Purpose of review
This review aims to report the most recent (2020–2022) experimental scientific studies conducted on animal models, in order to highlight the relevant findings on the adverse effects related to androgen administration.
Forty-one studies published between January 2020 and July 2022 were selected. The majority of studies investigated the effects of one androgen, whereas only four studies analyzed the effects of two drugs. Nandrolone decanoate was the most investigated drug (20 articles), boldenone was tested in 8 articles, testosterone and stanozolol were used in 7 articles each, 17b-trenbolone, metandienone, and oxandrolone were tested in 1 article each. The articles clarify the adverse effects of androgen administration on the heart, brain, kidney, liver, reproductive and musculoskeletal systems.
The main findings of this review highlight that androgen administration increases inflammatory mediators, altering different biochemical parameters. The results concerning the reversibility of the adverse effects are controversial: on the one hand, several studies suggested that by stopping the androgen administration, the organs return to their initial state; on the other hand, the alteration of different biochemical parameters could generate irreversible organ damage. Moreover, this review highlights the importance of animal studies that should be better organized in order to clarify several important aspects related to androgen abuse to fill the gap in our knowledge in this research field.