Nolvadex is a type of drug known as Anti-Estrogens, a group which aims to reduce the overall levels of estrogens in the body.
However, not all drugs achieve this in the same way and contrary to popular belief, Nolvadex does not lower the amount of estrogen in the circulation. Aromatase Inhibitors work in this way, but Nolvadex does not belong to this subcategory of Anti-Estrogens. Instead, Nolvadex belongs to a type of drug known as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM).
SERMs do not act on the enzyme but instead block estrogen by occupying receptor sites in their place, preventing the hormone from binding.
Nolvadex, in common with other SERMs, has different actions in various parts of the body. Although the drug is strongly anti-estrogenic in breast tissue, it acts in a very different way in the liver, instead exhibiting an estrogenic effect.
Nolvadex is now considered a first line treatment for breast cancers which are responsive to estrogen.
Also known as Tamoxifen, Nolvadex was first created in 1962 and very quickly appeared as a prescription medicine. Physicians initially used this medication to treat infertility in women but soon realized that it also had a value in treating breast cancer too.
Although the potential benefits for breast cancer patients was known by 1971, the FDA didn’t provide a license to allow it to be used as a treatment for such until 1977. Eleven years later, in 1988, the FDA went one step further and approved the drug for use as a preventative treatment for individuals who were at a high risk of developing breast cancer.
Today there are many different generic versions of the drug available and it continues to be used for both fertility and breast cancer.
Despite belonging to a group of drugs known as Anti-Estrogens, Nolvadex doesn’t always remove the effect of estrogen on the body.
In breast tissue it blocks the receptors, thus preventing the estrogen causing gynecomastia, however in the liver it exhibits an estrogenic effect. This can be protective and helps to counteract some of the stress that anabolic steroids put the liver under. The liver is instrumental in the balance of cholesterol within the body and Nolvadex can help to promote a healthier ratio between HDL and LDL. Cholesterol is normally affected in an adverse manner by anabolic steroids (although some are worse than others) so this action can be very helpful.
There’s also a major benefit for bodybuilders trying to achieve mass as Nolvadex can help to prevent the gains made being lost via catabolism. If a leaner, drier look is desired, catabolism can be a good thing as it breaks down fat and water, but for those looking for bulk, it can be a disaster. Using Nolvadex helps to prevent this.
Use in sport
Nolvadex can be used in tandem with anabolic steroids as a means of preventing and controlling gynecomastia. This enlargement of breast tissue can be permanent if not treated rapidly, and Nolvadex can be extremely potent so is a useful addition to any cycle.
Gynecomastia in males is caused by rising levels of estrogen which Nolvadex can help to reduce by blocking the receptor sites in the breast tissue. Although Nolvadex has an anti-estrogenic effect in the breast and can help to eliminate gynecomastia, its effect is not universal. For other estrogenic side effects such as bloating, raised blood pressure and acne, Nolvadex will be ineffective. This is because these estrogenic effects result from blood serum levels which Nolvadex has no impact on.
Because of its ability to prevent gynecomastia, Nolvadex is often taken during a cycle but it can be also included as part of PCT. When it’s used in this way, it has an effect on the pituitary gland, preventing it from recognizing the testosterone in the body and thereby allowing more to continue to be produced.
If Nolvadex is being used to prevent gynecomastia, a dosage of 20-80mg every day will produce optimum results.
When used for PCT, a slightly lower dose of between 10-40mg will suffice. This can be either every day, or every other day depending on the response.
It’s important not to dose the Nolvadex too high because this can have the opposite to the desired effect, decreasing the production of testosterone.
The half-life is generally considered to be between 5-7 days, although there have been reports that in some cases it may be as long as 14 days.
The drug can be detected within the body up to two months after use.
Nolvadex is generally well tolerated but some of the side effects which can be experienced include:
• Muscle aches and cramps
• Reversible hair thinning
• Drop in libido
• Mood changes
• Mood changes
• Blurred vision
There are some instances where the use of Nolvadex could cause significant problems and shouldn’t be taken without first taking medical advice from a physician.
Anyone with a history of any of the following may find that taking Nolvadex is not advisable:
• Eyesight problems
• High levels of calcium in the blood
• Decreased white blood cells or platelets
• Deep vein thrombosis
Nolvadex is only available with a prescription in the US, and cannot be freely purchased over the counter. Despite this it is not classified as a controlled drug by the Controlled Substances Act in the US.
This means that possessing Nolvadex is not a crime, nor is the buying, selling or use of it. There are therefore no fines or otherwise penalties for use of the drug, even if obtained without a prescription.
Canada and the UK adopt the same stance, but in other countries it is even more freely available and can be purchased over the counter.
An FDA ruling means that it’s possible to bring a 90 day supply of Nolvadex into the US without it being confiscated, providing it’s for personal use.