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(stēr'oydz, ster-),
A large family of chemical substances, comprising many hormones, body constituents, and drugs, each containing the tetracyclic cyclopenta[a]phenanthrene skeleton. Stereoisomerism among steroids is not only common but of critical biologic significance. The nomenclature conventions are that the nucleus is presented as if projected onto the plane of the paper, with groups then lying above that plane being denoted by thickened bonds and called β and those then lying below that plane being denoted by broken bonds and called α; the letter ξ indicates unknown or unspecified orientation. The principal classes of steroids, with the names for the unsubstituted, saturated hydrocarbon forms that are clearly related to physiologic functions or sources are: 1) gonanes (in which the methyl groups C-18 and C-19, have been replaced by H), 2) estranes (in which the C-19 methyl groups have been replaced by H), 3) androstanes (equivalent to Formula II), 4) norandrostanes (in which one of the methyl groups, typically C-18, has been replaced by H), 5) cholanes (with -CH(CH3)(CH2)2CH3 bonded to C-17), 6) cholestanes (with -CH(CH3)(CH2)3CH(CH3)2 at C-17, 7) ergostanes (with -CH(CH3)(CH2)2CH(CH3)CH(CH3)2 at C-17), and 8) stigmastanes (with -CH(CH3)(CH2)2CH(CH2CHCH3)CH(CH3)2 at C-17). In addition, each of the classes can be in a 5α or 5β series.
The steroid derivatives known as cardanolides are androstanes with a 5-membered lactone linked to C-17. The squill-toad poisons known as the bufanolides are androstanes with a 6-membered lactone linked to C-17. Spirostans and furostans (the basic structures of many "genins," including the sapogenins) are androstanes having certain cyclic ether moieties.
The natural and synthetic derivatives are named by adding conventional chemical prefixes and suffixes for substituents; for example, -ol for a hydroxyl group, -on(e) for a keto group, -al for an aldehyde group. "Nor" indicates loss of a -CH2- group; "homo," the addition of a -CH2- group; each is preceded by the letter indicating which ring is contracted or expanded, respectively, or, in the case where the -CH2- is lost from a methyl group, the number of the carbon atom lost. "Seco" indicates fission of a ring with the addition of hydrogen atoms at the positions indicated by numerals preceding the term. Unsaturation is denoted, as usual, by substituting appropriate terms, for example, -en(e), -yn(e), -adien(e), for the -ane or -an parts of the hydrocarbon or parent class names, with numerals indicating locations of the unsaturated bonds. The locations of double bonds are specified by the lower of the two (consecutive) numbers of the carbon atoms involved. When a double bond is formed between two nonconsecutive carbon atoms, the second is indicated in parentheses after the first; for example, estriol and the estradiols possess three double bonds, between C-1 and C-2, between C-3 and C-4, and between C-5 and C-10, respectively.
Steroid alkaloids may be named from the steroid parent, as above, or from trivial family names usually ending in -anine if the steroid is saturated or in -enine, -adienine, etc., if it is not saturated (for example, conanine, tomatanine).


A large family of chemical substances, comprising many hormones, body constituents, and drugs.


A group of drugs that includes the corticosteroids, similar to hormones produced by the adrenal glands, and used to relieve inflammation and itching.


organic compounds based on a nucleus of four 5- carbon rings. Those in the body include cholesterol, bile acids, sex hormones and adrenal cortical hormones. See also aldosterone, anabolic steroids, androgens, corticosteroids, glucocorticoids.


large group of substances (e.g. many hormones, vitamins, body products, drugs), all of which have a similar chemical skeleton

Patient discussion about steroids

Q. Does steroids make children shorter? My 10 years-old son has asthma, and is treated with a steroid inhaler. Will this treatment cause him to be shorter in the future?

A. I don't think so. My cousin had asthma very badly when he was young, and he grew up to be tall, strong and healthy, thank goodness. Sometimes one does outgrow this, sometimes now, but as far as growth goes, I don't think it will stump growth.

Q. what sort of diet should I take to tone up my muscle and to lose fat in my body? Is steroid a good idea?

A. as williams41 say- it's a BAD idea... steroids wil damage your body immune system and can get you more prone to bacterial/virus/fungal attacks. it also have unhealthy side effects that one of them is distribution of fat in the face area that can be unpleasant. so consider your steps...

Q. Had FMS for almost twenty years now, tried almost everything. Is Lyrica in the "steroid" family? Any one in this community could help me? I have given my few questions to find out an answer. I Had FMS for almost twenty years now, tried almost everything. I'm considering Lyrica but I'd like more info. Is Lyrica in the "steroid" family? If you go on Lyrica for a while & see no improvement with pain, is going off of it a big deal like with other med's, or can you simply just stop taking it? I take Ambien, will that have any interactions? I'm seeing my Doc about this at the end of the month, but I was hoping to get some personal experiences about it. Thanks for any thoughts! Thanks for your answers, keep them coming!

A. according to this-
there is a moderate interaction. that means you can take them both but be checked regularly for depression of breath.

More discussions about steroids
References in periodicals archive ?
During the fall, the DEA in Newark, New Jersey, received information about an operation involving making and distributing anabolic steroids from rapidlab.
5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In his latest video series with the industry leading, Steroid.
He denies that he sells supplements containing anabolic steroids.
Some people question the illegality of steroids for those not engaged in competitive sport, because testosterone supplements, if usage is monitored and controlled, can have legitimate purposes.
Weaning from systemic steroids to allow recovery of adrenal cortex and HPA function and careful monitoring of pulmonary function can help control this problem.
Takeover Target was given a steroid that Janiak said was "recommended by vets for horses who travel" before flying to Japan two years ago.
Horse racing actually has a very positive story to tell when it comes to drug enforcement, except for the issue of steroids,'' Arthur said.
First, baseball did not even have a rule against steroid use until the 2002 season, after each had set his respective record.
They more or less compared the use of anabolic steroids to taking vitamin pills.
Shortly before McGwire broke Roger Marls' single-season record of 61 home runs, it was learned that he had been taking the steroid precursor androstenedione.
If Barry Bonds took steroids, should his MLB records count?

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