Clomiphene Citrate, or Clomid, as it is more frequently known belongs to a group of drugs known as SERMs – Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators.
SERMs sit alongside Aromatase Inhibitors such as Arimidex, with both falling under the larger umbrella of Anti-Estrogens. Despite achieving similar goals, AIs and SERMs act in a very different way, both approaching the issue of controlling estrogen differently.
Clomid, and other SERMs work by taking up occupancy in receptor sites within the breast tissue, preventing the estrogen from being able to bind. Other SERMs work by blocking estrogen at other receptor sites within the body. By contrast, AIs have an effect on the conversion of androgen to estrogen by inhibiting the enzyme response.
Clomid was first developed during the 1960s, not as an aid to fertility, but to treat women who had irregular menstrual cycles. It was while being prescribed to treat this that doctors noticed there was a much higher than expected pregnancy rate for women taking the drug. It was this incidental observation that led to Clomid being licensed to boost fertility in women who weren’t releasing eggs during each cycle (anovulation).
The FDA granted their approval for its use in 1967.
A generic version is now available which is known as clomiphene citrate.
The liver often undergoes a lot of stress when anabolic steroids are being taken, and regular liver function tests are often required to assess the extent of this. One of the side effects of this hepatic toxicity is the negative impact on cholesterol levels, another area which can be problematic when taking anabolic steroids.
One of the benefits of Clomid is that within the liver it has an estrogenic effect which in turn can help to boost cholesterol levels in a positive way. This can be helpful in counteracting the adverse effects that anabolic steroids can have on the liver and cholesterol.
This benefit to the liver and cholesterol is one of the reasons why Clomid is preferable to an AI, because the latter actually suppresses estrogen action. In doing this, the beneficial impact on cholesterol levels is lost.
The other advantage to using Clomid is that after a steroid cycle, it can help to inhibit catabolism. By doing so, users could hang on to more of the gains they achieved and lose far less muscle mass.
Use in sport
Although not licensed for use in sport, Clomid is often taken to help counteract the unwanted effects of other drugs such as anabolic steroids. This is because the production of testosterone can be affected by these drugs, which can lead to very undesirable results.
Therefore, after every cycle of steroids, which typically can last between 6-12 weeks, a course of Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is recommended. This helps the body to return to a more balanced state and allows the production of testosterone to recover to normal levels.
However, this recovery doesn’t happen easily without some help and Clomid is instrumental in providing the body with the necessary support.
When taken as part of a PCT regime, Clomid helps to block the effects of estrogen on the cells and stimulates production of Luteinizing Hormone and FSH. This is important as during a typical cycle, the pituitary glands slows down the production of both, thus reducing the amount of testosterone being produced by the body.
The body can take a considerable length of time for hormone levels to return to normal by themselves, so Clomid can be very effective in helping to support the process.
Clomid is most often taken during PCT but it can also be taken during the actual cycle too. Depending on the anabolic steroid being taken, there can be risks of estrogenic effects such as gynecomastia. Clomid isn’t the most effective drug to help prevent this, but in some cases it can be very useful.
The amount of Clomid needed depends on whether it’s being used as an estrogen blocking agent as part of a cycle or whether part of PCT.
When used during a cycle a much smaller dose of Clomid is required, typically around 50mg. It’s worth noting that Clomid is a less powerful drug than others such as Nolvadex, so a higher dose is needed to get the same effects. Very roughly speaking, a dose of 50mg of Clomid is equivalent to 10mg of Nolvadex.
When Clomid is being used as an agent within PCT, a much higher dose is required, typically 150mg or in some cases, slightly higher. This dose should be continued for approximately a fortnight before slowly being tapered off as the body’s own production of testosterone increases.
The half-life of Clomid is around 5-7 days.
Clomid is a drug which is generally extremely well tolerated with side effects occurring in only around 1% of users.
Most of the side effects which are experienced are at a high dose, in some cases as high as 200-300mg. Women who take Clomid are at risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome; obviously men who are taking it to boost their natural testosterone levels or to block estrogen won’t have this concern.
Side effects that could appear in either sex include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Sensitivity to light
• Blurred vision
• Yellow skin
• Sleep difficulties
• Change in mental state
None of the above have been shown to be permanent and should resolve completely once the drug is ceased.
Although Clomid is a drug which is generally well tolerated, individuals with a history of any of the following should consult their GP before use:
• Liver disease
• Thyroid disease
• Brain tumors
In addition, the following drugs are known to have an interaction with Clomid, so should not be taken together:
In the US, Clomid is not classified as a controlled substance even though it cannot be purchased over the counter and requires a physician’s prescription.
This means that despite its powerful action, Clomid is relatively easy to get a supply of, with both pharmaceutical grade and underground alternatives available.
Even though Clomid can’t be purchased in a drugstore, there are no penalties for the possession or use, and it can be traded without prosecution. In 1988 the FDA ruled that a three month supply could be imported into the US for personal use, without fear of it being confiscated.
Both Canada and the UK have similar stances on the use of Clomid.