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Anabolic Insider

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Top 5 Tricks To Identify A Fake Steroid

Q: What are the top 5 tricks to identify a fake steroid?

A: I want to start by pointing out that fifteen years ago, things were a bit different than they are today. Counterfeit drugs were generally much easier to spot back then. They were often very crude looking in appearance, missing key elements or having a “homemade” look to the components. They usually just didn’t look “right,” even to the untrained eye. Simple checks for legitimacy were easily done, and products often quickly verified. The number of what I consider “sophisticated fakes” was generally small and thus not nearly a major problem. Counterfeits were usually purchased by those with little experience, while the “vets” generally had access to ample amounts of real pharmaceuticals.

Fast-forward to today. Legitimate drug channels are much tighter than they were 15–20 years ago. Large-scale diversion is much less common. Steroid counterfeiting has become a huge international business, necessary to fill the huge gaps in supply. Counterfeiting labs usually have the same type of highly sophisticated printing and packaging equipment that the real drug companies are using. The fakes often look very good (too good). Unfortunately, this can make spotting them extremely difficult. Therefore, I do need to preface these methods with the basic fact that counterfeiting is getting harder and harder to deal with every day. Simple at-home detection methods will not protect you 100 percent of the time.

Nevertheless, these five checks can help you spot a great many counterfeits, especially the more basic (cheaply put-together) ones.

1. Check the company.

Today, a great many products are made by known underground labs. They often use very “pharmaceutical sounding” names for these companies. Often, however, the name doesn’t correlate to an actual real company. If you can’t find the website and office location for the manufacturer of a steroid product, it probably means it isn’t legitimate.

2. Check the dates.

Lot number and expiration dates remain a common place where counterfeiters mess up. They often print these dates with the rest of the box and don’t stamp or computer label the boxes individually (it costs extra money and takes time). If you examine the lot number and expiration date under a microscope (a small handheld microscope is usually fine), it should be clear that it was added to the box later, not at the time of printing. The latest (10th) edition of ANABOLICS has a nice section on this with detailed pictures.

3. Check the seals.

Real pharmaceutical products are well sealed to keep out air and bacteria. Underground and counterfeit products sometimes use handheld sealing equipment. Vials closed in this manner are often not properly sealed. The top and stopper may turn easily with a little pressure, sometimes even to the point of being worked off the vial by hand. If the top seems loose at all, you probably don’t have a real product.

4. Check the format.

Most legitimate drug products come in push-through plastic blisters (tablets) and sealed single-use glass ampules (injections). Counterfeiters often make multi-dose vials and bottles of loose pills, because they are much cheaper to make and take up less room when storing or shipping. You should be very suspicious of any container that holds multiple doses.

5. Do your research.

The most important thing to do is know exactly what the real drug product in question should look like. Try to locate a picture of a known legitimate steroid product of the same name. We have over 3,000 pictures in the ANABOLICS 10th edition. The main purpose is to give readers a baseline to compare their products to. If something looks “off” with your product when you hold it next to the picture in the book, it probably is.

Most importantly of all, you should be prepared to walk away from any steroid purchase. I talk to many guys who are so anxious to find “anything” in the AAS realm that they wind up taking big risks with uncertain products. Look at this as if it were one big game, but one with serious consequences. The counterfeiters are everywhere. They want to take your money, and offer unsterile (potentially dangerous) products in return. Let this be someone else’s problem, not yours. If something just doesn’t seem right to you, there is probably a good reason for it. Your subconscious may be noticing things that don’t immediately stand out to your conscious mind. It’s much better to walk away from a few good steroid products in the name of caution than it is to take chances with fakes. Be safe.