Patrons : Dame Judi Dench, Baroness Howe, Sir Ian McKellen and Tom Morris (Founding Chair)
Trustees : Michael Buffong, Daisy Drury, Stephen Fewell (Chair), Polly Findlay, Robert Gill (Secretary), David Lewis (Treasurer), Kate McGrath, Clare Menzies-Kitchin MBE, Lucy Popescu, Ben Power and Mark Rosenblatt
General Manager : Jo Holding
Fundraising & Marketing Administrator : Katherine Rigg
Registered address : Talton Farm Cottage, Newbold on Stour, Stratford on Avon,
Warwickshire, CV37 8UB
Registered Charity : No. 295080
Side effects of anabolic steroids with relevance in forensic medicine are mainly due to life-threatening health risks with potential fatal outcome and cases of uncertain limitations of criminal liability after steroid administration. Both problems are typically associated with long-term abuse and excessive overdose of anabolic steroids. Side effects may be due to direct genomic or nongenomic activities (myotrophic, hepatotoxic), can result from down-regulation of endogenous biosynthesis (antiandrogenic) or be indirect consequence of steroid biotransformation (estrogenic).Logically, there are no systematic clinical studies available and the number of causally determined fatalities is fairly limited. The following compilation reviews typical abundant observations in cases where nonnatural deaths (mostly liver failure and sudden cardiac death) were concurrent with steroid abuse. Moreover, frequent associations between structural characteristics and typical side effects are summarized.
Patients taking active medications frequently experience adverse, nonspecific side effects that are not a direct result of the specific pharmacological action of the drug. Although this phenomenon is common, distressing, and costly, it is rarely studied and poorly understood. The nocebo phenomenon, in which placebos produce adverse side effects, offers some insight into nonspecific side effect reporting. We performed a focused review of the literature, which identified several factors that appear to be associated with the nocebo phenomenon and/or reporting of nonspecific side effects while taking active medication: the patient's expectations of adverse effects at the outset of treatment; a process of conditioning in which the patient learns from prior experiences to associate medication-taking with somatic symptoms; certain psychological characteristics such as anxiety, depression, and the tendency to somatize; and situational and contextual factors. Physicians and other health care personnel can attempt to ameliorate nonspecific side effects to active medications by identifying in advance those patients most at risk for developing them and by using a collaborative relationship with the patient to explain and help the patient to understand and tolerate these bothersome but nonharmful symptoms.