Unfortunately, the list contains three sets of duplicate names (chloro testosterone and Clostebol; dihydrotestosterone and stanolone; and methandrostenolone and methandienone) as well as one name (methandranone) for a drug that did not exist. So, the actual number of different steroids specifically defined under the law as anabolic steroids is 23, not 27. Realizing that the list of 23 substances would not be all inclusive, Congress went on to define within the law the term "anabolic steroid" to mean "any drug or hormonal substance, chemically or pharmacologically related to testosterone (other than estrogens, progestins, and corticoster-oids) and that promote muscle growth".
The scheduling of anabolic steroids has necessitated forensic laboratories to analyze exhibits containing steroids. In those cases involving the detection of one or more of the 23 steroids specifically defined as anabolic steroids under the law, questions of legality are not likely to arise. However, when a steroid is identified that is not specifically defined under the law, it becomes necessary to further examine the substance to determine if it qualifies as an anabolic steroid under the definition of such a substance under the CSA. The forensic chemist must positively identify the steroid and convey to the pharmacologist the entire structure of the steroid. It then becomes the responsibility of the pharmacologist to determine the pharmacological activity, including effects on muscle growth, of the identified steroid.
The pharmacology of the identified steroid may be evaluated in at least two ways. The first, and most important way, is to examine the scientific, medical, and patent literature for data on the pharmacological effects of the steroid. Over the years, numerous steroids have been examined in animal and/or human studies for anabolic/androgenic activity. It is possible that the identified steroid will be among that group of steroids. The second method is to evaluate possible pharmacological activity using structure-activity relationships. Such analysis is based on the assumption of a relationship between the structure of the steroid and its pharmacological effects. Small alterations of chemical structure may either enhance, diminish, eliminate, or have no effect on the pharmacological activity of the steroid. The structure-activity relationships of androgens and anabolic steroids have been reviewed extensively.1,2
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