Side effects are minimized by taking the lowest doses possible (that still yields positive results) and following doctor's orders. It is important to avoid self-regulation of the dosage, either by adding more or stopping the drug without a schedule. After prolonged use, steroids must be gradually reduced to permit the adrenal glands to resume natural cortisol production. Eliminating doses too quickly can result in glucocorticoid withdrawal symptoms, worsening of underlying inflammatory disease (rebound effect), or rarely, adrenal crisis (a life-threatening state caused by insufficient levels of adrenal steroids).
Shelton and Rajfer (2012) noted that androgen deficiency in aging men is common, and the potential sequelae are numerous. In addition to low libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased bone density, depressed mood, and decline in cognition, studies suggest strong correlations between low testosterone, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. Because causation and its directionality remain uncertain, the functional and cardiovascular risks associated with androgen deficiency have led to intense investigation of testosterone replacement therapy in older men. Although promising, evidence for definitive benefit or detriment is not conclusive, and treatment of LOH is complicated.