These are synthetic androgens with higher anabolic and lower androgenic activity. Anabolic effects are similar to that of testosterone. Anabolic steroids were developed with the idea of avoiding virilizing side effects of androgens while retaining the anabolic effects. They tend to increase retention of nitrogen, calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride and phosphate, leading to an increase in skeletal weight, water retention and increased growth of bone. Situations where increased body proten & skeletal weight is desired anabolic steroids therapy must accompanied by adequate nourishing diet. (athletes). Indications Osteoporosis, catabolic states. Renal insufficiency. To counteract glucocorticoid. Subopti- mal growth in children.Hypoplastic, haemolytic or malignancy associated anaemia. To enhance physical ability in athletes. Chronic debilitating diseases especially in elderly patients to correct defective protein metabolism. Following surgery, burns or major illness. Contra-Indications Pregnancy, carcinoma o prostrate, male breast, some female breast. Nephrotic syndrome. Hepatic impairment. Nephrosis. Porphyria. Special Precautions Diabetes, epilepsy, cardiac disease. Prostatic hypertrophy. Menstrual irregularities. Monitor thyroid & liver functions & metyrapone tests. May alter glucose tolerance test. Watch for oedema & signs of testicular inhibition. Side Effects Oedema, cholestatic jaundice, hepatic carcinoma. Gynaecomastia. Precocious puberty & shortening of stature due to early closure of epiphysis. Rashes, cramps, dyspepsia. Virilization and menstrual irregularities. Drug Interactions Enhances action of oral anticoagulants, corticosteroids.