The Korea Herald


Drug Ministry warns against using steroids for muscle growth

Misuse or abuse of steroids can result in hair loss, infertility and irregular menstruation

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Jan. 11, 2021 - 17:13

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Steroids should not be used to build stronger muscles or improve sports performance, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in a press release on Sunday.

The ministry said steroids, including anabolic steroids, should be used strictly for treating osteoporosis or poor growth under a doctor’s care. But there have been reports of illegal uses of steroids to maximize the effects of exercise in a short time.

The ministry warned that if steroids are misused or abused, men can suffer side effects such as hair loss, smaller testicles and infertility. Women can develop masculine characteristics, such as beard growth, and irregular menstruation.

Misuse of steroids by teenagers can lead to serious side effects including hypothyroidism, a condition where the body does not produce enough of certain crucial hormones, and growth disorders, the ministry said.

Illegally distributed steroid products are likely to have been made in unsanitary environments and may be infected with microorganisms, according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. If such products are injected, they can cause necrosis or sepsis in severe cases.

“Do not buy or use steroids from outside of a hospital or pharmacy,” said an official with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. “But if you are using steroids, you must stop now and seek medical help if side effects occur.”

By Kan Hyeong-woo (