Abuse liability of testosterone

Michael Ira Fingerhood, John Tangney Sullivan, Margaret Testa, Donald R. Jasinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are used by athletes to enhance performance and physique. Case reports and observations propose that AAS have mood elevating properties and that chronic use leads to addiction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the subjective and physiological effects of single doses of testosterone. In a double-blind fashion, according to a balanced Latin square, 10 paid adult male volunteers received doses of i.m. testosterone (50, 100 and 200 mg), morphine (10 mg) or placebo for five consecutive days. Subjective and physiological responses were measured during each drug condition. Testosterone produced no significant changes in self-reported or observed measures, unlike morphine, which produced statistically significant changes in several measures, including 'feel the drug', 'like the drug' and 'feel high'. There were no adverse effects of administering high doses of testosterone. In conclusion, single doses of testosterone are devoid of the usual pharmacologic effects that are associated with abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Abuse potential
  • Anabolic steroid
  • Morphine
  • Pharmacologic effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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