Sources of IPEDs

Most image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) are originally pharmaceutical preparations, developed to treat specific medical conditions, however a large proportion of IPEDs obtained without prescription (ie: on the black market or via websites) are not made by pharmaceutical companies.

 

Pharmaceutical grade

These are manufactured in a strictly controlled and licensed environment by genuine pharmaceutical companies. They are difficult to obtain through legitimate sources and are often counterfeited by underground laboratories. However, genuine pharmaceutical products will be manufactured in a sterile environment and with strict dosing control. They are intended for human use and rigorously tested to ensure they are exactly what they say they are. This makes them the safest option for the end-user.

 

Veterinary grade

Veterinary steroids may contain the same medicines as pharmaceutical grade steroids but often at higher doses. Manufacturing and safety standards may be lower, however, as they are not made for human consumption. Whilst people believe they may be identical to human preparations, they can actually be chemically different in ways that alter their effect on the human body.

 

Underground laboratories (UGL)

These are products often made in illegal and unlicensed premises such as people’s homes. The sterility, content, strength and quality of the product cannot be guaranteed. Some products made in UGL’s are fake versions of genuine pharmaceutical products. It is important to note that UGL’s do not usually meet the Good Manufacturing Protocol that genuine pharmaceutical laboratories are required to follow. This means the end product may not be as stated in the label. It may be a different steroid and/or it may be dosed at a different strength than stated. Not knowing what drug you are taking, or at what dose, makes it extremely difficult to anticipate and manage any potential side-effects.