Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) profile
Tamoxifen Citrate is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) that was created in 1961 by ICI now known as AstraZenaca. There are numerous brands including generic forms of Tamoxifen Citrate on the market, but Nolvadex is the most well known. Often referred to as an anti-estrogen, Tamoxifen Citrate is actually both an antagonist and agonist. This means it will act as an anti-estrogen in certain areas of the body while acting as an estrogen in other areas.
Tamoxifen Citrate (often sold as Nolvadex) has been used medically for decades and has been highly successful in breast cancer treatment, specifically hormone-responsive breast cancer. It is also a medication that is used by many anabolic steroid users, but it is not a steroid. This is a drug steroid users will sometimes use during steroid use to help with estrogenic related side effects brought on by specific steroids. However, it is most commonly used during Post Cycle Therapy (PCT). PCT is the 3-6 week period following steroid use that is implemented in order to help with natural testosterone production that is suppressed during anabolic steroid use.
A concern about anabolic steroid use is the resulting suppression of natural testosterone production. During an anabolic steroid cycle itself, this suppression is unavoidable and isn’t necessarily a problem. However, extended post-cycle suppression results in loss of gains and can result in adverse side effects such as depression and loss of libido. In contrast, where recovery of natural testosterone production is rapid, adverse effects on mood or libido can be reduced or eliminated, and retention of gains can be excellent. Post-cycle therapy (PCT) with Nolvadex was introduced specifically to enable faster recovery.
To understand how Nolvadex can speed recovery, it’s important to understand how inhibition occurs, and how it may be reversed by a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) such as Nolvadex.
Testosterone production is regulated in a chain process. The testes produce testosterone according to the amount of LH the pituitary produces. The pituitary produces LH according to the amount of LHRH the hypothalamus produces, as well as other factors. And the hypothalamus produces LHRH according to the current amount of estrogen and androgen in the blood, as well as other factors.
Off-cycle, estradiol will typically be the most important estrogen in this process and testosterone the most important androgen, but in an anabolic steroid cycle, the androgen could be any anabolic steroid.
For the moment, we’re going to assume that in an individual testosterone and estradiol are in a fixed ratio to each other. This usually is approximately true, because estradiol is produced from testosterone. When we look at things this way, then we’ll take it that when testosterone rises or falls, estradiol will rise or fall as well.
In the normal condition – while not using anabolic steroids and being in good health – this process results in a balance where testosterone and estradiol remain in the normal range. If briefly they were to go relatively high for the individual, LHRH and LH production would decrease, reducing testosterone production and normalizing the levels.
When looking for a stronger antiestrogenic effect, Proviron® can make a good adjunct 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 valuesas, 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 I have heard an athlete being able to maintain a very favorable HDULDL cholesterol ratio, to spite the use of a moderate dosage (400mg weekly) of an injectable like testosterone or nandrolone. It would probably 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 (See: Estrogen Aromatization). 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).