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).
Oral and injectable steroids both have their benefits. Primarily, oral steroids offer huge gains in short periods, and injectable steroids offer smaller, higher quality gains over longer periods of time. Most of the bodybuilders and athletes who utilize anabolic steroids will actually use both during a cycle. They will start out with one of the oral steroids as a “kick-start” for their gains, then switch over to an injectable before the side effects become too much to handle. This way, they can enjoy quick gains from the start, then turn them into lean muscle without much water retention throughout the rest of the cycle.