Many abusers who inject anabolic steroids may use nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers. In addition, some steroid preparations are manufactured illegally under nonsterile conditions. These factors put abusers at risk for acquiring lifethreatening viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Abusers also can develop endocarditis, a bacterial infection that causes a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections also can cause pain and abscess formation at injection sites.
Oral corticosteroids ( Prednisone , Solu-Medrol ): Acne may be caused by systemic steroid use, but "steroid acne" is usually characterized by an acute eruption of tiny papules and pustules over the chest and back. Oral steroids may play a role in the treatment of cystic acne, not on their own, but as an adjunct to other antibiotic or isotretinoin therapy to try to suppress scarring inflammation in the skin as fast as possible. This may be especially important with the initiation of isotretinoin therapy, and many providers will start low-dose systemic steroids at the start of isotretinoin therapy in order to block the anticipated flare in disease that retinoids may trigger.