Glucocorticoids are a class of corticosteroids that affect the metabolism of carbohydrates , fat , and proteins , and regulate glycogen and blood pressure possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity and cause alteration of connective tissue in response to injuries. The anti-inflammatory and connective tissue effects of glucocorticoids might mask injuries, leading to more serious injuries to athletes. Because of this and metabolic regulation effects, the administration of any glucorticoid orally, rectally, intraveniously, or intramuscularly is prohibited and requires a therapeutic use exemption. Topical uses of glucocorticoids does not require an exemption.
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The common side effects of oxymetholone include depression , lethargy , headache , swelling , rapid weight gain , priapism , changes in skin color, urination problems, nausea , vomiting , stomach pain (if taken on an empty stomach), loss of appetite , jaundice , breast swelling in men, feeling restless or excited, insomnia , and diarrhea .  In women, side effects also include acne , changes in menstrual periods , voice deepening , hair growth on the chin or chest , pattern hair loss , enlarged clitoris , and changes in sex drive .   Because of its 17α-alkylated structure, oxymetholone is hepatotoxic .  Long term use of the drug can cause a variety of serious ailments, including hepatitis , liver cancer , and cirrhosis ; therefore periodic liver function tests are recommended for those taking oxymetholone.