Types Of Anabolic Steroids: Oral And Injectable Examples

Last Updated: June 10, 2020

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

There are numerous AAS drugs on the market, and users may take multiple types of anabolic steroids. From designer steroids to widely available ones, it is important that individuals fully understand the medication they choose before they begin taking it.

Methods Of Intake

The anabolic-androgenic steroid is a drug category—not a single type of medication. There are numerous anabolic drugs on the market. As such, what they look like is highly varied, ranging from pills of different sizes to injectable liquids. Lists of anabolic steroids tend to divide them in one of two ways: by method of intake and by nature of origin.

There are two methods of intake with AAS drugs: oral and injectable. Oral AAS drugs are easy to take but must be taken frequently to maintain their effects. Injectable types of anabolic steroids tend to require fewer doses, but given that they must be injected, are harder to administer and come with certain risks.

how to inject steroids

Nature Of Origin

Another way to categorize different types of AAS drugs is by the nature of origin. There are exogenous steroids, which are synthetic drugs that replicate the effects of testosterone. Sometimes these are called synthetic steroids. Exogenous steroids are among the most frequently abused ones.

Then there are endogenous steroids, which are substances that naturally occur in the body. While one may sound more natural, and therefore healthier than the other, in truth, both AAS drug types are equally dangerous.

Oral Anabolic Steroids

Oral anabolics are the easiest AAS drugs to access. Doctors are more likely to prescribe them, and they are more readily available on the black market as well. Anabolics in pill form are preferred by the majority of people who take them. It is far easier to swallow a pill than to self-administer an injection.

Because oral AAS drugs must be processed by the digestive tract first, they do not act as fast as injectable options do. However, given the nature of the drugs and what they are meant to accomplish, this isn’t a big concern. Different types of steroids may be processed by the body faster, but the gains from the drugs will be seen at the same time.

Oral steroids list:

  • Dianabol
  • Anadrol
  • Trenbolone
  • Winstrol
  • Anavar
  • Clenbuterol
  • Primobolan
  • Turinabol
  • Proviron
  • Halotestin
  • Virilon
  • Cheque

Anabolic Steroid Injections

Injectable steroids are much more user intensive to administer. People taking these AAS drugs have to either self-administer injections multiple times a week or get someone else to do it for them. Because of this, they tend to be used more by serious bodybuilders and athletes who have coaches and medical staff around them to assist with administration.

Injectable steroids names:

  • Equipoise
  • Primobolan
  • Deca Durabolin
  • Durabolin
  • Depotest
  • Andro-Estro
  • Testex
  • Finajet

Where To Inject Steroids

An anabolic steroid injection must be administered directly into a muscle, never into a vein. IV steroids are the exception, but they are rare and not something that should be used unless absolutely necessary.

Needles For Steroids

Another consideration with injectable AAS drugs are the needles and syringes used. While intravenous injections use shorter needles with smaller gauges, needles for intramuscular injections must be larger and sturdier to prevent them from breaking off inside the body. What size needle for steroids should be determined by a doctor, as general guidelines may not apply to all people:

The gauge of an intramuscular injection needle should be either 22 or 23. The length of the needle should be about 1.5 inches. However, this should be adjusted to the thickness of the site, which can vary between patients. The syringe for steroids should not be reused and should not be shared between users.

Ending Abusive Use

When anabolics start to cause health problems, are used without a prescription or are otherwise abused, it is time to seek help. Just like with any other drug, abuse should be treated by a drug rehabilitation center. There, users will get the best possible help in an understanding environment.


Page Sources

  1. Anabolic Steroids. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/anabolic-steroids.
  2. Steroids and Other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs). National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/how-are-anabolic-steroids-used.

Published on: August 16th, 2019

Updated on: June 10th, 2020

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.

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