems may occur from taking stanozolol. Early signs of liver problems may be abdominal pain, unusual fatigue, light-colored stools, dark-colored urine, nausea or vomiting or yellowing of the skin or eyes.

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