Users on an oral steroid cycle may experience a sudden increase in body weight and muscular development, insomnia, irritability, aggressive combative behavior, puffy face, severe acne, bad breath, a yellowing of the eyes and skin, premature hair loss, hyperactivity, and exaggerated mood swings that include uncontrollable outbursts of anger. Males may also experience testicular shrinkage and can develop female breast tissue on the pectoral muscles. Females may also experience a deeper voice and decreased breast size. Continued use can result in life-threatening situations involving the liver, cardiovascular system, and brain.
Scientists have attempted to test the association between anabolic steroids and aggression by administering high steroid doses or placebo for days or weeks to human volunteers and then asking the people to report on their behavioral symptoms. To date, four such studies have been conducted. In three, high steroid doses did produce greater feelings of irritability and aggression than did placebo, although the effects appear to be highly variable across individuals. In one study, the drugs did not have that effect. One possible explanation, according to the researchers, is that some but not all anabolic steroids increase irritability and aggression. Recent animal studies show an increase in aggression after steroid administration.