The prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs in sports has increased in the 43 years since Mirkin, a physician and sports medicine expert, handed out his survey. The desire to win is, naturally, ever present while, at the same time, new research and technologies have expanded the number of options for cheating your way onto the podium. For example, today's performance-enhancing drugs come in many forms other than a pill ("the cream and the clear," a testosterone-based ointment described by accused athletes in court testimony, comes to mind), but the results they produce are still highly sought after. Professional cycling has been repeatedly rocked by revelations and allegations of drug use. Every two years as the Olympic Games begin, we hear about athletes using or at least being tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball is still trying to repair its image from the steroid era. And the list goes on.
Neil S. Sachanandani, ., and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, assessed the effects of budesonide on adrenal function in nine patients between 2005 and 2006. Participants were instructed to use a nasal wash composed of milligrams of budesonide and 5 milliliters of saline in each nostril once daily for 30 days. At clinic visits before and after the treatment period, participants completed a questionnaire assessing their rhinosinusitis symptoms and related quality of life. Their cortisol levels were measured after injection with cosyntropin, a compound that stimulates the release of cortisol by the adrenal glands—a standard method of testing adrenal function.
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