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Table 3 Use of non-AAS substances, reason(s)/motive(s) for use, and studies

From: Polypharmacy among anabolic-androgenic steroid users: a descriptive metasynthesis

  Current polypharmacy (Combined with AAS) Lifetime polypharmacy (Ever use)  
Substance Reason(s) for use Studies (First author, reference) Reason(s) for use Studies (First author, reference) Number of studies
2,4-dinitrophenol NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12]; Dunn [15]; Hope [25]; Larance [35] 4
Acetaminophen NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Alcohol Better sleep and relaxation Chandler [12]; Hegazy [23]; Kanayama [28]; Kusserow [34]; Lundholm [37]; Malone [38]; Peters [46]; Perry [48]; Skårberg [52-54] Better sleep and relaxation Chandler [12]; Dunn [15]; Fudala [17]; Gruber [21,22]; Hegazy [23]; Hoff [24]; Hope [25]; Kanayama [26-28]; Katz [29]; Kusserow [34]; Malone [38]; Peters [46]; Perry [48]; Skårberg [52-54]; Tallon [56]; Wines [58] 23
Aminogluthimide Reducing receptors’ attraction to cortisol Peters [46] Reducing receptors’ attraction to cortisol Gruber [22]; Peters [46] 2
Amyl nitrate NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12] 1
Analgesics/opioids Pain relief Ahlgrim [9]; Hegazy [23]; Kanayama [28]; Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Lundholm [37]; Malone [38]; McBride [39]; Pappa [43]; Skårberg [53] Pain relief Ahlgrim [9]; Fudala [17]; Gruber [22]; Hegazy [23]; Kanayama [26,28], Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Malone [38]; McBride [39]; Pappa [43]; Rashid [49]; Skårberg [53,54] 14
Anti-acne drugs Combating acne Skårberg [54] 1
Antibiotics Combating acne Peters [46] Combating acne Korkia [32]; Peters [46] 2
Anti-catabolics NS Skårberg [53] Facilitating synthesis of hepatic protein and nitrogen economy Skårberg [53,54] 2
Anti-depressants Combating side effects Klötz [31] Combating side effects, depression relief, boosting levels of serotonin and noradrenaline Klötz [31]; Skårberg [54] 2
Anti-oestrogens Burning fat, combating gynecomastia, reducing effects on oestrogen Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53] Combating gynecomastia, burning fat, reducing effects on oestrogen Gårevik [18]; Hope [25]; Klötz [31]; Korkia [32]; Kusserow [34]; Larance [35]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] 9
Aromatase inhibitors NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12] 1
Aspirin® NS Klötz [31]; Perry [45]; Skårberg [53]; Strauss [55] NS Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; Perry [45]; Skårberg [53]; Strauss [55] 5
Ben-Gay® NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Benoxaprofen NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Benzodiazepines Better sleep, combating side effects, relaxation Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; Lundholm [37]; McBride [39]; Skårberg [53] Combating side effects, enhancing sleep and relaxation, self-control, sedation Gårevik [18]; Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; Lundholm [37]; Malone [38]; McBride [39]; Skårberg [53,54] 8
Beta blockers Burning fat Peters [46] Burning fat Peters [46] 1
Beta-2-agonists NS Bilard [11] 1
Blood pressure regulators NS Kusserow [34] Lower blood pressure Kusserow [34]; Skårberg [54] 2
Bronchodilators Energy and boosting training Skårberg [53] Burning fat, energy and boosting training, increasing strength Skårberg [53,54] 2
Buprenorphine NS Skårberg [53] NS Skårberg [53]; Wines [58] 2
Caffeine Burning fat Klötz [31]; Pappa [43]; Perry [45]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53]; Strauss [55] Burning fat Gruber [22]; Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Perry [45]; Skårberg [53]; Strauss [55] 8
Calcium NS Strauss [55] 1
Cannabis/cannabinoids Enhancing sleep, relaxation Chandler [12]; Kanayama [27,28]; Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Lundholm [37]; Malone [38]; McBride [39]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Perry [48]; Skårberg [53,54] Enhancing sleep, relaxation Bilard [11]; Chandler [12]; Dunn [15]; Fudala [17]; Gruber [21,22]; Hoff [24]; Kanayama [27,28]; Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Larance [35]; Malone [38]; McBride [39]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Perry [48]; Rashid [49]; Skårberg [53,54]; Tallon [56] 21
Captopril NS Ahlgrim [9] NS Ahlgrim [9] 1
Carvedilol NS Ahlgrim [9] NS Ahlgrim [9] 1
Choline and inositol NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Chromium picolinate Reducing body weight Peters [46] Reducing body weight Peters [46] 1
Clenbuterol Anabolic effects, burning fat, removing skin fluid, weight loss Chandler [12]; Gruber [21]; Kimergård [30]; Klötz [31]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39]; Peters [46]; Wilson-Fearon [57] Anabolic effects, burning fat, removing skin fluid, weight loss Chandler [12]; Gruber [20-22]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30]; Klötz [31]; Korkia [33]; Larance [35]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39]; Peters [46]; Tallon [56]; Wilson-Fearon [57] 14
Clomiphene citrate NS Chandler [12]; Moss [41,42]; Perry [45] NS Chandler [12]; Moss [41,42]; Perry [45] 4
Cocaine Boosting training, burning fat, increasing strength Chandler [12]; Kanayama [28]; Larance [35]; Lundholm [37]; Malone [38]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] Boosting training, burning fat, increasing strength Chandler [12]; Dunn [15]; Fudala [17]; Gårevik [18]; Gruber [21]; Hoff [24]; Hope [25]; Kanayama [26-28]; Katz [29]; Larance [35]; Lundholm [37]; Malone [38]; Peters [46]; Rashid [49]; Skårberg [53,54]; Tallon [56] 19
Codeine Boosting training Skårberg [53]; Strauss [55] Boosting training Skårberg [53]; Strauss [55] 2
Conjugated linoleic acid Burning fat Skårberg [53] Burning fat Skårberg [53] 1
Corticosteroids NS Lenehan [36] NS Bilard [11]; Korkia [32]; Lenehan [36] 3
Creatine Enhancing the effects of training Klötz [31]; Skårberg [53]; Perry [45] Anabolic effects, endurance booster, enhancing the effects of training, recovery aid Davies [14]; Filiault [16]; Hoff [24]; Klötz [31]; Perry [45]; Skårberg [53,54] 7
Daonil® Increasing insulin release Peters [46] Increasing insulin release Peters [46] 1
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) NS Larance [35] 1
Diazepam NS Gårevik [18] 1
Dietary/nutritional supplements Energy and boosting training, nutrition Pappa [43]; Perry [45]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54]; Strauss [55]; Wilson-Fearon [57] Energy and boosting training, anabolic effects, endurance booster, nutrition, recovery aid Davies [14]; Filiault [16]; Gruber [21]; Korkia [32]; Pappa [43]; Perry [45]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54]; Strauss [55]; Tallon [56]; Wilson-Fearon [57] 12
Digoxin NS Ahlgrim [9] NS Ahlgrim [9] 1
Dimethyl sulfoxide NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Diuretics Combating side effects, masking doping drugs, reducing fluid levels Chandler [12]; Klötz [31]; Lenehan [36]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Wilson-Fearon [57] Combating side effects, masking doping drugs, reducing fluid levels Chandler [12]; Goldfield [19]; Hope [25]; Klötz [31]; Korkia [32]; Larance [35]; Lenehan [36]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [54]; Tallon [56]; Wilson-Fearon [57] 12
Electrolyte solution NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Ephedra/Ephedrine Energy and boosting training, enhancing weight loss Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30]; Klötz [31]; McBride [39]; Perry [45]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53] Energy and boosting training, burning fat, enhancing weight loss, increasing strength Chandler [12]; Gårevik [18]; Gruber [20]; Gårevik [18]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30]; Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; McBride [39]; Perry [45]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] 14
Epinephrine NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Erythropoietin (EPO) NS Pappa [43]; Schäfer [50] NS Hope [25]; Pappa [43]; Schäfer [50] 3
Esiclene NS Korkia [32] 1
Fat-loss agents Burning fat Skårberg [54] 1
Furosemide Weight loss Ahlgrim [9]; Strauss [55] Weight loss Ahlgrim [9]; McKillop [40]; Strauss [55] 3
Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) Enhancing sleep Chandler [12]; Klötz [31]; Skårberg [54] Enhancing sleep Chandler [12]; Dunn [15]; Gruber [22]; Klötz [31]; Skårberg [54] 5
Genotropine NS Klötz [31] NS Klötz [31] 1
Glutamine NS Perry [45] NS Perry [45] 1
Growth hormone Anabolic effects and strength, burning fat, weight loss Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30]; Kusserow [34]; Lenehan [36]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54]; Strauss [55]; Wilson-Fearon [57] Anabolic effects, burning fat, endurance booster, recovery aid, weight loss Chandler [12]; Filiault [16]; Fudala [17]; Gårevik [18]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30]; Korkia [32,33]; Kusserow [34]; Larance [35]; Lenehan [36]; Peters [46]; Silvester [51]; Skårberg [53,54]; Strauss [55]; Tallon [56]; Wilson-Fearon [57] 18
Growth hormone releasing peptides NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12] 1
Hallucinogens NS Larance [35]; Malone [38] NS Dunn [15]; Larance [35]; Malone [38] 3
Herbal products NS Skårberg [53] Increasing strength Skårberg [53,54]  
Heroin Enhancing sleep, pain relief Cornford [13]; Larance [35]; Skårberg [54] Enhancing sleep, pain relief Gårevik [18]; Cornford [13]; Kanayama [27]; Larance [35]; Skårberg [54]; Wines [58] 6
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) Minimizing depressive symptoms upon AAS cessation/withdrawal, improving testosterone production, preventing weight loss, stopping testicular atrophy, increasing strength Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39]; Moss [41,42]; Perry [44]; Peters [46]; Perry [47]; Korkia [32]; Wilson-Fearon [57] Anabolic effects, increasing testosterone production, minimizing depressive symptoms upon AAS cessation/withdrawal, preventing weight loss, stopping testicular atrophy, increasing strength Chandler [12]; Fudala [17]; Gruber [22]; Gårevik [18]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30]; Korkia [32]; Larance [35]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39]; McKillop [40]; Moss [41,42]; Perry [44]; Peters [46]; Perry [47]; Wilson-Fearon [57] 17
Hydrochlorothiazide Weight loss Ahlgrim [9] Weight loss Ahlgrim [62] 1
Hydrocodone NS Wines [58] 1
Hydroxocobal amin Weight gain Peters [46] Weight gain Peters [46] 1
Inhalants NS Larance [35] NS Dunn [15]; Larance [35] 2
Insulin Anabolic effects and strength, burning fat, weight loss Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30]; Klötz [31]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] Anabolic effects and strength, burning fat, weight loss Chandler [12]; Gårevik [18]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30]; Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54]; Tallon [56] 10
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) Anabolic effects and strength, burning fat Chandler [12]; Klötz [31]; Lenehan [36]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] Anabolic effects and strength, burning fat Chandler [12]; Fudala [17]; Klötz [31]; Larance [35]; Lenehan [36]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] 8
Ketamine NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12]; Dunn [15] 2
Laxative NS Goldfield [19] 2
Levodopa NS Strauss [55] Increasing growth hormone Strauss [55]; Skårberg [54] 2
Lidocaine NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 2
Liothyronine NS Perry [45] NS Perry [45] 1
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) NS Skårberg [54] NS Rashid [49]; Skårberg [54] 2
Mechano growth factor NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12] 1
Melanotan Boosting training, skin tanning Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30] Boosting training, skin tanning Chandler [12]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30] 3
Mephedrone NS Chandler [12] NS Chandler [12] 1
Meth/amphetamine Alertness, boosting training, burning fat, increasing aggression during exercise, increasing strength, psychological wellbeing Chandler [12]; Hegazy [23]; Kimergård [30]; Larance [35]; Lundholm [37]; McBride [39]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54] Alertness, boosting training, burning fat, increasing aggression during exercise, increasing strength, psychological wellbeing Angoorani [10]; Chandler [12]; Gårevik [18]; Hegazy [23]; Hoff [24]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30]; Larance [35]; Lundholm [37]; McBride [39]; Pappa [43]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [53,54]; Tallon [56] 15
Muscle oil (synthol) Anabolic effect Skårberg [54] 1
Muscle relaxing drugs Combating side effects Klötz [31] Combating side effects Klötz [31] 1
Myoblast NS Klötz [31] NS Klötz [31] 1
Nalbuphine/nubain® NS Strauss [55]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39] Treating pain from weightlifting injuries, “anti-catabolic”, mental high Gruber [22]; Hope [25]; Kanayama [27]; Korkia [33]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39]; Strauss [55]; Wines [58] 8
Naproxen NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Inflammation, pain, and fever relief Skårberg [54] 1
Oxycodone NS Strauss [55] NS Kanayama [27]; Strauss [55] 2
Peptide hormones NS Bilard [11] 1
Phenylbutazone NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5i) NS Hope [25] 1
Piroxicam NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Potassium NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Potency/testicular increasing drugs Combating side effects Klötz [31] Combating side effects Klötz [31] 1
Pregnyl® Improved testosterone production Peters [46] Improved testosterone production Peters [46] 1
Protein powder Enhancing effects of training, increasing protein synthesis Perry [45]; Skårberg [53,54] Enhancing effects of training, increasing protein synthesis Perry [45]; Skårberg [53,54] 3
Proviron® Hardiness, improved testosterone production Peters [46] Hardiness, improved testosterone production Peters [46] 1
Recovery drinks Endurance booster, recovery aid Filiault [16] 1
Sedatives NS Malone [38] NS Malone [38] 1
Sildenafil/viagra®/cialis Enhanced sexual functioning Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30] Enhanced sexual functioning Chandler [12]; Gårevik [18]; Hope [25]; Kimergård [30] 4
Somatotropine NS Klötz [31] NS Klötz [31] 1
Spironolactone Weight loss Ahlgrim [9] Weight loss Ahlgrim [9] 1
Stimulants NS Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Malone [38] Increasing strength, burning fat Fudala [17]; Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Malone [38]; Rashid [49]; Skårberg [54] 6
Suntan pills NS Strauss [55] NS Strauss [55] 1
Tamoxifen Combating side effects Chandler [12]; Kimergård [30]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39] Combating side effects Chandler [12]; Gruber [22]; Kimergård [30]; Korkia [33]; Lenehan [36]; McBride [39]; Tallon [56] 7
Teroxin (T3) Preventing weight gain Peters [46] Preventing weight gain Peters [46] 1
Testosterone releasers/boosters Combating side effects, increasing hormone production Skårberg [53] Combating side effects, increasing blood serum levels of testosterone or hormone production Skårberg [53,54] 2
Thiazides NS McKillop [40] 1
Thiomucase NS Wilson-Fearon [57] Burning fat Korkia [32,33]; Wilson-Fearon [57] 3
Thyroxine Burning fat, increasing metabolism Chandler [12]; Lenehan [36]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [54]; Strauss [55] Burning fat, increasing metabolism Chandler [12]; Gruber [22]; Hope [25]; Korkia [32]; Larance [35]; Lenehan [36]; McKillop [40]; Peters [46]; Skårberg [54]; Strauss [55] 10
Tobacco NS Malone [38]; Perry [48]; Pope [47] NS Malone [38]; Perry [48]; Pope [47] 3
Torsemide NS Ahlgrim [9] NS Ahlgrim [9] 1
Triacana NS Korkia [33] 1
Yohimbine NS Perry [45] NS Gruber [22]; Perry [45] 3
Other IPEDs, licit and illicit substances NS Kanayama [28]; Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Perry [48]; Skårberg [52] NS Gruber [20,21]; Hoff [24]; Hope [25]; Kanayama [26,28]; Klötz [31]; Kusserow [34]; Perry [48]; Skårberg [52,54]; Wines [58]  
  1. IPEDs: Image and performance-enhancing drugs.
  2. NS: Not specified.
  3. Substance class - not specified.