Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

DHEA and Athletic Performance

DHEA supplements are sometimes used by athletes because of a claim that it can improve muscle strength and enhance athletic performance. That's because DHEA is a "prohormone" -- a substance that can increase the level of steroid hormones such as testosterone.

There is little evidence to show that DHEA has any effect on enhancing muscle strength. Its use is banned by sports organizations such as the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

There are risks associated with using any pre-steroid enhancer. And the higher the dose, the greater the risk. Possible side effects include:

  • Permanent stunting of growth
  • Aggressive behavior, known as "roid rage"
  • Mood swings and other psychological symptoms
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Changes in cholesterol level

Since DHEA can increase the level of both testosterone and estrogen, women who use DHEA can sometimes experience such permanent side effects as:

Men can sometimes experience such symptoms as:

Talking With Your Doctor

If you are thinking of using DHEA supplements, there are several reasons you should discuss doing so with your doctor first:

  • Many of the claims for DHEA involve serious medical conditions. These conditions need to be evaluated and treated by a health care professional.
  • DHEA can interact with some medications and could alter their effectiveness.
  • Because DHEA can raise the level of both male and female hormones, the supplements can have a negative effect on hormone-sensitive cancers, such as breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer.
  • Use of DHEA carries some risk and can cause a range of side effects, though this usually just occurs at the higher end of the dose range.


WebMD Medical Reference

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...