"Steroid" is the name given to a chemical compound with a specific structure. In everyday speech, the term steroid is applied to several medications that share this structure; however, these medications have very different uses. Anabolic steroids are a class of drug that mimic the effects of male sex hormones called androgens which stimulate muscle growth and secondary male sex characteristics. They are often abused by bodybuilders and other athletes to build muscle mass and so should be used with caution. When prescribed, oral steroids should be taken as directed. If you come across extra pills that haven't been taken, and are unsure if they are steroids, you can identify the pill based on its physical appearance, information on the bottle, or by consulting a professional.
A common side effect we hear a lot about is in regards to anabolic steroids possible negative effect on the liver. While this can be a problem its important to understand why and what you can do to prevent it. While steroids side effects surrounding the liver are very real, in-short the largest cause for this problem is the use of oral anabolic steroids; in general, injectable steroids will not cause a problem. Further, this does not mean we cannot use oral anabolic steroids but abuse of orals is a higher risk than with injectables. By keeping our oral steroid use to one oral at a time, using orals for shorter durations as well as taking an herbal liver support supplement will greatly ease any negative steroids side effects you may incur with steroid use.