If you’ve had any experience with AAS cycles, you’ve likely been exposed to anti-estrogen drugs – those drugs that counteract the aromatizing effects of steroids and manage the influx of ensuing estrogen that has pooled in areas such as the nipples and testes, as a result of the imbalance of hormones once a cycle has dissipated.
For the most part, for years, the drug Nolvadex was used to quell the build up of estrogens and stave off estrogenic activity, such as gynecomastia. This is because Nolvadex acts directly on the estrogen receptors in the area in question. It actually prevents bonding of estrogen to receptor at the site. It’s a very effective drug to use when discontinuing your cycle because it will help to reduce the side effects of the elevated levels of estrogen during this process. You can also think of Nolvadex as the "hormonal mediator" – the drug to use when the balance of female to male hormones has come out of balance.
The correct dose of Nolvadex, or the dose of anything in the world of performance enhancement or aesthetic enhancement, or both, varies depending upon the person to whom you are speaking. But generally speaking, a dose of 20mg to 40mg per day should be ample. We suggest splitting those doses into two to keep levels of Nolvadex even. Some would say that if Nolvadex is your only anti-estrogen, and you’re not taking another kind during your cycle, your dose should be 40mg. If you are using Nolvadex DURING your cycle (which is not its best use) then take 20mg daily.
It used to be that Nolvadex was fairly expensive, but that was partly because of the risk of obtaining a prescription drug without one. However, it has since come way down in price because of the advent of Femara and Arimidex – the current flavors of the month in the world of pharmacology and prescribing. This popularity of versions of the same class of drugs is odd, considering that each has its own action and use. Of course, because it’s in the same category, the goal is the same, but the way in which each acts differently than the other, is what lends criteria for prescribing. Just our opinion, of course…
Nolvadex, is great to use at the end of a cycle, but there are other needs during a cycle that it just cannot help with, and that’s where two other important anti-estrogens come into play. Arimidex and Femara take up where Nolvadex cannot, and are much more modern, updated version of an anti-estrogen. But we’ll get to those in a minute. Let’s first look at an odd drug called Proviron…
Proviron is another drug used in this manner, though the jury is out on whether it is an actual bonafide anti-estrogen. Proviron is used during a cycle because it acts like an anti-estrogen because of its structure – it has a much higher affinity to the aromatizing enzymes than testosterone, but does not convert to estrogen. So, in effect, it’s kind of a steroid and an anti-estrogen, and for that reason, many women use it, conjointly.
Confused? Here’s how it works: If you administer Proviron with testosterone, it will bind to the aromatizing enzyme strongly, which will not let testosterone convert itself to estrogen to bind with receptors it should not be binding with. A lot of people in years past used both Nolvadex and Proviron in this way – Proviron during a cycle and Nolvadex as they came off. Further, while Proviron prevents this binding of aromatized estrogen to receptor sites, it also boosts the levels of testosterone in your cycle, and allow it to work more efficiently. Go figure. No one knows why. Effective doses of Proviron are about 25mg per day, up to 50mg. But don’t use Proviron post-cycle, however, because it technically is an androgen.
Now for Arimidex and Femara – the newest kids on the block….
Both are considered to be in the class of anti-estrogens, however, while Arimidex is truly a purist’s drug in that sense, Femara is thought to be actually better at estrogen control. Those are two very different things, as anyone who has used any of the drugs mentioned here can attest.
Arimidex is an anti-aromatizing drug to use while you are on an AAS cycle to help prevent water retention, Gynecomastia (bitch tits) and other common side effects that are thought to be estrogen based during an AAS cycle of synthetic testosterone drugs. Arimidex’s action is to block the aromatizing enzyme, which blocks the production of the hormone estrogen. In this way, it is similar but different from Nolvadex, which works to block AT the site, not ON the enzyme. You can also use Arimidex for the weeks following your cycle while on a post-cycle type therapy regimen (light steroid use, such as Anavar or a little Deca). Some use it everyday and others every other day. Doses are between .25mg and 1mg per day, depending upon whether you are using anything else in the same category – even if you are using it differently.
Femara is similar to Arimidex, but because it is a better controlling force of already produced and secreted estrogen, or even helps monitor and control the amount produced, it’s different even still from the others. People who use it report no water retention and it has been shown to slightly raise IGF-1 levels, unlike Nolvadex which does just the opposite. Normal doses for Femara are 2.5mg every day to every other day, and can be used both during and after the cycle, or as a bridge.
To return things to normal and go completely off anything, use HCG and Clomid to return your own testosterone levels to normal. But remember, these are not anti-estrogens, so not germane for this discussion.
Also keep in mind that there are many aspects of diet and lifestyle that contribute to estrogenic activity. Cardio practices (too much and too exhaustive duration work) can contribute to higher levels of estrogen, as can lack of proper recovery. But diet also plays a role. Wheat products have, by nature, a ton of estrogenic activity, as do many other foods. Check out our list of estrogen-producing foods for more information.