Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone . Certain clinical effects and adverse reactions demonstrate the androgenic properties of this class of drugs. Complete dissociation of anabolic and androgenic effects has not been achieved. The actions of anabolic steroids are therefore similar to those of male sex hormones with the possibility of causing serious disturbances of growth and sexual development if given to young children. Anabolic steroids suppress the gonadotropic functions of the pituitary and may exert a direct effect upon the testes .
The common side effects of oxymetholone include depression, lethargy, headache, swelling, rapid weight gain, priapism , changes in skin color, urination problems, nausea , vomiting , stomach pain (if taken on an empty stomach), loss of appetite, jaundice , breast swelling in men, feeling restless or excited, insomnia , and diarrhea .  In women, side effects also include acne , changes in menstrual periods , deepened voice, hair growth on the chin or chest, male pattern baldness , enlarged clitoris , and changes in sex drive .  Because of its 17α-alkylated structure, oxymetholone is highly hepatotoxic . Long term use of the drug can cause a variety of serious ailments, including hepatitis , liver cancer , and cirrhosis ; therefore periodic liver function tests are recommended for those taking oxymetholone.