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Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids are two types of steroids that are often confused with each other. While they share some similarities, they are very different in terms of their effects on the body and their intended uses.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that mimic the effects of testosterone in the body. They are commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to build muscle mass and improve performance. Anabolic steroids can also have medical uses, such as treating delayed puberty or muscle wasting caused by HIV or cancer.


Corticosteroids, on the other hand, are a type of steroid hormone that is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. They are often used to reduce inflammation and swelling in the body, and can be prescribed for a variety of conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids, and do not have the same muscle-building effects.

Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids: Understanding the difference

When it comes to steroids, two types are commonly discussed – anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. While they might sound similar, both the steroid types have different functions in the body and their usage varies significantly.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone which is responsible for muscle growth, bone mass, and hair growth. In medical terms, anabolic steroids are used to treat delayed puberty, muscle wasting due to cancer or HIV, and hormonal imbalances. However, people misuse anabolic steroids to boost muscle mass and performance, leading to serious health problems.

Some common side effects of abusing anabolic steroids include mood swings, acne, hair loss, liver damage, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Apart from physical harm, prolonged use of anabolic steroids can also lead to addiction, leading to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.


Corticosteroids are naturally occurring hormones produced by the adrenal gland. They regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Corticosteroids are often prescribed to treat conditions such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. They come in various forms, including pills, inhalers, and injections.

their functions and usage

Unlike anabolic steroids, corticosteroids do not build muscle mass. Instead, they help to reduce swelling, redness, and itching, making them ideal for treating inflammatory conditions. However, when taken over a long period, they can cause side effects such as weight gain, high blood pressure, cataract, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

The Bottom Line

In summary, anabolic steroids and corticosteroids differ greatly in their functions and usage. While anabolic steroids are often abused to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance, anabolic steroids usa corticosteroids are used to treat inflammatory conditions. It is important to use steroids under medical supervision and only as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

  • References:
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, June 06). Anabolic Steroids DrugFacts.
    • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, August 29). Corticosteroids: Uses, Side Effects, and Precautions. Mayo Clinic.

    Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids: Understanding the difference

  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone used to build muscle mass, while corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications used to treat a variety of medical conditions such as asthma and arthritis.
  • Anabolic steroids can have serious health consequences if abused, including liver damage, heart disease, and infertility, while corticosteroids may cause side effects such as weight gain, mood changes, and increased risk of infection.
  • It is important to understand the differences between these two types of steroids and use them only under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Overall, while both anabolic steroids and corticosteroids are classified as steroids, they have very different purposes and potential risks. Educating oneself on the proper use and potential consequences of these substances is crucial in maintaining overall health and well-being.

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