All bets are off the table when high-dose testosterone and its many metabolites are used illegally, such as with anabolic steroid abuse. Strokes, embolisms, and cardiovascular disease are all more likely, as is sudden death, and liver and kidney disease. 44 In women, acne, irreversible deepening of the voice, baldness, increased facial hair, enlarged sex organs, breast reduction, depression, and infertility have all been reported. In adult men that abuse anabolic steroids, acne, baldness, permanent infertility, gynecomastia, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, testicle shrinkage, and profuse sweating are all reported side effects. Increased testicular cancer hasn't been reported, though. 45,46
Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Retention of sodium, chloride, water, potassium, calcium, and inorganic phosphates.
Gastrointestinal: Nausea, cholestatic jaundice, alterations in liver function tests, rarely hepatocellular neoplasms and peliosis hepatis (see WARNINGS ).
Hematologic: Suppression of clotting factors II, V, VII, and X, bleeding in patients on concomitant anticoagulant therapy, and polycythemia.
Nervous system: Increased or decreased libido, headache, anxiety, depression, and generalized paresthesia.
Allergic: Hypersensitivity, including skin manifestations and anaphylactoid reactions.
Vascular Disorders: venous thromboembolism
Miscellaneous: Inflammation and pain at the site of intramuscular injection.
Transdermal patches (adhesive patches placed on the skin) may also be used to deliver a steady dose through the skin and into the bloodstream. Testosterone-containing creams and gels that are applied daily to the skin are also available, but absorption is inefficient (roughly 10%, varying between individuals) and these treatments tend to be more expensive. Individuals who are especially physically active and/or bathe often may not be good candidates, since the medication can be washed off and may take up to six hours to be fully absorbed. There is also the risk that an intimate partner or child may come in contact with the application site and inadvertently dose himself or herself; children and women are highly sensitive to testosterone and can suffer unintended masculinization and health effects, even from small doses. Injection is the most common method used by individuals administering AAS for non-medical purposes.