What is Androstenetrione?

Sarah A. Kleven

Androstenetrione is an anabolic steroid used to gain muscle and strength. It is sold and marketed as a dietary supplement. The supplement has not been widely studied, so little is known about its side effects. Androstenetrione and some of the ingredients used in Androstenetrione have been pulled off shelves in some countries, including the United States and Canada.

Sometimes enhanced by drugs, testosterone is mainly produced in men in the testicles.
Sometimes enhanced by drugs, testosterone is mainly produced in men in the testicles.

This steroid works by making the body produce more testosterone and less estrogen. It is this increase in testosterone that helps the body produce more muscle. Consequently, Androstenetrione is popular among weightlifters and bodybuilders.

There are several side effects associated with the supplement, though extensive testing has not been done on the product. This means that further unknown side effects might exist. Some of the known Androstenetrione side effects include an increased risk of cancer, liver problems and heart problems. All of these conditions are common side effects of increased testosterone production.

Other anabolic steroid side effects include acne, cysts, breast growth and testicle shrinkage in men, voice changes and extra body hair growth in women and aggressive behavior. It is believed to be linked to seizures and brain blood clots. Taking Androstenetrione also is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It also is not recommended for people who have liver disease or prostate cancer.

In Canada, Androstenetrione is considered a controlled substance, meaning that it can be obtained only with a doctor's prescription. United States officials from the Federal Drug Administration took more than 20,000 bottles of dietary supplements, including Androstenetrione, off store shelves in 2010. This was done because not enough information was known about the supplements' ingredients and side effects.

Studies on animals have shown that anabolic steroids can be addictive. It is possible to experience drug withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing anabolic steroid use. Other research suggests that anabolic steroid use can lead to other types of drug use as well.

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