The gains made by athletes in uncontrolled observations have been much more impressive. Weight gains of thirty or forty pounds, coupled with thirty percent increases in strength, are not unusual. Such case studies lack credibility because of the absence of scientific controls. However, it would be foolish to completely disregard such observations because the "subjects" have been highly trained and motivated see the articles on pharmacology of sport and sports medicine in the countries of the former Soviet Union for more information on anabolic steroids.
For children, these reactions should not be in balance. In a child, the anabolic reactions have to be greater than the catabolic. Boys start their growth spurt after girls. That’s why when they are in 7th or 8th grade, the girls are still taller than the boys. The boys change a couple years after the girls. Guys may gain 2-3 inches in that growth spurt between 14-17 years of age. During that growing period they will eat up all the food in your refrigerator. They are growing like crazy during that time. But what happens to both boys and girls at 18-19 is that if they keep eating the same way, they won’t grow taller anymore but only wider. This is the phenomena everybody notices.
Side effects are minimized by taking the lowest doses possible (that still yields positive results) and following doctor's orders. It is important to avoid self-regulation of the dosage, either by adding more or stopping the drug without a schedule. After prolonged use, steroids must be gradually reduced to permit the adrenal glands to resume natural cortisol production. Eliminating doses too quickly can result in glucocorticoid withdrawal symptoms, worsening of underlying inflammatory disease (rebound effect), or rarely, adrenal crisis (a life-threatening state caused by insufficient levels of adrenal steroids).