Glucocorticosteroids are anti-inflammatory steroid hormones produced in the adrenal glands. Examples are Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone, and Prednisone.

Medical Uses of Glucocorticosteroids

Glucocorticosteroids are used as anti-inflammatories, in conditions such as severe asthma and allergic reactions. They are also used as immunosuppressants to prevent transplant rejection and in certain autoimmune disorders.

Effects on Performance

Some research has shown that large doses of glucocorticosteroids increase cardiac output, cause mood elevation, euphoria and increased motor activity. Their appearance on the prohibited list is more due to their dangerous side-effects than their performance-enhancing effects.

Side-Effects of Glucocorticosteroids

Glucocorticosteroid use often results in the following symptoms, sometimes referred to as cushingoid symptoms due to their presence in Cushing’s disease.

  • Immunosuppression
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Reduced bone density
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Anovulation (cessation of ovulation and menstrual irregularities)