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Courtesy of the FDA

FDA issues warning for bodybuilding products marketed to teens, young adults

April 26, 2023

Health officials have issued a warning about the serious health risks of bodybuilding products marketed to teens and young adults on social media.

Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are chemical substances that mimic the effects of testosterone and anabolic steroids and are sold as a way to gain muscle mass quickly or increase athletic performance, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

SARMs have been associated with increased risk of heart attack or stroke, psychosis, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, liver injury/failure, infertility, pregnancy miscarriage and testicular shrinkage. They often are sold without warning labels, leading consumers to think they are safe. The substances are not FDA approved and cannot be marketed legally in the U.S. as a dietary supplement or drug.

The FDA said Wednesday it continues to receive reports of adverse events from people using SARMs. It has issued warning letters to companies selling these products and pursued criminal actions for distributors.

Consumers should not use these products. Those who have should report side effects to a health care professional. Adverse events also should be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program.

The AAP also has warned teens about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances. Instead, it recommends athletes focus on training, conditioning, eating well, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest.



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