SARMs — AKA Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators — are chemical substances designed to replicate the effects of testosterone. Though originally developed as investigational drugs, SARMs have become popular as performance-enhancing products among bodybuilders and other athletes due to the perception there is a lower risk of side effects than anabolic steroids.
Although SARMs have been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances since 2008, there has been a noticeable uptick inactions against athletes testing positive for SARMs in recent years.
SARMs, which are sold as pills, powders, and liquids may not produce the more blatant side effects that arise from steroid use, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have significant health risks.
The FDA says SARMs are associated with serious safety concerns, including the potential to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and liver damage. Despite claims that SARMs are “legal steroids” The FDA considers SARMs to be unapproved drugs. As of today’s date, SARMs are not scheduled drugs in the US, but that could change with the SARMs Control Act introduced in Congress earlier in 2018.
Payment facilitators and internet platforms should be wary of any merchant selling SARMs, even if marketed for “research purposes.” Although a small number may actually be selling for research, the vast majority are just looking to pump you up with unapproved drugs.