Title

Use and effectiveness of performance enhancing substances

ORCiD

0000-0002-5447-9016

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Pharmacy Practice

ISSN

0897-1900

Volume

16

Issue

1

DOI

10.1177/0897190002239630

First Page

22

Last Page

36

Publication Date

2-1-2003

Abstract

The use and effects of selected performance-enhancing drugs and nutritional supplements are reviewed. Recent sports medicine studies are mostly double blind and placebo controlled but contain relatively small sample sizes. Their data appear reliable and are reported in reputable journals. Definitions and methods used in sports medicine are provided to enhance the understanding of this literature. The use of performance-enhancing substances is probably underreported. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are reportedly used in 0% to 1% of women, 0.5% to 3% of high school girls, 1% to 5% of men, 1% to 12% of high school boys, and up to 67% of some groups of elite athletes. The use of combinations of performance-enhancing substances is common. Carbohydrate loading, adequate protein intake, creatine, blood doping, and erythropoietin (epoetin alfa) appear to enhance performance. Anabolic-androgenic steroids enhance performance, but health risks limit their use. Growth hormones and β2-selective adrenergic agonists may enhance performance, but additional studies are needed. Androstenedione, caffeine, amphetamines, and nonprescription sympathomimetics do not appear to enhance performance. Performance-enhancing drugs have shown some benefit in diseased patients with malnutrition and/or decreases in physical ability. Pharmacists and other health care providers have opportunities to improve the understanding, use, and monitoring of performance-enhancing substances.