Tag Archives: post-cycle therapy

Anabolic steroids can lead to higher Hematocrit levels which can lead to high blood pressure and excessive thickening of the blood.

Elevated Hematocrit: The Hidden Danger of Anabolic Steroid Use

Many users of anabolic steroids – ranging from those using moderate doses of Testosterone for Hormone Replacement Therapy, athletes hoping to gain a competitive edge, professional bodybuilders hoping to gain muscle, and the everyday exercise enthusiast hoping to look good on the beach – are all very aware of the potential for these drugs to induce severe side effects such as Hypogonadism (reduced testicular function), Gynecomastia (breast tissue growth in males), and HyperCholesterolemia (High Cholesterol).

Several types of drugs are used to prevent some of these issues –  Nolvadex, to prevent breast growth, Statin drugs to address cholesterol issues, and the use of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to increase testicular production of Testosterone. These drugs still fall short of completely eliminating the risk of using excessive amounts of hormones for extended periods of time, so users attempt to limit the use, both in dosage and in cycle length, in order to avoid these short comings. Even with all of this preparation, it is absolutely crucial for anyone using steroids to consider one very important, unavoidable side effect of anabolic use, and one that is silent, only detectable during blood tests, and can cause severe physical health problems, including heart attack, stroke and even death.

picture of Anabolic steroids can lead to higher Hematocrit levels which can lead to high blood pressure and excessive thickening of the blood.

Anabolic steroids can lead to higher Hematocrit levels which can lead to high blood pressure and excessive thickening of the blood.

Anabolic steroids increase red blood cells, which leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to muscle. This adds a certain athletic advantage. If left unchecked, however, Hematocrit levels (the name for the test used to determine the amount of red blood cells present in blood plasma) can reach dangerous levels, causing elevated blood pressure, and increasing blood thickness, which can lead to disruption of blood flow in major arteries and vessels, leading to heart attack and stroke.

One steroid, known as Equipoise, or Boldenone Undecylenate, has gained a particular reputation for increasing Hematocrit much more than other steroids. While this is true to a certain extent, it is clearly established that all androgenic/anabolic hormones increase RBC( red blood cell count). Even the “safer” steroids such as Anavar have a strong proclivity towards raising Hematocrit.

In order to monitor one’s health, a regular blood work panel must be done at least once every quarter year. In addition to hormone levels, cholesterol, glucose tolerance and blood pressure, one must also measure Hematocrit to ensure that levels have not reached a dangerously excessive amount. In adult males, a normal range for Hematocrit will be between 42% to 54%. Anything above 54% is an indicator of potential cardiovascular and circulation damage. In women, although anabolic steroids will always be ill-advised for this part of the human population, the numbers are even lower – 38% to 46%.

So what steps should a user take when they discover they have high hematocrit? First and foremost you should be working closely with your doctor to monitor these numbers and he or she will have your next step planned should you find these numbers climbing above the safe range. For those users who still continue to neglect to work with a physician while monitoring their hormones, it is essential to stop the use of the hormones immediately. If one is permanently on hormones, as in the case of HRT, it may be necessary to lower the dosage to no more than 100mg per week of a long estered hormone such as Testosterone Cypionate. If Hematocrit is reaching above 59%, it will be necessary to undergo phlebotomy treatments, where excess blood is drained, which allows Hematocrit levels to return to normal. When levels reach unsafe numbers, most blood donation centers will refuse to allow users to donate. Whatever the case may be, high Hematocrit levels are an issue that must be addressed as soon as possible, by eliminating the offending agent, and finding a way to quickly reduce blood volume.

A few very important things to keep in mind while maintaining a healthy Hematocrit level. Maintaining hydration is essential. A dehydrated athlete will quickly increase the thickness of the blood, and the percentage will go up considerably. Always maintain proper hydration. If you exercise frequently, make sure you consume even more water than is normally recommended for average individuals. Naringin, a component of grapefruit, has been shown in studies to reduce excessive hematocrit, while at the same time having no effect on those with healthy Hematocrit levels. The only drawback to this option is that Naringin inhibits a class of enzymes in the liver known as CYP450. This can cause very high levels of certain medications that are normally broken down in the liver by this enzyme. While the idea might seem appealing, to increase levels of a hormone or fat burning drug, for instance, the truth is there are great consequences to inhibiting this enzyme and can cause physical harm. Of course, the last and final way to ensure you are maintaining proper Hematocrit levels is to abstain from using anabolic steroids. If, however, you decide to use these substances please understand that the greatest risk comes in higher dosages, used for extended periods of time. Many modern users of anabolic steroids have come to believe they are exempt from risk factors to their health by continuing to use high doses of androgens without any intended break at any point. They falsely assume that they have all of their bases covered by utilizing ancillary drugs to control other side effects. Unfortunately this is not the case, and certainly one of the biggest concerns to your health is elevated Hematocrit.

 

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Letrozole and Gyno Prevention

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Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) are drugs that bind to estrogen receptors

One of the major issues of bodybuilders is gynocomastia prevention, reversal, using letrozole and anti-estrogens. To understand how gynocomastia is caused and how to deal with it, first you must familiarize yourself with some basic terms.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) are drugs that bind to estrogen receptors, making it more difficult for estrogen to bind to them and cause estrogen related side effects. Some of the most common SERMs are Nolvadex (tamoxifen) and Clomid (clomiphene)

Aromatose nhibitors are drugs that work to keep androgens from converting into estrogen which also keeps estrogen from binding to estrogen receptors. Popular aromatose inhibitors include Anastrozole (l-dex, a-dex), Femara (letrozole) and Aromasin (exemestane).

Letrozole is the most powerful aromatose inhibitor you can use during a cycle. It will inhibit more that 98 percent of estrogen, even at doses as low as .25 mgs. Doses of .5 mgs are not recommended during a cycle to prevent estrogen side effects. To stabalize the blood, begin using letrozole at least two weeks before you begin your cycle. Also, if you are using letrozole it is not necessary to use another aromatose inhibitor or SERM.

If you are using a SERM like Nolvadex as your estrogen suppressor and you develop gynocomastia, recognizable by the development of a hard lump behind your nipples, begin using letrozole immediately.

If you are using another anti-estrogen and you start to develop gynocomastia, follow this formula. On day one, take the anti-estrogen and .25 mgs of letrozole. On day two, take only .5 mgs of letrozole. Then add .50 mgs of letrozole every day for four more days. Then remain taking letrozole at 2.5 mgs per day until the gynocomastia is gone usually about 5 to 7 more days.

If you are already using letrozole and you develop gynocomastia, add .50 mgs of letrozole per day for six days. Day one would be .5 mgs, day two 1.0 mgs, day three 1.5 mgs, etc. Again, take the letrozole at a dose of 2.5 mgs per day for 5 to 7 more days to ensure that the gynocomastia has reversed.

If you are not using any kind of estrogen suppression, begin taking .5 mgs of letrozole and add .5 mgs per day for six days until you are at a daily dose of 2.5 mgs which you will need to take for 5 to 7 more days.

After you’ve built up your dose and held it steady at 2.5 mgs per day, you will need to slowly reverse the dose down by .5 mgs per day and a final day of .25 mgs.

When your body is completely estrogen free, it will begin to rebound its natural levels and over compensate for the loss. This is why you should begin taking a SERM such as Nolvadex on your last day of taking letrozole during your cycle as part of your post cycle therapy.

Geneza Pharmaceuticals Letrozole

Geneza Pharmaceuticals Letrozole

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Post-Cycle Therapy

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After a steroid cycle, users should prepare to combat the unwanted effects by planning what is called a Post-Cycle-Therapy.

Taking steroids causes intense changes in the hormonal balance of the body. Although the desired effects can be positive for muscle building and fat-loss, there are many negative side effects that can, and will, occur. After a steroid cycle, users should prepare to combat the unwanted effects by planning what is called a Post-Cycle-Therapy.

To understand the need for and properly plan a successful PCT, we must first understand what is going on when the body takes in anabolic steroids. When the body takes in excess testosterone, it produces excess estrogen to reach a balance. When the testosterone intake is suspended, the excess estrogen will cause the user unwanted characteristics, such as breast growth. Anabolics also tend to shut down the body’s natural testosterone production for an extended period of time, so the effects of the extra estrogen in the body go to work without the body’s natural protection of increasing its own testosterone. What this means is that even though rest, a good diet and proper weight training will help the body recover from steroids, a proper post-cycle-therapy will most likely require taking ancillary drugs to bring the body’s levels of hormones back to normal.

The best defense against unwanted estrogen in the body is, ironically, by taking estrogen. The same way that the body creates estrogen when there in an increase of anabolic testosterone, the body will also boost testosterone when there is added estrogen. But how do we avoid unwanted estrogenic effects like breasts and water-retention? By taking a special form of estrogen called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs). SERMS are designed to add estrogen to the body yet block the receptor sites in the cells that would stimulate the unwanted effects of estrogen.

The two most widely used types of SERMs on the market are Clomiphene Citrate and Temoxifen. These drugs are usually taken during the last few weeks of an anabolic steroid cycle and continued for a few weeks after in order to stimulate testosterone production in the testicles. Taking one or both of these drugs will greatly reduce the estrogenic effects of a steroid cycle.

Besides the estrogenic effect of taking testosterone, there is also another unwanted effect that needs to be addressed in PCT the catabolic effect. Anabolic steroids work by making the muscles retain nitrogen and amino acids the building blocks of muscle tissue. Unfortunately, the body likes the muscle tissue it already has and therefore maintains a balance between an anabolic, or muscle-building, state and a catabolic, or muscle-depleting, state. Anabolic steroids work by blocking the receptors in muscle tissue that take in cortisol the chemical that causes the body’s catabolic state. To combat this, the body produces more of the receptor sites that take in cortisol and when steroid use is discontinued, these extra sites wreck havoc on the gains you’ve maid during your steroid cycle. A good PCT will include cortisol suppressors, such as B-Androstenetriol, 7-Hydroxy-DHEA or similar compounds.

Along with SERMs and cortisol suppressors, there are many other natural substances to aid the body’s recovery from anabolic steroid cycles and their side effects. There are products to help with liver toxicity, erectile dysfunction, hair loss and a host of other issues that may come up during a cycle. However, by keeping a PCT plan simple, it will be easier to pinpoint which products are working and which ones are not, so keeping the list of PCT drugs short will give you a better chance of finding a successful plan that works for you.

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Clenbuterol FAQ

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It shares many of the same side effects as other CNS stimulants like ephedrine. Contrary to popular belief,

 

Clenbuterol FAQ: Everything you need to know about Clen I wrote this because of all the confusion that surrounds this drug. Enjoy.

What is Clenbuterol? Clenbuterol is a beta-2 agonist and is used in many countries as a broncodilator for the treatment of asthma. Because of it’s long half life, Clenbuterol is not FDA approved for medical use. It is a central nervous system stimulant and acts like adrenaline. It shares many of the same side effects as other CNS stimulants like ephedrine. Contrary to popular belief, Clenbuterol has a half life of 35 hours and not 48 hours.

Dosing and Cycling Clenbuterol comes in 20mcg tablets, although it is also available in syrup, pump and injectable form. Doses are very dependent on how well the user responds to the side effects, but somewhere in the range of 5-8 tablets per day for men and 1-4 tablets a day for women is most common. Clenbuterol loses its thermogenic effects after 6-8 weeks when body temperature drops back to normal. It’s anabolic/anti-catabolic properties fade away at around the 18 day mark. Taking the long half life into consideration, the most effective way of cycling Clen is 2 weeks on/ 2 weeks off for no more than 12 weeks. Ephedrine can be used in the off weeks. Clenbuterol vs Ephedrine vs DNP

Ephedrine will raise metabolic levels by about 2-3 percent and 200mg of DNP raises metabolic levels by about 30 percent. Clenbuterol raises metabolic levels about 10 percent and it can raise body temperature several degrees.

DNP is by far the most effective fat burner but many people will never use it because of the risks associated with it. It also offers no anti-catabolic benefit. Although it does have anti-catabolic effect, ephedrine short half life prevents it from being all that effective.

As far as side effects, Clenbuterol’s are certainly milder than DNP’s, and some would even say milder than an ECA stack. There is no ECA-style crash on Clenbuterol and many users find it easier on the prostate and sex drive. This may in part be due to the fact that Clen is generally used for only 2 weeks at a time.

Side effects

NAUSEA
NERVOUSNESS
DIZZINESS
DROWSINESS
DRY MOUTH
FACIAL FLUSHING
HEADACHE
HEARTBURN
INCREASED BLOOD PRESSURE
INCREASED SWEATING
INSOMNIA
LIGHTHEADEDNESS
MUSCLE CRAMPS
TREMORS
VOMITING
CHEST PAIN

The most significant side effects are muscle cramps, nervousness, headaches, and increased blood pressure.

Muscle cramps can be avoided by drinking 1.5-2 gallons of water and consuming bananas and oranges or supplementing with GNC potassium tablets at 200-400mg a day taken before bed on an empty stomach.

Headaches can easily be avoided with Tylenol Extra Strength taken at the first signs of a headache. You may need to take double the recommended dose.

Common Uses

Post-Cycle Therapy: Clen is used post cycle to aid in recovery. It allows the user to continue eating large amounts of food, without worrying about adding body fat. It also helps the user maintain more of his strength as well as his intensity in the gym. Diet: Roughly the same as on cycle.

Fat loss: The most popular use for Clen, it also increases muscle hardness, vascularity, strength and size on a caloric deficit. For the most significant fat loss, Clen can be stacked with t3. Diet: A high protein(1.5g per lb of bodyweight), moderate carb(0.5g to 1g per lb of bodyweight), low fat diet(0.25g per lb of bodyweight) seems to work best with Clen.

Alternative to Steroids: Clenbuterol has mild steroid-like properties and can be used by non AS using bodybuilder to increase LBM as well as strength and muscle hardness. Diet: A moderate carb, high protein, moderate fat diet work well.

Stimulant/Performance Enhancement: It can be used as a stimulant, but an ECA stack may be a better choice because of it’s much shorter half-life. Diet: To take full advantage of the stimulatory effects of Clen, Carbs must be included in the diet. Keto diet do not work well in this case.

Precautions: Is Clen for you?

The same precautions that apply to Ephedrine must be applied to Clen, although some people find ECA stacks harsher than Clen. It should not be stacked with other CNS stimulants such as Ephedrine and Yohimbine. These combinations are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Caffeine can be used in moderation before a workout for an extra kick, although its diuretic effects may shift electrolyte balance. Drink more water if you use Caffeine.

What else do I need to know?

Most users that report bad side effects and discontinue use are those who use high doses right at the start of the cycle. The worst side effects occur within the first 3-4 days of use.

A first time user should not exceed 40mcg the first day.

Example of a first cycle:

Day1: 20mcg
Day2: 40mcg
Day3: 60mcg
Day4: 80mcg
Day5: 80mcg(Note: Increase the dose only when the side effects are tolerable)
Day6-Day12: 100mcg
Day13: 80mcg (Tapering is not necessary, but it helps some users get back to normal gradually)
Day14: 60mcg
Day15: off
Day16: off
Day 17: ECA/ NYC stack

Example of a second cycle:

Day1: 60mcg
Day2: 80mcg
Day3: 80mcg
Day4: 100mcg
Day5: 100mcg
Day6-Day12: 120mcg
Day13: 100mcg
Day14: 80mcg
Day15: off
Day16: off
Day 17: ECA/ NYC stack

Do not take Clen Past 4pm and drink plenty of water: 1.5-2 gallons a day.

All brands are not equal when it comes to Clen, different brands will yield different results.

That about covers everything.

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Clomid: Frequently Asked Questions

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Clomid is a synthetic estrogen and is generally prescribed by doctors
to trigger ovulation in females

by The Iron Game

Something I put together that may help some of the new comers out there as well
as some of the more experienced.

Question: What is Clomid?

Answer: Clomid is a synthetic estrogen and is generally prescribed by doctors
to trigger ovulation in females.

Question: Why Should Bodybuilders use Clomid?

Answer: Almost all anabolic androgenic steroids will cause an inhibition of
the bodies own testosterone production. When he comes off the steroids he has
no natural test production and no more steroids. The body is left in a state
of catabolism (catabolic hormones are high and anabolic hormones are low) and
as a result much of the muscle tissue that was gained on the cycle is now going
to be lost. Clomid stimulates the hypophysis to release more gonadotropin so
that a faster and higher release of follicle stimulating hormone aud luteinizing
hormone occurs. This results in an increase of the body’s own testosterone production.

Question: Does Clomid also work as an anti estrogen?

Answer: Clomid is a synthetic estrogen, however it does also work as an anti-estrogen.
How does it work? Because it is a weak synthetic estrogen, it will bind to the
estrogen receptor (ER) and not cause any problems. At the same time the increase
in estrogen from steroids are blocked from attaching to the ER.

Question: How effective is Clomid as an anti-estrogen?

Answer: It is very weak and should not be relied upon if you are going to be
using steroids that aromatise at any rapid rate, or if you are pre disposed
to gyno. arimidex, Proviron and Nolvadex will all make better choices for this
purpose.

Question: Some say Clomid during a cycle is a waste, is this true?

Answer: Lets first examine what happens when someone is using anabaolic androgenic
steroids. When the level of androgens in the body get too high, the androgen
receptor becomes more highly activated, and the hypothalamus stops sending a
signal to the pituitary. In short the signal tells our body to stop producing
testosterone. During a cycle the body has higher levels than normal of androgens
and as long as this level is high enough Clomid will not help to keep natural
test production up. It will be almost all but completely shut off. The only
purpose of Clomid during a cycle is as an anti-estrogen.

Question: When do I start Clomid? Some say 2 weeks others 3.

Answer: When you start using your Clomid all depends on what steroids you were
using during your cycle. Different steroids have different half lifes and you
should adjust your Clomid intake accordingly. As we have seen above, if we take
Clomid when the androgen levels in our body is still high it will be a waste.
We need to wait for androgen levels to fall before implementing our Clomid therapy.
However if we take it too late we could possibly lose gains. Look at the list
below to determine when you should start Clomid therapy. By selecting from the
list all the steroids you used in your cycle and which ever one has the latest
starting point then go with that. For example if I cycled dbol, sustanon and
winstrol I would use sustanon as it remains active in the body for the longest
period of time.

Anadrol/Anapolan: 8 – 12 hours after last administration

Deca: 3 weeks after last injection and Clomid for 4 weeks

Dianabol: 4 – 8 hours after last administration

Equipoise: 3 weeks after last injection

Fina: 3 days after last injection

Primobolan depot: 10 – 14 days after last injection

Sustanon: 3 weeks after last injection

Testosterone Cypionate: 2 weeks after last injection

Testosterone Enanthate: 2 weeks after last injection

Testosterone Propionate: 3 days after last injection

Testosterone Suspension: 4 – 8 hours after last administration

Winstrol: 8 – 12 hours after last administration

Question: What is the most effective way for Clomid therapy.

Answer: Clomid has a long half life and as such there is no need to split up
doses throughout the day. I read some where that it was 5 days (any feedback
on this). Now if we used sustanon and we start using Clomid 3 weeks after our
last injection we anticipate that androgen levels are low enough to start sending
the correct signals. If androgen levels are still a little high then the normal
50mgs/day of Clomid for 1 week is not going to be effective. We need to start
at a high enough amount that will work or help even if androgen levels are still
a little high. 300mgs on day 1. I know I said don’t split it up due to
its long half life but try and split this up 2 tabs 3 times a day. After we
have finished this first day we seek to use 100mgs for 10 days and then followed
by 50mgs for 10 days.

Question: Do I need to use Clomid for 3 weeks?

Answer: Why don’t you want too? It is very cheap, very effective and can
mean the difference between maintaining gains and losing them.

Question: How cheap is Clomid?

Answer: Clomid normally comes in 50mg tablets but also comes in capsule form
of 25mgs. A 50mg tablet can be anywhere between 25 cents and $2.50. (15 pence
and 75 pence in England).

Question: Do all steroids cause shut down of the hpta.

Answer: Not all steroids do. Everyone is different and you must also take into
account how long you have been using a certain steroid and at what dose in order
to determine if you need Clomid or not. However as the price is so cheap, why
risk not using it.

Climaterol

Climaterol is a powerful stimulant that tricks the body into a fight or flight response, which helps burn fat in the body. It also raises body temperature, stimulates protein synthesis, increases energy metabolism, increases amino acid uptake in muscles and stimulates blood flow in the body.

picture of workout, cycle, stack

A downside to Climaterol is that its effects will reverse after prolonged use so a three week on.

A downside to Climaterol is that its effects will reverse after prolonged use so a three week on, one week off cycle is recommended, as well as a post-cycle-therapy drug such as Ketotifen be taken during the off week.

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Aromasin (exemestane)

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Developed to help fight breast cancer, Aromasin is one of the most powerful estrogen suppressing compounds

Exemestane

6-Methylenandrosta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione; 10,13-Dimethyl-6-methylidene-7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16-decahydrocyclopenta[a]phenanthrene-

Molecular Formula C20H24O2
Molecular Weight 296.40
CAS Registry Number 107868-30-4
Melting point 155.13 ºC

Developed to help fight breast cancer, Aromasin is one of the most powerful estrogen suppressing compounds available for body builders taking anabolic steroids. Additionally, it also raises testosterone in the body, which is a bonus for bodybuilders during post-cycle-therapy.

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Cialis (tadalafil citrate)

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decreased libido caused by the sudden absence of exaggerated testosterone levels in the body,

Cialis

(6R,12aR)-6-(1,3-Benzodioxol-5-yl)-2,3,6,7,12,12a-hexahydro-2-methyl-pyrazino[1',2':1,6]pyrido[3,4-b]indole-1,4-dione; Tadalafil

Molecular Formula C22H19N3O4
Molecular Weight 389.40
CAS Registry Number 171596-29-5

Like its predecessor Viagra, Cialis is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. One of the more embarrassing side effects of post-cycle-therapy is the decreased libido caused by the sudden absence of exaggerated testosterone levels in the body, often leading to ED. If you can’t get it up after your cycle, get the pill.

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Clenbuterol / Clen

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Clen can be addictive and cause unwanted side effects such as excessive heart rate, dry mouth, restlessness, insomnia and loss of appetite

 

Clenbuterol hydrochloride

4-Amino-alpha-[(tert-butylamino)methyl]-3,5-dichlorobenzyl alcohol monohydrochloride

Molecular Formula C12H18Cl2N2O.HCl
Molecular Weight 313.65
CAS Registry Number 21898-19-1
EINECS 244-643-7

Clenbuterol, commonly referred to as Clen, is a powerful stimulant used by athletes to burn off fat. It works by increasing body temperature and heat production. Like all stimulants, Clen can be addictive and cause unwanted side effects such as excessive heart rate, dry mouth, restlessness, insomnia and loss of appetite. Smaller doses are recommended for first-time users and increasing to no more than 200 mcgs/day. Clen should be used in cycles to allow the body to recover and using an antihistamine like Benadryl or Ketotifen during off cycles is recommended.

Clenbuterol is a widely used bronchodilator in many parts of the world. The drug is most often prepared in 20mcg tablets, but it is also available in syrup and injectable form. Clenbuterol belongs to a broad group of drugs knows as sympathomimetics. These drugs affect that sympathetic nervous system in a wide number of ways, largely mediated by the distribution of adrenoceptors. There are actually nine different types of these receptors in the body, which are classified as either alpha or beta and further subcategorized by type number. Depending on the specific affinities of these agents for the various receptors, they can potentially be used in the treatment of conditions such as asthma, hypertension, cardiovascular shock, arrhythmias, migraine headaches and anaphylactic shock. The text Goodman and Gillman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics Edition does a good job of describing the diverse nature in which these drugs affect the body:

`Most of the actions of catecholamines and sympathomimetic agents can be classified into seven broad types: (1) peripheral excitatory action on certain types of smooth muscles such as those in blood vessels supplying the skin, kidney, and mucous membranes, and on the gland cells, such as those of the salivary and sweat glands; (2) a peripheral inhibitory action on certain other types of smooth muscle, such as those in the wall of the gut, in the bronchial tree, and in blood vessels supplying skeletal muscle; (3) a cardiac excitatory action, responsible for in increase in heart rate and force of contraction; (4) metabolic actions, such as an increase in the rate of glycogenolysis in liver and muscle and liberation of free fatty acids from adipose tissue; (5) endocrine actions, such as modulation of the secretion of insulin, rennin, and pituitary hormones; (6) CNS actions, such as respiratory stimulation and, with some of the drugs, an increase in wakefulness and psychomotor activity and a reduction in appetite; and (7) presynaptic actions that result in either inhibition or facilitation of the release of the neurotransmitters such as such as norepinephrine and acetylcholine.”

The drug clenbuterol is specifically a selective beta-2 sympathomimetic, primarily affecting only one of the three subsets of beta-receptors. Of particular interest is the fact that this drug has little beta-1 stimulating activity. Since beta-1 receptors are closely tied to the cardiac effects of these agents, this allows clenbuterol to reduce reversible airway obstruction (and effect of beta-2 stimulation) with much less cardiovascular side effects compared to nonselective beta agonists. Clinical studies with this drug show it is extremely effective as a bronchodilator, with a low level of user complaints and high patient compliance. Clenbuterol also exhibits an extremely long half-life in the body, which is measured to be approximately 34 hours. This makes steady blood levels easy to achieve, requiring only a single or twice daily dosing schedule at most. This of course makes it much easier for the patient to use, and may tie in to its high compliance rate. In spite that clenbuterol is available in a wide number of other countries however; this compound has never been approved for use in the United States. The fact that there are a number of similar, effective asthma medications already available in this country may have something to do with this, as a prospective drug firm would likely not find it a profitable enough product to warrant undergoing the expense of the FDA approval process. Regardless, foreign clenbuterol preparations are widely available on the U.S. black market.

In animal studies, clenbuterol is shown to exhibit anabolic activity, so it is obviously an attractive trait to the athlete. This compound is additionally a known thermogenic, with beta-2 agonists like clenbuterol shown to directly stimulate fat cells and accelerate the breakdown of triglycerides to form free fatty acids. Its efficacy in this area makes clenbuterol a very attractive, and today almost mandatory, pre-contest drug. Those interested in this drug are most often hoping it will impart a little of both benefits, promoting the loss of body fat while imparting strength and muscle mass increases. But as was well pointed out by a review published in the August 1995 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the possible anabolic activities in humans are very questionable, and based only on animal data using much larger doses than would be required for bronchodilation. With such reports there has been a lot of debate lately as to whether or not clenbuterol is really anabolic at all. Some seem to swear by the fact that it builds muscle regardless, firmly sticking by “clen” as a great off-season or adjunct anabolic. To others such reports are confirmation that athletes have wasted valuable time and money on drugs that do not work as they are intended to by the user. This debate continues today, with many still using clenbuterol as a potential anabolic. With this in mind athletes will tailor their dosage and cycling of this product individually depending on which of the two “possible” results are more desired, and how much side effects are to be tolerated. The possible side effects of clenbuterol include those of other CNS stimulants, and include such occurrences as shaky hands, insomnia, sweating, increased blood pressure and nausea. These side effects will generally subside after a week or so of use however, once the user becomes accustomed to the drug. One would typically start a cycle by gradually increasing the dosage each day until a desired range is established. This process will minimize the unwanted side effects seen from the drug; which otherwise might be dramatic if a large dose is administered from the onset. Men generally end up in the range of 2-8 tablets per day, although some people do claim to tolerate even higher dosages. Women get by on less, generally 2-4 tablets daily. Very quickly, the drug will elevate the body temperature. The rise is not usually dramatic, perhaps a half of a Cegree or so, sometimes a little more. This elevation is due to your body burning excess energy (largely from fat) and is usually not uncomfortable. Now that it is working, the number of consecutive days clenbuterol can be used is believed to be dependent on the goal of the individual. To be clear, the athletic benefits of this drug will only last for a limited time and then diminish, largely due to beta-receptor down regulation. When using it for fat loss. the primary effect of the drug, it seems to work well for approximately 4-6 weeks. During this period users will want to constantly monitor their body temperature. We are assured clenbuterol is working by the temperature elevation. Once the temperature drops back to normal, clenbuterol is no longer exhibiting a thermogenic effect. At this point increasing the dosage would not be very effective, and a break for at least a few weeks should be taken before it is used again effectively. If one is looking for strength gains, clenbuterol appears to be effective for a much shorter period of time, around 3-4 weeks. This may be due to an absence of real anabolic effect, with the strength gain seen with clenbuterol possibly due only to the stimulant properties of the drug (similar to the strength boost seen by Ephedrine users). Again however, this is still debated.

Many competitors also find the fat burning effect of clenbuterol can be further enhanced by additional substances. When combined with thyroid hormones, specifically the powerful Cytomel®, the thermogenic effect can become extremely dramatic. This can be to a point that the athlete could shred exceptional amounts of extra fat during contest preparations, without a dramatic restriction in calories. Such a mix can be further used during a steroid cycle, eliciting a much harder look from the anabolics. These cutting agents can often greatly inhibit extra fat storage during the cycle, even when using strong aromatizing androgens. A clenbuterol/thyroid mix is also common when using growth hormone, further enhancing the thermogenic and anabolic effect of this therapy.


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Cyclofenil

diagram of cyclophenil

Unfortunately, Cyclfenil is not as effective and requires higher doses and more frequent injections as its two counterparts that are less expensive and more available.

Cyclofenil

Fertodur; (Cyclohexylidenemethanediyl)dibenzene-4,1-diyl diacetate; [4-[(4-Acetyloxyphenyl)-cyclohexylidenemethyl]phenyl] acetate
Molecular Formula C23H24O4
Molecular Weight 364.44
CAS Registry Number 2624-43-3
EINECS 220-089-1

Like Clomidand Nolvadex, Cyclofenil is used in post-cycle-therapy to increase testosterone and prevent gynocomastia. Unfortunately, Cyclfenil is not as effective and requires higher doses and more frequent injections as its two counterparts that are less expensive and more available.

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Cytadren (aminoglutethimide)

diagram of cytadren

It also has the ability to suppress the production of cortisol, a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle tissue.

Aminoglutethimide

3-(4-Aminophenyl)-3-ethyl-2,6-Piperidinedione
Molecular Formula C13H16N2O2
Molecular Weight 232.28
CAS Registry Number 125-84-8
EINECS 204-756-4

Cytraden isable to almost completely suppress estrogen in the body, which is good news for athletes using steroids that convert into estrogen. It also has the ability to suppress the production of cortisol, a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle tissue. Unfortunately, after a short period of use, the anti-cortisol effect backfires and the body produces extra cortisol and begins to eliminate the muscle gains made from a cycle.

Clomid (Clomiphine citrate)

Clomid was one of the original drugs used in post-cycle-therapy to stave off gynocomastia and raise the body’s natural testosterone levels. There are some side effects involved with heavy prolonged use, such as vision problems, and there are more effective substances on the market that do the same thing, but Clomid is still an effective and inexpensive compound for any athlete’s post-cycle-therapy.

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Clomid can play a crucial role in preventing this crash in athletic performance


Clomid® is the commonly referenced brand name for the drug clomiphene citrate. It is not an anabolic steroid, but a prescription drug generally prescribed to women as a fertility aid. This is due to the fact that clomiphene citrate shows a pronounced ability to stimulate ovulation. This is accomplished by blocking/minimizing the effects of estrogen in the body. To be more specific Clomid is chemically a synthetic estrogen with both agonist/antagonist properties, and is very similar in structure and action to Nolvadex. In certain target tissues it can block the ability of estrogen to bind with its corresponding receptor. Its clinical use is therefore to oppose the negative feedback of estrogens on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which enhances the release of LH and FSH. This of course can help to induce ovulation.

For athletic purposes, Clomid does not offer a tremendous benefit to women. In men however, the elevation in both follicle stimulating hormone and (primarily) luteinizing hormone will cause natural testosterone production to increase. This effect is especially beneficial to the athlete at the conclusion of a steroid cycle when endogenous testosterone levels are depressed. If endogenous testosterone levels are not brought beck to normal, a dramatic loss in size and strength is likely to occur once the anabolics have been removed. This is due to the fact that without testosterone (or other androgens), the catabolic hormone cortisol becomes the dominant force affecting muscle protein synthesis (quickly bringing about a catabolic metabolism). Often referred to as the post-steroid crash, it can quickly eat up much of your newly acquired muscle. Clomid can play a crucial role in preventing this crash in athletic performance. As for women, the only real use for Clomid is the possible management of endogenous estrogen levels near contest time. This can increase fat loss and muscularity, particularly in female trouble areas such as this hips and thighs. Clomid however often produces troubling side effects in women (discussed below), and is likewise not in very high demand among this group of athletes.

Male users generally find that a daily intake of 50-100 mg (1-2 tablets) over a four to six week period will bring testosterone production back to an acceptable level. A very common regime of dosing is; 300 md/day 1, 100 mg/day for days 2-11, and 50 mg/day for days 12-21. This raise in testosterone should occur slowly but evenly throughout the period of intake. Since an immediate boost in testosterone is often desirable, many prefer to combine Clomid with HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) for the first week or two after the steroids have been removed. The kick-start from HCG also helps to restore the normal ability for the testes to respond to endogenous LH, which may be hindered for some time after the cycle is ended due to a prolonged state of inactivity. Once the HCG is stopped, the user continues treatment with Clomid alone. HCG should not be used for longer than two or three weeks though, as the resulting increased testosterone and estrogen levels may again initiate negative feedback inhibition at the hypothalamus. When planning your ancillary drug program, it is also important to remember that injectable steroids can stay active for a long duration. Using ancillary drugs the first week after a long acting injectable like Sustanon has been stopped may prove to be wholly ineffective. Instead, the athlete should wait for two to three weeks, to a point where androgen levels will be diminishing. Here the body will be primed and ready to restore testosterone production.

Clomid and HCG are also occasionally used periodically during a steroid cycle, in an effort to prevent natural testosterone levels from diminishing. In many instances this practice can prove difficult however, especially when using strong androgens for longer periods of time. There is also no exact method for using the two drugs in this manner. Some have experimented by periodically administering small doses of HCG along with one or two tablets of Clomid, perhaps for a few days at a stretch followed by a longer break. An on/off schedule would be implemented; for fear that this combination may lose some effectiveness if used continuously for this purpose. This method of intake may prove to be effective, although it is really much more feasible to stimulate testosterone production after the cycle than to try and maintain it for the long duration during.

In addition to helping with the post-cycle testosterone crash, this drug can also help with elevated estrogen levels during a steroid cycle. A high estrogen bevel puts an athlete in serious risk of developing gynecomastia, which is an obvious unwanted side effect. With the intake of Clomid, the athlete can hopefully reduce his risk for developing gynecomastia. The estrogen “blocking” properties of Clomid appear to be slightly weaker than Nolvadex in comparison however, which is why it is not usually thought of as an equal substitute for estrogen maintenance. Of course both drugs have similar actions in the body. and are relatively interchangeable for this purpose. Clomid can likewise also be used as a maintenance anti-estrogen throughout the duration of steroid cycle with good confidence, just as is done with Nolvadex. In most instances this will prove equally sufficient, the drug effectively minimizing the activity of estrogen in the body and warding off gyno and excess water/fat retention. Unfortunately just as with Nolvadex this is not always the case however, and many find it necessary to addition another anti-estrogenic drug. The most common adjunct is Proviron, an oral DHT used to competitively lower aromatase activity and raise the androgen to estrogen ratio. The Clomid/Nolvadex and Proviron combination is extremely effective, although we could alternately replace them both with a more specific aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex,Femara, or Aromasin. While stronger at combating estrogen in most cases, these drugs are also typically much more costly.

As for toxicity and side effects, Clomid is considered a very safe drug. Bodybuilders seldom report any problems, but listed possible side effects do include hot flashes, nausea, dizziness, headaches and temporarily blurred vision. Such side effects usually only appear in females however, as they feel the effects of estrogen manipulation much more readily than men. While female athletes can clearly gain some benefit from this substance, estrogen manipulation is probably not the most comfortable way to go about cutting up. Should it still be used for such purposed and side effects do become pronounced, the drug of course is to be discontinued and (at least) a break taken from it.

Clomiphene citrate is widely available on the black market in a variety of brand names as well as generic tabs and liquid versions.

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Deca Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate)

diagram of decabolin

Deca needs to be taken over long periods of time (cycles of 12 weeks minimum) for it to be effective.

Nandrolone decanoate

Deca-Durabolin; 19-Nortestoterone decanoate

Molecular Formula C28H44O3
Molecular Weight 428.65
CAS Registry Number 360-70-3
EINECS 206-639-3
Melting point 33-37 ºC
alpha 32 º

Possibly the most popular steroid compound of the last few decades, Deca-Durabolin earns its reputation by producing large muscle gains, aiding with joint pain and improving the immune system. These benefits come from a substance that has a relatively low rate of side effects because it doesn’t convert to estrogen as much as many of its counterparts. Not that Deca is without its problems. First, Deca needs to be taken over long periods of time (cycles of 12 weeks minimum) for it to be effective. Also, Deca must be taken with testosterone because the body’s natural levels will drop. Testosterone should also be a part of a Deca cycle’s post-cycle-therapy. Deca can also cause a good deal of water retention and acne.


Deca-Durabolin® is the Organon brand name for the injectable steroid nandrolone decanoate. This compound came around early in the wave of commercial steroid development, first being made available as a prescription medication in 1962.

World wide “Deca” is one of the most widely used anabolic steroids. Its popularity is due to the simple fact that it exhibits many very favorable properties. Structurally nandrolone is very similar to testosterone, although it lacks a carbon atom at the 19th position (hence its other name 19-nortestosterone). The resulting structure is a steroid that exhibits much weaker androgenic properties than testosterone. Of primary interest is the fact that nandrolone will not break down to a more potent metabolite in androgen target tissues. You may remember this is a significant problem with testosterone. Although nandrolone does undergo reduction via the same (5-alpha reductase) enzyme that produces DHT from testosterone, the result in this case is dihydronandrolone. This metabolite is weaker than the parent nandroloness, and is far less likely to cause unwanted androgenic side effects. Strong occurrences of oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth and hair loss occur very rarely. It is however possible for androgenic activity to become apparent with this as any steroid, but with nandrolone higher than normal doses are usually responsible.

Nandrolone also show an extremely lower tendency for estrogen conversion. For comparison, the rate has been estimated to be only about 20% of that seen with testosterones. This is because while the liver can convert nandrolone to estradiol, in other more active sites of steroid aromatization such as adipose tissue nandrolone is far less open to this process’. Consequently estrogen related side effects are a much lower concern with this drug. An anti-estrogen is likewise rarely needed with Deca, gynecomastia only a worry among sensitive individuals. At the same time water retention is not a usual concern. This effect can occur however, but is most often related to higher dosages. The addition of Proviron and/or Nolvadex should prove sufficient enough to significantly reduce any occurrence. Clearly Deca is a very safe choice among steroids. Actually, many consider it to be the best overall steroid for a man to use when weighing the side effects and results. It should also be noted that in HIV studies, Deca has been shown not only to be effective at safely bringing up the lean body weight of patient, but also to be beneficial to the immune system.

It is of note however that nandrolone is believed to have some activity as a progestin in the body. Although progesterone is a c-19 steroid, removal of this group as in 19-norprogesterone creates a hormone with greater binding affinity for its corresponding receptor. Sharing this trait, many 19-nor anabolic steroids are shown to have some affinity for the progesterone receptor as well. This can lead to some progestin-like activity in the body, and may intensify related side effects. The side effects associated with progesterone are actually quite similar to those of estrogen, including negative feedback inhibition of testosterone production, enhanced rate of fat storage and possibly gynecomastia. Many believe the progestin activity of Deca notably contributes to suppression of testosterone synthesis, which can be marked despite a low tendency for estrogen conversion.

Deca is not known as a very “fast” builder. The muscle building effect of this drug is quite noticeable, but not dramatic. The slow onset and mild properties of this steroid therefore make it more suited for cycles with a longer duration. In general one can expect to gain muscle weight at about half the rate of that with an equal amount of testosterone. A cycle lasting eight to twelve weeks seems to make the most sense, expecting to elicit a slow, even gain of quality mass. Although active in the body for much longer, Deca is usually injected once or twice per week. The dosage for men is usually in the range of 300-600mg/week. If looking to be specific, it is believed that Deca will exhibit its optimal effect (best gain/side effect ratio) at around 2mg per pound of lean bodyweight/weekly. Deca is also a popular steroid among female bodybuilders. They take a much lower dosage on average than men of course, usually around 50mg weekly. Although only slightly androgenic, women are occasionally confronted with virilization symptoms when taking this compound. Should this become a concern, the shorter acting nandrolone Durabolin would be a safer option. This drug stays active for only a few days, greatly reducing the impact of androgenic buildup if withdrawal were indicated.

Endogenous testosterone levels can be a concern with Deca-Durabolin, especially after long cycles. It is therefore mandatory to incorporate ancillary drugs at the conclusion of therapy. An estrogen antagonist such as Clomid or Nolvadex is therefore commonly used for a few weeks. These both provide a good level of testosterone stimulation, although they may take a couple of weeks to show the best effect. HCG injections could be added for extra reassurance, acting to rapidly restore the normal ability of the testes to respond to the resumed release of gonadotropins. For this purpose one could administer three injections of 2500-50001.U., spaced five days apart. After which point the antagonist is continued alone for a few more weeks in an effort to stabilize the production of testosterone. Remember not to begin post cycle therapy (PCT) until after Deca has been withdrawn for around three weeks. Deca stays active for quite some time so the ancillary drugs will not be able to exhibit their optimal effect when the steroid is still being released into the bloodstream. The major drawback for competitive purposes is that in many cases nandrolone metabolites will be detectable in a drug screen for up to a year (or more) after use. This is clearly due to the form of administration. Esterified compounds have a high affinity to stay stored in fatty tissues. While we can accurately estimate the time frame it will take for a given dose to enter circulation from an injection site, we cannot know for sure that 100% of the steroid will have been metabolized at any given point. Small amounts may indeed be stubborn in leaving fatty tissue, particularly after heavy, longer-term use. Some quantity of nandrolone decanoate may therefore be left to sporadically enter into the blood stream many months after use. This process may be further aggravated when dieting for a show, a time when body fat stores are being actively depleted (possibly freeing more steroid). This has no doubt been the cause for many unexpected positives on a drug screen. The fact that nandrolone has been isolated as the “hands-off” injectable for the drug tested athlete is most likely due to its popularity (and therefore common appearance on drug screens). The same risk would of course hold true for other long chain esterified injectables such as Equipoise, and Primobolan.

Those not worried about drug screens are likely to find the low water retention and good effect of this drug favorable for use in pre-contest cutting stacks. A combination of Deca and Winstrol during the weeks/months leading up to a show for example, is noted to greatly enhance to look of muscularity and definition. A strong non-aromatizing androgen like Halotestin or trenbolone could be further added, providing an enhanced level of hardness and density to the muscles. Being an acceptable anabolic, Deca can also be incorporated into bulk cycles with good results. The classic Deca and Dianabol cycle has been a basic for decades, and always seems to provide excellent muscle growth. A stronger androgen such as Anadrol or testosterone could also be substituted, producing greater results. When mixed with Deca, the androgen dosage can be kept lower than if used alone, hopefully making the cycle more comfortable. Additionally one may choose to continue Deca for a number of few weeks after the androgen has been stopped. This will hopefully harden up some of the bloat produced by the androgen, giving a more quality appearance. Remember that endogenous testosterone production will not resume during Deca therapy, and ancillaries are likewise still needed.

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Fareston (Toremifene citrate)

picture of fareston

This substance can be used for little else and other similar compounds,

Originally developed to fight breast cancer, bodybuilders have used Fareston to successfully fight gynocomastia caused when testosterone converts to estrogen in the body and men grow breasts. This substance can be used for little else and other similar compounds, such as Nolvadex or Clomid, are much more effective in post-cycle-therapy.

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HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)

diagram of hcg-image

hcg-image

HCG is one of the most important substances used in post-cycle-therapy. It stimulates the body to make natural testosterone, which is suspended during cycles of anabolic steroid use. As medicine, HCG is used to treat hypogodadism and as a fertility treatment in men. In a steroid cycle, it is important to not use too much HCG as it will cause the testes to shut down via negative feedback.

Chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone found in the female body during the early months of pregnancy (it is produced in the placenta). It is in fact the pregnancy indicator looked at by the over the counter pregnancy test kits, as due to its origin it is not found in the body at any other time. Blood levels of this hormone will become noticeable as early as seven days after ovulation. The level will rise evenly, reaching a peak at approximately two to three months into gestation. After this point, the hormone level will drop gradually until the point of birth. As a prescription drug, HCG offers us some interesting benefits. In the United States, we have the two popular brands, Pregnyl, made by Organon, and Profasi, made by Serono. These are FDA approved for the treatment of undescended testicles in young boys, hypogonadism (underproduction of testosterone) and as a fertility drug used to aid in inducing ovulation in women. When prepared as a medical item, this hormone comes from a human origin. Although there is often a fear of biological origin products, there is little research to be found regarding pathogen or sterility problems with HCG. The problems seen with human origin growth hormone are certainly not to be repeated with HCG, as this compound is obtained in a much different way.

While HCG offers the female no performance enhancing ability, it does prove very useful to the male steroid user. The obvious use of course being to stimulate the production of endogenous testosterone. The activity of HCG in the male body is due to its ability to mimic LH (luteinizing hormone), a pituitary hormone that stimulates the Leydig’s cells in the testes to manufacture testosterone. Restoring endogenous testosterone production is a special concern at the end of each steroid cycle, a time when a subnormal androgen level (due to steroid induced suppression) could be very costly. The main concern is the action of cortisol, which in many ways is balanced out by the effect of androgens. Cortisol sends the opposite message to the muscles than testosterone, or to breakdown protein in the cell. Left unchecked (by an extremely low testosterone level) in the body, cortisol can quickly strip much of your new muscle mass away.

The main focus with HCG is to restore the normal ability of the testes to respond to endogenous luteinizing hormone. After a long period of inactivity, this ability may have been seriously reduced. In such a state testosterone levels may not reach a normal point, even though the release of endogenous LH has been resumed. Many who have suffered severe testicular shrinkage may be able to relate, as it is often some time before normal testicle size and feelings of virility are restored if ancillary drugs had not been used. The excessive stimulation brought forth by administration of HCG can likewise cause the testicles to rapidly return to their normal size and level of activity. We are not simply looking for it to fix the problem however, as the resulting high testosterone level can itself trigger negative feedback inhibition at the hypothalamus. Estrogen production is also heightened with the use of HCG, due to its ability to increase aromatase activity in the Leydig’s cells. This is due to the main action of HCG, namely the increase of cycIicAMP (a secondary messenger that regulates cellular activity). When stimulated by HCG, the ability of the testes to aromatize androgens could potentially be heightened several times greater than normal. This also may inhibit testosterone production, so we therefore use HCG only as a quick shock to the testes.

The usual protocol is to inject 1500-3000 I.U. every 4th or 5th day, for a duration usually no longer than 2 or 3 weeks. If used for too long or at too high a dose, the drug may actually function to desensitize the Leydig’s cells to luteinizing hormone, further hindering a return to homeostasis. Timing the initial dose is also very crucial. If your were coming off a cycle of Sustanon for example, testosterone levels in your blood will likely stay elevated for at least 3 to 4 weeks after your last injection. Taking HCG on the day of your last shot would therefore be useless. Instead one would want to calculate the last week in which androgen levels are likely to be above normal, and begin ancillary drug therapy at this point. In this case HCG would be started around the third or fourth week. Likewise, after ending a cycle of Dianabol (an oral) your blood levels will be sub normal after the third day. Here you may want to begin HCG therapy a few days before your last intake of tablets, giving it a few days to take effect. One would also want to give some thought to the level of suppression that the cycle might have brought about. After an 8 week cycle of Equipoise for example, 1500-2500 I.U. would likely be a sufficient initial dosage. The lower amount of hormonal suppression one associates with this drug would probably not require much more. On the other hand, 750-1000mg of Sustanon per week might incline the user to inject a much larger HCG dose, perhaps as much as 5000 I.U. for the opening application. It may thereafter also be a good idea to reduce the dosage on subsequent shots, so as to step down the intake of HCG during the two or three weeks of intake.

As discussed above, HCG acts only to mimic the action of LH. It is likewise not the perfect hormone to combat testosterone suppression, and for this reason it is used most often in conjunction with estrogen antagonists such as Clomid, Nolvadex or cyclofenil. These drugs have a different effect on the regulating system, namely inhibiting estrogen-induced suppression at the hypothalamus. This of course also helps to restore the release of testosterone, although through a much different mechanism than HCG. A combination of both drugs appears to be very synergistic, HCG providing an immediate effect on the testes (shocking them out of inactivity) while the anti-estrogen helps later to block inhibition on the hypothalamus and resume the normal release of gonadotropins from the pituitary. The typical procedure involves giving the Clomid/Nolvadex dose from the start with HCG, but continuing it alone for a few weeks once HCG has been discontinued. This practice should effectively raise testosterone levels, which will hopefully remain stable once Clomid/Nolvadex have been discontinued. While unfortunately there is no way to retain all of the muscle gains produced by anabolic steroids, using ancillaries to restore a balanced hormonal state is the best way to minimize the loss felt with ending a cycle.

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Teslac (testolactone)

diagram of teslac-image

diagram of teslac-image

Testolactone
1,2-Didehydrotestololactone; 13-Hydroxy-3-oxo-13,17-secoandrosta-1,4-dien-17-oic acid delta-lactone
Molecular Formula C19H24O3
Molecular Weight 300.40
CAS Registry Number 968-93-4
EINECS 213-534-6
Teslac is one of the best-known substances for fighting the estrogenic effects of steroids. When combined with Proviron, it can almost completely eliminate the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the body. Teslac is a sex hormone that is a relative to testosterone, yet is neither an anabolic nor androgenic steroid. Besides its anti-estrogenic effect, it is also effective in stimulating the body to produce natural testosterone, much like HCG. Unfortunately, this wonder drug is extremely rare due to its very high cost.
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Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate)

diagram of nolvadex-image

diagram of nolvadex-image

 

Nolvadex®, is the trade name for the drug tamoxifen citrate, it is a non-steroidal agent that demonstrates potent anti-estrogenic properties. The drug is technically an estrogen agonist/antagonist, which competitively binds to estrogen receptors in various target tissues. With the tamoxifen molecule bound to this receptor, estrogen is blocked from exerting any action, and an anti-estrogenic effect is achieved. Since many forms of breast cancer are responsive to estrogen, the ability of tamoxifen citrate to block its action in such cells has proven to be a very effective treatment. It is also utilized successfully as a preventative measure, taken by people with an extremely high familial tendency for breast cancer. While Nolvadex is effective against estrogen, it is not our strongest available remedy. We now have the drugs Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin available to us, which notably prevents estrogen from being manufactured in the first place. Altering the effect of estrogen in the female body can cause a level of discomfort, so anti-estrogens are most bearable when used after the point of menopause. Since Nolvadex is milder in comparison, it is more widely applicable and usually the first treatment option.

As discussed earlier, an enzyme in the male body (aromatase) is capable of altering testosterone to form estradiol. The structure of estrogen is actually quite similar to testosterone, so its presence in the male body is not all that remarkable. Since this same enzyme can also aromatize many anabolic/androgenic steroids, the buildup of estrogens can be an important concern during intake. High levels can cause a number of unwanted side effects, a primary worry being gynecomastia or the development of female breast tissue in men. This can be first noticed by the appearance of swelling or a small lump under the nipple. If left to progress it can turn into a very unsightly development of tissue, often irreversible without surgery. Estrogen can also lead to an increase in the level of water retained in the body. The result here can be a notable loss of definition, the muscles beginning to look smooth and bloated due to the retention of subcutaneous fluid. Fat storage may also be increased as estrogen levels rise. This hormone is in fact the primary reason women have a higher body fat percentage, and different fat distribution (hips/thighs) than men. Individuals sensitive to the effects of estrogen will usually be sure to have an anti-estrogen on hand when taking problematic steroids, so as to minimize the impact of related side effects.

This drug also shows the ability to increase production of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) in the male body. This is accomplished by blocking negative feedback inhibition caused by estrogen at the hypothalamus and pituitary, which fosters the release of the mentioned pituitary hormones. This of course is also the function of Clomid and cyclofenil. Since a higher release of LH can stimulate the Leydig’s cells in the testes to produce more testosterone, Nolvadex can have a positive impact on one’s serum testosterone level. This “testosterone stimulating” effect is an added benefit when preparing to conclude a steroid cycle (post cycle therapy or PCT). Since most anabolic/androgenic steroids will suppress endogenous testosterone production, Nolvadex can help restore a balance in hormone levels. Nolvadex should be preferred over Clomid for this purpose in fact, as side by side it is clearly the stronger agent. It has also been shown to increase LH responsiveness to Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone after time, while Clomid slightly lowers this sensitivity as the drug is used for several weeks..

In some cases the use of only an estrogen antagonists such as Nolvadex or Clomid may be sufficient for testosterone stimulating purposes, particularly when halting the use of a milder or shorter steroid program (which should have a less pronounced impact on the hormonal system). With stronger cycles most option to enhance the stimulating effect of these drugs with HCG, a hormone that mimics the action of LH.

HCG use provides an excessive level of stimulation to the testes, which in essence may shock them out of a prolonged state of inactivity. In such a condition the Leydig’s cells may not be producing a normal amount of testosterone, even though the normal release of gonadotropins has been achieved. Nolvadex can be tricky at this point. Remember it only blocks the effect of estrogen that is present in the body. If it is removed at a time when estrogen levels are still unusually high, related side effects can quickly become a pronounced problem. Since HCG not only increases the production of testosterone but also enhances the rate of aromatization in the testes, anti-estrogens should not be discontinued until at least a couple of weeks after HCG is discontinued. The result otherwise of course could be many unwanted side effects that were previously under control. When using Nolvadex to ward off the effects of estrogen during the cycle, it should similarly not be removed until the user is confident that hormone levels are well under control. With a drug such as Sustanon, this may mean continuing it for several weeks after the last shot.

A typical dailydosage for men is in the range of 10 to 30mg, the amount would be dependent on the level of effect desired. It is advisable to begin with a low dosage and work up, to avoid taking an unnecessary amount. The time in which Nolvadex is started also relies on individual needs of the user. If an athlete with a known sensitivity to estrogen is starting a strong steroid cycle, Nolvadex should probably be added soon after the cycle had been initiated. If estrogen is probably not going to be a major problem during the cycle (but will likely be after), Nolvadex is administered around the time exogenous steroid levels will drop. It will be continued for some weeks after, until the point when natural testosterone is thought to be at an acceptable level. As mentioned HCG is often used at this point as well (see related profile for more detail). Women have also utilized Nolvadex in an effort to reduce the effect of their own endogenous estrogens. This can lower body fat concentrations, especially in stubborn areas like the hips and thighs. This is of course risky, as manipulating the effect of estrogen can become uncomfortable in women. Side effects like hot flashes, menstrual irregularities and a variety of complications with the reproductive system are all possible.

When looking for a stronger anti-estrogenic effect, Proviron can make a good addition to Nolvadex. Although this compound is technically an androgen, it may have a pronounced effect on the production of estrogen in the body. Its mode of action is therefore very different than that of Nolvadex. While Nolvadex only blocks the binding ability of free-floating estrogen, Proviron can minimize the creation of it. With each drug attacking estrogen via a different mechanism, we have a very synergistic combination. A daily intake of 20-30mg Nolvadex and 25-50mg Proviron can be extremely effective when dealing with a strong estrogenic cycle. Women often avoid adding Proviron to Nolvadex treatment (thought often it is still used to enhance fat loss), for fear of developing virilization symptoms (Proviron is an oral DHT). Virilizing effects can occur very quickly once there has been a dramatic rise in the activity of androgens (intensified by a decrease in estrogen activity), so at a minimum women should be careful with such a combination.

Of great interest also is that Nolvadex is an estrogen agonist in the liver, capable of activating the estrogen receptor and mimicking the actions of this sex hormone in this region of the body. As such it can have a markedly positive impact on HDL (good) cholesterol values, as does estrogen. Many similarly use this drug to counter some of the negative consequences of steroid use in regards to cholesterol values and cardiac risk, as steroids often suppress HDL and raise LDL levels considerably. in some instances an athlete is able to maintain a very favorable HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio, to spite the use of a mode rate dosage (400mg weekly) of an injectable like testosterone or nandrolone. It would be foolish to think however that Nolvadex would be a sufficient remedy with the heavy use of c-l7alpha alkylated orals or extremely high dosed cycles in general.

It has been reported by many however that Nolvadex seems to slightly reduce to gains made during a steroid cycle. It appears that many androgenic/anabolic steroids will exhibit their most powerful anabolic effect when accompanied by a sufficient level of estrogen. This may be one reason why gains made with a strong androgen like testosterone are usually much more pronounced than when using an anabolic that aromatizes to a lower degree. It therefore seems like good advice to be aware of how much Nolvadex is actually needed before committing to it during a cycle. Many people in fact find it unnecessary, even when utilizing problematic compounds such as testosterone or Dianabol. Others however find they are troubled by water retention and gynecomastia, even with milder anabolics like Deca-Durabolin and Equipoise. The estrogenic response to steroid use is very individual, and may be influenced by factors such as age and body fat percentage (adipose tissue is a primary site of aromatization).

Nolvadex is certainly the most popular anti-estrogen used by athletes today, no doubt because it is simply an effective product. It is also widely manufactured, and easy to obtain. Since there never seems to be a lack of supply, there is little incentive to manufacture a counterfeit product. All of the various generics forms of this drug are no doubt trustworthy. Women should remember to be very cautious when considering the use of Nolvadex, as they are usually very sensitive to changes in the activity of estrogen. Men looking for a stronger anti-estrogenic effect may want to consider using Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin , three powerful new anti-aromatase compounds. They are much more effective for estrogen control.

gyno

Steroid Side Effects and How to Stop them

picture of mans chest

Because AAS have side effects, and long-term use of AAS can have a profound effect on longevity and overall quality of life

Steroid Side Effects and How to Stop them – Part 1

Note From the Editor: The First and Best way to avoid the Very real and possibly serious side effects of Steroids Is not to Take them. Steroid use by nature is aimed at creating Biochemical imbalances in the body’s hormones. Know one without a Medical Degree Should be prescribing these Drugs.  All Steroid use should always be monitored with a battery of periodic blood tests.

This chapter, along with the chapter on the proper use of ancillary medications, are two of the most important chapters in this book. Why? Because AAS have side effects, and long-term use of AAS can have a profound effect on longevity and overall quality of life in later years if preventative measures are not taken. Having used steroids myself for over 10 years now, I have suffered through virtually ever side effect listed in this chapter, and have consequently educated myself on how to avoid them.

Regardless of your age, it’s important to always bear in mind that the use of AAS for the purposes of gaining an edge in sport can be an inherently unhealthy endeavor. There is a distinct difference between the doses of hormones or drugs that are used in slowing the aging process through hormone replacement therapy (hereafter referred to as HRT, please see the chapter on HRT by Dr. Ramon Scruggs for further clarification) and those that are used to enhance performance. If one is to properly use performance enhancing drugs, it is vital that they know the potential side effects of drugs they are using, know how to combat these side effects, and most importantly, actually implement the knowledge they have. Time and time again I’ve seen a bodybuilder develop gynecomastia (commonly referred to as “bitch tits” in the bodybuilding vernacular) despite the fact that the individual in question knew this was a possibility and also knew the preventative measures to take. One should not engage in the use of AAS or any other performance enhancing drug if the maintenance of proper health is not of primary concern.

Compounding the problem of treating the side effects of AAS is the hysteria surrounding their use in the first place. Many bodybuilders that use steroids find themselves to be social pariahs, muscular misfits if you will, and end up finding comfort in the company of others that engage in steroid use as well. Because a bodybuilder wears his sport, he’s branded a steroid user by many regardless of whether that’s the case or not. Often times, the shame one feels regarding their steroid use will cause them to suffer through the side effects associated with their use, rather than seeking competent medical help. Truth be told, it’s very difficult to find competent medical help to treat the side effects of steroids, as most doctors simply have no idea how to properly do so. More often than not, the physicians I worked with for most of my years on steroids were completely clueless as to how one might ameliorate the negative side effects of these drugs, and would simply tell me to “get off the steroids”. I say this not to dissuade those of you reading this from seeking out the advice of a doctor regarding the side effects of steroid use, just to prepare you for a probable response.

Most of the side effects related to steroids are cosmetic and will disappear when one discontinues their use. But those that aren’t are the most important to understand and treat as necessary. Most of these cannot be seen or felt, and all are related to issues of cardiovascular health. Steroids can adversely affect cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and hypertension, which over time can and will lead to an increase in heart disease. Always monitor your resting hear rate and blood pressure on a weekly basis when taking steroids and have your cholesterol and triglycerides checked every six months if you are using steroid consistently. These are not problems you can live with, ignore them and you may very well die much earlier than you would have otherwise. Ask yourself this question: “How much is every year of my life worth to me?” If you ignore the potential for an increased risk of heart disease when using anabolic steroids, you are essentially answering the question with, “Very little indeed.”

Before we begin a look at the actual side effects themselves and how to treat them, it’s important to note that not all AAS are created equal!! At times, for the sake of brevity, I will lump all AAS together, but the fact remains that some steroids will cause more negative side effects than others. One of the points of this book is to allow you to make that distinction, and walk away with the knowledge of how to use them as safely as possible. Below is a list of steroids most commonly associated with the side effects listed in this chapter:

Anadrol-50 (Oxymetholone)
Dianabol (Methandrostenolone)
Halotestin (Fluoxymesterone)
Testosterone and its various esters

Unfortunately for us, these also happen to be most of THE most effective AAS (with the exception of Halotestin) for building LBM. Generally, the maxim that the more effective a steroid is the more side effects it has holds true.

Finally, before we begin, readers will notice that I do not advocate the use of estrogen blockers such as Nolvadex, Clomid (I do post cycle, but not for the purposes of estrogen suppression), or Proviron. With anti-aromatases like arimidex (anastrazole), femara (letrozole), and to a lesser extent Cytadren (aminoglutethiamide) becoming cheaper and more readily available, use of estrogen blockers should be relegated to the bodybuilding archives. For a complete explanation as to why, read the chapter Proper Use of Ancillary Medications Both On and Off Cycle.

AAS Side Effects

Acne: One of the primary indicators of steroid use is acne, and I’m sure many of you reading this have either experienced acne caused by steroids or have seen someone who has. Like all steroid side effects, the degree to which someone will suffer from acne varies from individual to individual. The more androgenic a compound is, the more profound effect it will have on increasing oil production in the skin via stimulation of the sebaceous glands. Having said that, I’ve seen individuals use incredibly androgenic stacks and never have a hint or a pimple or blemish, and I’ve seen athletes (especially women) use very mild anabolics and suffer from horrible acne.

Treating acne is very important, both for physical and psychological reasons. Untreated acne can cause permanent scarring of the skin if it becomes severe enough, resulting in a pockmarked area that can only be smoothed through expensive plastic surgery. And acne can have a very powerful negative psychological effect on someone suffering from it, branding someone a steroid user and further isolating them from “normal” society. Severe acne can and will detract from the most aesthetic of physiques, and take away from ones overall presentation.

Depending on the severity, there are several options for the treatment of acne. Since acne is generally caused by the more androgenic steroids, there is always the option of switching to steroids that have few androgenic properties, such as nandrolone, oxandrolone, or primobolan. Light cases can commonly be controlled through frequent washings of the effected area (to remove excess dirt and oil before pores become clogged and infected) and the use of over the counter topical treatments. Moderate cases will generally respond to the use of Retin-A coupled with use of an antibiotic (such as tetracycline) which kills the bacteria which feeds off the oil created by the sebaceous gland. Severe cases of acne should be treated with Accutane, a prescription drug manufactured by Roche that is very effective at permanently eliminating acne. Accutane has a host of unpleasant side effects itself, and treatments are both lengthy and costly (health insurance is a must), but its use is much better than the possibility of permanent scarring from cystic acne. Fortunately, while acne is one of the most commonly seen side effects, it’s also the easiest to treat, as competent Dermatologists can easily be found.

It should also be noted that acne commonly become an issue for bodybuilders that do not cycle off steroids correctly, which will often cause a severe imbalance between levels of androgens and estrogens. Preparation for your off cycle period is equally important as the time spent on steroids, so use of an anti-aromatase both on and immediately following a cycle containing AAS that can convert to estrogen is a must.

Aggression: Men, due to their higher natural production of testosterone, are generally more aggressive than women. AAS, especially those that are extremely androgenic, will further increase aggression in both males and females. This can be beneficial as long as the individual in question can focus the aggression appropriately, such as the lifting of heavier weights during training. There often seems to be a direct correlation between ones ability to control aggression and ones intelligence.

There is nothing worse than an out of control steroid user who is unable or unwilling to control their aggression. Before beginning a cycle of AAS, especially one containing strong androgens, you must prepare yourself mentally for the fact that you are in all likelihood going to be more aggressive than normal, and consequently take the time to assess the nature of your reactions while using them.