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Steroids. Wowser!

Old 05-28-18, 09:27 AM
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TiHabanero
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Steroids. Wowser!

Just completing a 2 week cycle of steroids to fix an ear issue. They are not anabolic, but work as an anti-inflammatory. It is amazing how good one feels on this stuff. Absolutely no joint or muscle pain at all anywhere in the body. Easy to understand the allure for pro athletes. It really is something. Unfortunately long term use of this stuff has debilitating consequences, so back to feeling the pain.
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Old 05-28-18, 09:36 AM
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Yeah, I had a course prescribed for a persistent (6 week) cold/chest congestion. It was as if somebody gave me new lungs! I was bounding up the stairs, two steps at a time! Scary!
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Old 05-28-18, 09:50 AM
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When I broke my neck and had C1 & C2 fused they gave me Dilauded (sp?). I told my gf..."Tell Belichick he can bench Brady. I'm ready to go." (I'm 72). Good stuff.
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Old 05-28-18, 01:37 PM
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Anti-inflammatory steroids (corticosteroids) have completely different effects from the anabolic ones despite the chemical similarity. In fact, they are “catabolic” and will cause muscle loss and weakening of bone and connective tissue if taken for long enough. Athletes do not take them for performance enhancement and anabolic steroids do not have beneficial effects on inflammation or pain.
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Old 05-28-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Anti-inflammatory steroids (corticosteroids) have completely different effects from the anabolic ones despite the chemical similarity. In fact, they are “catabolic” and will cause muscle loss and weakening of bone and connective tissue if taken for long enough. Athletes do not take them for performance enhancement and anabolic steroids do not have beneficial effects on inflammation or pain.
Yep, very different. Although, as mentioned above, treating asthma or chest congestion could help performance.... mostly legally (see Froome).

And, of course, treating knees and joints is also generally allowed for all athletes.

I find the more I ride WITHOUT DRUGS, the better my joints and body as a whole feels.
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Old 05-28-18, 05:16 PM
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IIRC, Froome was on a beta 2 agonist. From the little pulmonary pharmacology I remember, those actually dilate airways on their own rather than blocking the inflammation that’s causing them to constrict.
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Old 05-28-18, 11:53 PM
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Yep, the appropriate type of steroid can be a lifesaver in the correct applications. I know folks with COPD whose lives were extended through daily doses of prednisone. The downside is 'roid rage -- men in particular tend to get very grumpy on prednisone over time. And corticosteroids can have serious side effects with prolonged usage. So the benefit must be carefully weighed against those side effects.

The theoretical main advantage to salbutamol/albuterol for athletes isn't necessarily the bronchodilator effect but the side effect of increasing lean muscle without losing strength or gaining weight, when taken in doses much larger than needed for treating asthma. That's the issue Froome is being investigated for. The suspicion is that the overt use of albuterol inhalers is just a cover to give an excuse for the substance showing up in tests.

For years I've used albuterol inhalers for asthma. It's a mediocre "rescue" inhaler, inferior to the older epinephrine rescue inhalers that were more effective for true emergencies to dilate constricted airways. It was barely effective for me for asthma, less effective than ephedrine tablets. No idea about the effect on lean muscle, since it's not possible to take a large enough dose through an inhaler to exceed the limits set for some athletes. I'd need to eat a year's worth of albuterol inhalers in a fairly brief workout period to exceed that amount -- not gonna happen because I can barely afford the stuff I already get. But reportedly the tests aren't reliable so who knows.
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Old 05-29-18, 09:18 AM
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have had a cpl occasions to use prednisone for gout (in past years) but didn't notice it's affect on any other part of my body. not that it didn't help other areas
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Old 05-29-18, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
For years I've used albuterol inhalers for asthma. It's a mediocre "rescue" inhaler, inferior to the older epinephrine rescue inhalers that were more effective for true emergencies to dilate constricted airways. It was barely effective for me for asthma, less effective than ephedrine tablets.
I doubt we'll see inhaled Epinephrine or Ephedrine legalized in pro sports any time soon.

I assume their use has been reduced due to the stimulant effects and abuse potential. Cardiac effects?
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Old 05-29-18, 02:54 PM
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Epinephrine is banned in competition. I've had to use an EpiPen during a race, twice actually, due to a bee sting. It's just a fact of life when you're allergic to bee toxin and you race through ag country. Both times, I pulled myself from the race, but boy you feel like superman (other than the two welts: one from the stinger and one from the EpiPen)
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Old 05-29-18, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Just completing a 2 week cycle of steroids to fix an ear issue. They are not anabolic, but work as an anti-inflammatory. It is amazing how good one feels on this stuff. Absolutely no joint or muscle pain at all anywhere in the body. Easy to understand the allure for pro athletes. It really is something. Unfortunately long term use of this stuff has debilitating consequences, so back to feeling the pain.
Interesting timing. I’m on Day 2 of treatmen/prescription for the same issue. Hopefully it will help......
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Old 05-29-18, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I doubt we'll see inhaled Epinephrine or Ephedrine legalized in pro sports any time soon.

I assume their use has been reduced due to the stimulant effects and abuse potential. Cardiac effects?
Abuse potential is low and neither is a scheduled substance, but you’re right about the cardiac effects and their effects on blood pressure, which the beta2 drugs avoid. As decongestants, both were largely replaced by pseudoephedrine and now something else—Canklecat will know–since people started making meth out of Sudafed. Ephedrine is a natural substance from the herb, ephedra and is, I believe, sold OTC as a “nutritional” supplement.
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Old 05-29-18, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I doubt we'll see inhaled Epinephrine or Ephedrine legalized in pro sports any time soon.

I assume their use has been reduced due to the stimulant effects and abuse potential. Cardiac effects?
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Epinephrine is banned in competition. I've had to use an EpiPen during a race, twice actually, due to a bee sting. It's just a fact of life when you're allergic to bee toxin and you race through ag country. Both times, I pulled myself from the race, but boy you feel like superman (other than the two welts: one from the stinger and one from the EpiPen)
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post

Abuse potential is low and neither is a scheduled substance, but you’re right about the cardiac effects and their effects on blood pressure, which the beta2 drugs avoid. As decongestants, both were largely replaced by pseudoephedrine and now something else—Canklecat will know–since people started making meth out of Sudafed. Ephedrine is a natural substance from the herb, ephedra and is, I believe, sold OTC as a “nutritional” supplement.
In the current USADA regs epherine is listed as a "threshold" substance along with pseudoephedrine ((i.e., albuterol, cathine, ephedrine, formoterol, methylephedrine and pseudoephedrine), implying it is permitted within strict temporary use exemption guidelines. There may be another page in the USADA regs that clarifies this but I searched only the main page online.

Apparently there is no exemption or threshold for epinephrine so presumably any athlete who needs to use an epi pen or rescue inhaler, or similar product, for a medical emergency will be suspended or DNFd from that event. Probably moot since any need to use such a rescue med probably means they wouldn't have finished anyway. I suppose it's possible to come back from an emergency event that required the lifesaving use of epinephrine in a stage tour, but that's not likely to happen in any single day race.

I see that phenylephrine is listed as a monitored stimulant substance. It's a crappy and nearly useless decongestant, including as a nasal inhaler, so it's difficult to imagine any knowledgeable racer using it or doctor prescribing it. It's most often found in multi-symptom cold/flu meds that should be avoided anyway -- most of those contain multiple anticholinergics that can cause serious problems with confusion, disorientation and can risk permanent dementia in vulnerable people. I'd suggest avoiding any of those combination meds that contain phenylephrine. They also contain the worst, cheapest, nastiest ingredients including comparatively primitive antihistamines and sleep aids. While I'm somewhat libertarian in most things I'd like to see stuff like Nyquil and the generics banned from the market. They're dangerous and unnecessary. Most folks who have a cold, the flu, coughs, congestion, allergies, etc., should take only single-ingredient meds specifically intended for those symptoms, not a grab bag of junk that should be off the market.

However phenylephrine does have one common use that may not be well recognized unless you read every list of ingredients carefully: it's commonly used in some hemorrhoid ointments to help reduce swelling. You can even use the nasal spray version on hemorrhoids -- just don't mix up the containers (or spray it on toilet paper and make a compress). I suppose it's possible to absorb enough to appear on tests, but not likely. It would be interesting to hear someone who tested with a significant amount of phenylephrine trying to claim a really bad case of the piles. I can't imagine riding with such severe hemorrhoids without a case of painful 'roid rage.

Ephedrine was originally isolated or synthesized as an appetite suppressant, and received some notoriety in the press a couple of decades ago when a few people reacted badly to poorly regulated appetite suppressants containing ephedra. That mostly should have served as a warning to not take junk pills, homeopathic, naturopathic or any voodoo medicine. Especially for weight loss.

Ephedrine has a legitimate use for asthmatics, often blended with guaifenesin expectorant. It works well for me. Sudafed and generics seem more effective for me as a nasal decongestant. Fortunately I can still get both without a prescription, although I do need to show ID and sign for it. Presumably my once a month purchase of single boxes doesn't raise any caution flags. It takes quite a bit of the stuff to make a significant amount of meth.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine feel about like two or three cups of coffee to me. It's a very mild stimulant. Perhaps I'm just accustomed to them since I've needed them for so many years. Other folks might react more strongly. But I've heard other folks who don't take Sudafed daily say it feels about that same to them -- about like a few cups of coffee. A modest jolt, but not unpleasant or enough to make them feel dizzy, nauseated, etc.

However I'm hoping to reduce my dependence on ephedrine. It's bad for my blood pressure and thyroid. Turns out I need thyroid surgery to correct a grotesque swelling that's constricting my trachea and worsening my asthma. Hopefully corrective surgery will reduce or eliminate my need for asthma meds. It's pretty uncomfortable too, making it hard to swallow.
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Old 05-30-18, 09:38 AM
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Did they help you ride faster?

ugh, hope you recondition quickly
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Old 05-30-18, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
For years I've used albuterol inhalers for asthma. It's a mediocre "rescue" inhaler, inferior to the older epinephrine rescue inhalers that were more effective for true emergencies to dilate constricted airways.
You mean primatene/bronkaid? I would build up a tolerance to them and they'd basically only work for a day, for me. This was back in the 70s when there was no albuterol or inhaled corticosteroids. I used to inject epinephrine (no epipens, we were real men, or real middle schoolers anyway, filling my own syringes, taking care to knock out the bubbles to avoid embolisms).

I haven't taken prednisone since probably the early 80s. A friend did recently, the list of side-effects was interesting ('megalomania')
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Old 05-31-18, 08:34 PM
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One thing I did notice as a side affect of prednisone, I was kind of a crab all the time. Normal stupid things people do normally bounce off me, but I was confronting people and calling them out on the stupid thing they just did. Just weird for me as I am mello yellow most of the time.
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Old 06-01-18, 02:07 AM
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Old 06-02-18, 05:52 PM
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I have reduced pulmonary capacity due to chronic asthma/bronchitis issues. As such, I am on both a sort-term 'rescue' (albuterol) inhaler and a longer-lasting medication on the form of Advair. Do I consider either to be 'performance enhancing'? No. They simply enable me to breathe!!!!
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Old 09-19-18, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I have reduced pulmonary capacity due to chronic asthma/bronchitis issues. As such, I am on both a sort-term 'rescue' (albuterol) inhaler and a longer-lasting medication on the form of Advair. Do I consider either to be 'performance enhancing'? No. They simply enable me to breathe!!!!
Because you have to take them when you "don't" have a chronic illness.
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Old 09-19-18, 03:51 PM
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Turns out the breathing problems I described back in May were primarily due to a constricted trachea that's distorted and compressed by a thyroid tumor. I'm due for surgery soon. The ER discovered the problem when they did a neck X-ray after I was hit by a car later in May while I was riding my bike.

I still have albuterol inhalers and they might actually work better after the surgery. I still carry one on most bike rides but don't use it often since the airway constriction won't respond to an inhaler.

And a couple of months ago I received an anti-inflammatory injection for the shoulder injury caused by the car hitting me. It wasn't a miracle but did help a bit with the chronic pain. There's less pain in the back of the shoulder, that was radiating down into the shoulder blade. But the side and front of the shoulder still ache, so I'll ask for another injection to treat that area.
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