Oral steroids come in tablet, pill or serum form. Oral steroids are generally considered to put more stress on the liver than other forms of steroids. This because they have been modified to stop the liver from breaking them down when they pass through. Oral steroids often have to be taken in higher dosages to achieve similar results as injectables, and can often cause more minor side effects than other forms of steroids.
Injectable steroids are administered by way if an intra-muscular injection, and although this sounds more dangerous, injectable steroids can often cause fewer side effects than oral steroids. There are two main types of injectable steroids – water and oil based. The oil used in oil-based steroids is usually sesame oil or cottonseed oil. Both of these types of injectable steroid carry risks, however the water-based version is generally considered the more dangerous of the two.
As well as oral and injectable administration of steroids, there are other methods cropping up on the market. These methods are generally considered less effective than the oral and injectable forms of steroids, and are not widely used.
The first is a nasal spray. This is used like an over the counter decongestant, and reports suggest that it leaves the system extremely quickly after being administered. This makes it ideal for use before drug tested competitions such as the Olympics.
Another method of taking anabolic steroids comes in the form of a patch worn on the skin. These patches can be applied to the skin on the arm and the leg, where the drug will be absorbed through the skin and in to the blood stream.
How to Take Oral Steroids
Oral steroids usually come in pill form and would be swallowed just like other medications.
How to Inject
Steroid injections are intramuscular. This means they are injected deep into the muscle, rather than into the vein. Most athletes prefer the thighs or gluteus muscles to inject into. The thighs offer the advantage of being easy to get to, and are a large area to work with. The gluteus muscles are harder to reach but offer the advantage of having fewer nerve endings, which means less pain is experienced when injecting in to this area. Most users, who choose this area to inject, have a friend administer the injection for them.
Risks of Injecting Steroids
It is important to point out the health risks associated with injecting steroids. Infections can occur from using unclean needles. Needles are easily obtained from most pharmacies and should be thrown away after every use. Needles should never be shared due to risk of contracting AIDS or Hepatitis.
There is also a risk of particle poisoning. This occurs when a particle of a fibre is injected into the bloodstream along with the steroid. This can cause a reaction that may spark muscle cramps, chills, cold sweats, and nausea. This may lead to nothing, however in extreme cases this has been known to induce seizures, shock and possibly coma.
Another huge concern is the risk of puncturing a vein or artery. If a large femoral artery is struck, it is possible to bleed to death in a matter of minutes. In these circumstances, pressure should be applied to the affected area, and medical assistance should be sought immediately.
It is also possible to suffer permanent nerve damage from hitting nerves in the muscle with a needle.
Steroid dosage varies greatly from person to person and depends on many factors. As an example, Winstrol can be taken both orally or intramuscularly. If taken orally, an athlete would take around 16 milligrams per day. If injected, the dosage would be more like 150 to 200 milligrams per week.
Deca-Durabolin is an injectable steroid. It would be prescribed at a dosage of 50 to 100mg every 3 or 4 weeks. However bodybuilders administer the drug at around 200mg per week for muscle enhancing purposes.
Steroid dosages used by bodybuilders have not been based on any scientific method. They are usually based on knowledge passed on from user to user, and dosages often increase throughout the generations.