When introduced in the body, prohormones mix with the liver enzymes and get converted to anabolic hormones. These converted anabolic hormones are known as anabolic steroids, which can be supplemented directly by taking anabolic steroid supplements. This is the main difference between prohormones and steroids, the effectiveness of the dosage of prohormones is dependent on the enzymes present in the body. Prohormones are synthetically produced compounds which are used by bodybuilders to build muscle mass. These are precursors to hormones like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, and have been found to be effective by many bodybuilders. Nowadays, the term prohormone is used to cover new age products which are independent in supporting growth and do not have to rely on the enzymes present in the body for conversion. They became popular in the mid 1990s and were used by body builders extensively. There are some side effects of prohormones like acne, pain in the extremities, and depression. Some of these supplements were banned by the US government in the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, which came in effect within 90 days after January 20, 2005.
Steroids are classified in two parts corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. While corticosteroids are prescribed by the medical fraternity to control inflammation, anabolic steroids are taken as supplements by bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and improve performance. These supplements replicate the effects of hormones like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, which are natural growth hormones produced by the body. While comparing steroids and prohormones, steroids are direct supplements to the hormones produced by the body, whereas prohormones are precursors to hormones. The medicinal use of steroids has increased with doctors prescribing them to treat diseases like cancer and AIDS. They are also used to strengthen bones and to increase testosterone production to induce puberty in males. Like prohormones, side effects of steroids are acne, balding, and insomnia. Some irreversible side effects associated with steroids are gynecomastia and balding, but these are rare. Testosterone injections for men are very popular among athletes and bodybuilders, as they are easy to use and not that expensive. Whereas, steroids are a schedule III drug and you need a prescription to use or supply them.