The physical examination should include a complete medical and mental status examination. Tachycardia or severe hypertension may indicate drug toxicity or thyrotoxicosis; fever may suggest encephalitis or porphyria. 18 Physical signs suggestive of underlying diagnoses include cushingoid appearance in certain endocrinopathies, arthritic deformities in autoimmune disorders, or movement and gait disturbances in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease. 37 The neurologic examination should assess for focal signs, sensory deficits, myoclonus, or tremors. Tendon reflexes, cranial nerve testing, and ophthalmologic examination are important if a brain lesion, infection, or metabolic disease is suspected.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Transdermal patches (adhesive patches placed on the skin) may also be used to deliver a steady dose through the skin and into the bloodstream. Testosterone-containing creams and gels that are applied daily to the skin are also available, but absorption is inefficient (roughly 10%, varying between individuals) and these treatments tend to be more expensive. Individuals who are especially physically active and/or bathe often may not be good candidates, since the medication can be washed off and may take up to six hours to be fully absorbed. There is also the risk that an intimate partner or child may come in contact with the application site and inadvertently dose himself or herself; children and women are highly sensitive to testosterone and can suffer unintended masculinization and health effects, even from small doses. Injection is the most common method used by individuals administering AAS for non-medical purposes.