17α-Alkylated anabolic steroid

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17α-Alkylated anabolic steroids are a class of anabolic steroids that have been chemically modified at the 17α-position. This modification allows the steroid to survive first-pass liver metabolism when ingested, making it orally active.

Chemistry[edit | edit source]

The 17α-alkylation modification is achieved by the addition of an alkyl group (such as methyl, ethyl, or propyl) at the 17α-position of the steroid molecule. This modification prevents the steroid from being deactivated by the liver, allowing a higher percentage of the drug to enter the bloodstream intact.

Medical Use[edit | edit source]

17α-Alkylated anabolic steroids are used in medicine for their anabolic effects, such as the promotion of protein synthesis and muscle growth. They are used in the treatment of conditions such as muscle wasting diseases, delayed puberty, and hypogonadism. However, their use is limited by their potential for serious side effects, including liver damage.

Side Effects[edit | edit source]

The 17α-alkylation modification that allows these steroids to be orally active also makes them potentially toxic to the liver. Long-term use or high doses can lead to liver damage, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Other side effects can include cardiovascular problems, changes in mood and behavior, and endocrine disturbances.

Regulation[edit | edit source]

In many countries, 17α-alkylated anabolic steroids are controlled substances due to their potential for abuse and the serious health risks they pose. In the United States, they are classified as Schedule III controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD