Nolvadex, officially known as Tamoxifen Citrate, it is a SERM with both estrogen agonist and antagonist properties. As an anti-estrogen, Nolvadex functions by binding to the estrogen receptors in the place of estrogen.
While primarily viewed as an anti-estrogen, Nolvadex also has the ability to act as estrogen, specifically in the liver. This presents a benefit as estrogenic activity in the liver has been linked to healthier cholesterol levels. For the steroid user, this can be extremely beneficial as many anabolic steroids tend to have an adverse effect on cholesterol. More on this when we look at the direct effects of Nolvadex later on.
Although primarily an anti-estrogen, Nolvadex also possess strong testosterone stimulating characteristics. Nolvadex has the ability to block the negative feedback that is brought on by estrogen at the hypothalamus and pituitary. As a result, this stimulates an enhanced release by the pituitary of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Both LH and FSH are essential to natural testosterone production. Without LH and FSH, with an even stronger emphasis on LH, there is no natural testosterone production.
For the anabolic steroid user, the primary effect of Nolvadex on cycle is in the prevention of gynecomastia. Nolvadex does not appear to have a strong effect in preventing the other primary estrogenic effect in water retention, but this can often be controlled in other ways. As for gynecomastia protection, this can be enough for many men and should be your first choice if it can get the job done. If not, you will need an AI like Arimidex (Anastrozole) or Femara (Letrozole). However, AI’s can have a negative effect on cholesterol. Alone AI’s do not appear to have a strong, negative effect, but when coupled with an aromatizing steroid this effect appears to be exasperated. Cholesterol can be controlled with the use of an AI, but if it can get the job done a SERM like Nolvadex should be your first choice. As an added bonus, remember this SERM will have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels.
The final effect of Nolvadex represents the most valuable one for the anabolic steroid user. The use of anabolic steroids will suppress natural testosterone production. The rate of suppression will be dependent on the steroid(s) being used, but in most cases, it will be significant. Once the use of anabolic steroids comes to an end, assuming the individual did not suffer from a prior low testosterone condition and did not damage his Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) through improper practices, natural testosterone production will begin again. This natural production will begin on its own, however, there is a problem. Once you come off cycle your natural testosterone levels will be extremely low and while production will begin again they will remain low for a very long time. It will take months and months for the body to fully recover its prior high natural testosterone levels. In fact, it could take up to a year or more depending on the harshness of the cycle and the individual’s general dispositions. This means the individual will be in a state of low testosterone for quite some time, and that can come with a host of bothersome symptoms. This condition can include all the symptoms associated with low testosterone. Further, with testosterone levels low, the individual may very well lose a lot of muscle tissue gained through steroid use as cortisol becomes the dominant hormone in the body.
Due to the low testosterone issues after a cycle of anabolic steroids, most men are encouraged to implement a PCT plan that includes Nolvadex post anabolic steroid use. Solid PCT plans often contain Nolvadex as well as the SERM Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate) and the powerful peptide hormone HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). By implementing this PCT plan, you will greatly stimulate natural testosterone production, speed up the recovery process and greatly protect your physique. Once the PCT plan comes to an end, contrary to popular belief your testosterone levels will not be resting at their normal high level state. Total recovery will still take a lot of time. However, a PCT plan that includes Nolvadex will ensure you have enough testosterone for proper bodily function while your levels continue to naturally rise.
There are many performance enhancing athletes that scoff at PCT plans, and there is a time to forgo them. If you’re only going to be off cycle for a short period of time, say 4-6 weeks or are cruising on a low testosterone dose between full blown cycles, there is no logical reason for a PCT plan. Such scenarios are very common in hardcore bodybuilding circles but they are not realistic for most anabolic steroid users. Most steroid users will take a fair amount of time off cycle, and in the name of health and wellbeing this is the best approach. If this is the case, there is no logical reason for forgoing PCT, and we can guarantee those that implement it will be far better off.