To strengthen the anabolic properties of testosterone, more than 100 synthetic steroid derivatives have been described for human purposes. The anabolic effect promotes protein synthesis, muscle growth and erythropoiesis. In clinical practice, substances with anabolic effect are needed to overcome various catabolic states. However, none of these compounds are devoid of androgenicity. Androgenic and anabolic properties of anabolic steroids cannot be totally separated. Therefore, it is more appropriate to use the term anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS).
The preservative benzyl alcohol has been associated with serious adverse events, including the "gasping syndrome", and death in pediatric patients. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product ordinarily deliver amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the "gasping syndrome", the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the liver and kidneys' capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth weight infants may be more likely to develop toxicity.