Clinical trials on new drugs usually go through a series of stages. First, a small number of healthy volunteers try a new drug, then a few hundred people with the condition test it to see whether it works and what side effects occur. This information is used to develop the dosage and method of taking the drug. After this, a larger number of people take the drug over a longer period of time, and, if the drug is proven to work and is safe and tolerable, it will be licensed either by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or the European Medicines Agency for doctors to use. In the final stage, further studies are carried out once the drug is available on prescription to look at long-term side effects. Drug trials are monitored by regulatory authorities and, if there are doubts over the safety of a drug, the trial may be suspended or stopped.
Awareness and educational efforts are working to help prevent anabolic steroid abuse in schools and communities. The Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) and the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) programs, funded by the NIDA, and supported by the Oregon Health & Science University programs is teaching athletes that they do not need steroids to build powerful muscles and improve athletic performance. These programs provide weight-training and nutrition alternatives, increase healthy behaviors, less likelihood to try steroids, and less likelihood to engage in other dangerous behaviors such as drinking and driving, use of marijuana and alcohol , and and improved body image. Bother Congress and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration endorsed these model prevention programs. 4
SLIT is another way to treat certain allergies without injections. Allergists give patients small doses of an allergen under the tongue. This exposure improves tolerance to the substance and reduces symptoms. SLIT is fairly safe and effective for the treatment of nasal allergies and asthma. SLIT tablets are currently available for dust mites , grass and ragweed . Talk to your allergist if you want to learn more about SLIT. While allergy shots are fairly safe, there is a chance for a severe, life threatening allergic reaction to the injections, so they must always be given in an allergist’s office under observation from a medical professional.