Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) belongs to a category and class of drugs known as selective Estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). Selective Estrogen receptor modulators belong to an even broader class of drugs known as anti-estrogens. The other subcategory of drug under the anti-estrogens category is known as aromatase inhibitors (AIs), such as Aromasin (Exemestane) and Arimidex (Anastrozole). AIs and SERMs make up anti-estrogens. Aromatase inhibitors differ greatly from SERMs in their action and how they deal with the issues of estrogen control. The misunderstanding that SERMs, such as Nolvadex and Clomid, serve to lower estrogen levels must first be addressed before delving into any further details.
This is a persistent rumor among the anabolic steroid using community that has begun to erode as of late, but the rumor still persists. SERMs serve to block the action of Estrogen at the receptor sites in breast tissue by occupying the receptor sites in place of Estrogen so that Estrogen itself cannot exert its effects there through receptor site binding. Conversely, SERMs will also act as Estrogens at receptor sites at other cells in other areas of the body (the liver, for example in Nolvadex’s case). SERMs do not lower circulating levels of Estrogen in blood plasma. Aromatase inhibitors serve to do this by eliminating the production of Estrogen through binding to and disabling the aromatase enzyme, which is the enzyme responsible for the conversion (or aromatization) of androgens into Estrogen.
Within the bodybuilding and performance enhancement world, Nolvadex is primarily and commonly utilized as an ancillary aid to combating, reducing, and/or preventing the development of Gynecomastia. This is normally especially the case when a particularly moderate or aromatizable anabolic steroid is utilized in a cycle. Dosing of Nolvadex in this case is approximately 10 – 30mg per day. The common dosing tends to be 20mg per day of Nolvadex. It is very important to understand that higher and higher dosages of Nolvadex, greater than 20 – 40mg per day, does not produce any greater or faster effect on reducing or preventing gynecomastia, despite common misconceptions.
The other primarily utilized purpose for Nolvadex among bodybuilders and athletes is its ability to stimulate and increase the male production of endogenous Testosterone, as evidenced by many studies. It does so by acting on the pituitary and hypothalamus gland in the brain, and signaling an increase in production of FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone), which then signal the testes to produce Testosterone. In this case, Nolvadex is usually administered during PCT, which is immediately after the anabolic steroid cycle is complete and all anabolic steroids are clear from the individual’s system.
In this application of administration, 20 – 40mg per day of Nolvadex per day for approximately 4 – 6 weeks. Studies have demonstrated that venturing higher than 20 – 40mg per day does not generate any significantly greater amount of Testosterone production. Nolvadex is also normally included with the administration of at least one or two other Testosterone stimulating compounds during PCT (such as an aromatase inhibitor, usually Aromasin, and/or HCG) in order to enhance its effects on promoting proper HPTA function following the conclusion of a cycle.
The use of Nolvadex during a cycle will not counter-act the Testosterone suppression of anabolic steroid use and will not keep endogenous Testosterone production going amidst the use of suppressive compounds. It is therefore not recommended to do so, as it would be a waste of product and money.
Nolvadex possesses an extremely long half-life for an oral compound, approximately 5 – 7 days, and some studies demonstrating as long as 14 days. There should therefore be no requirement to split dosages up throughout the day, and it is safe to consume with food or on an empty stomach.