What is Androstenedione?

A steroid hormone, Androstenedione can be metabolized by the body and converted to testosterone, an active anabolic androgen (male hormone) and estrogen, the female hormone. As seen in the news, some athletes have tried to get a competitive edge through the illegal use of Androstenedione steroids as it may increase muscle mass and strength.

What are the common names or slang terms for Androstenedione?

The common name or slang term for Androstenedione is Andro.

What are its short and long-term effects on the body?

Although anabolic androgenic steroids may increase lean muscle mass, strength, and the ability to train longer and harder, the serious side effects of steroids are many and may not be reversible. The minor side effects of steroid use include acne, oily skin, excess hair growth, and deepening of the voice. The major side effects of steroid use include an increased risk of cancer, increased risk of heart and liver disease, jaundice, fluid retention, reduction in HDL-C (“good cholesterol”), high blood pressure, changes in blood coagulation, increased risk of atherosclerosis, swelling of the soft tissues of the extremities (edema), and obstructive sleep apnea.

Side effects specific to men can include testicular atrophy or the shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, and the development of breasts. For women, side effects can include enlargement of the clitoris, changes in the body contour growth of facial hair, disruption of the menstrual cycle, deepened voice and infertility.

An increase in androgenic (male) hormones may also lead to aggressive behavior. Research also indicates that steroid users often suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.

Adolescents who abuse steroids are at a significant risk of suffering irreversible side effects, including stunted growth, accelerated puberty changes and abnormal sexual development. Adolescent girls in particular may suffer from severe acne, excessive body and facial hair, deepened voice, permanent enlargement of the clitoris, disruption of the menstrual cycle, and permanent infertility.

What is its federal classification?

Androstenedione is included in Schedule III of the Code of Federal Regulations' Schedule of Controlled Substances.