This remedy is somewhat different from others since it is not an anabolic /androgenic steroid. For male and female bodybuilders, however, it is a very useful and recommended compound which is confirmed by its widespread use and mostly positive results. Nolvadex belongs to the group of sex hormones and is a so-called anti-estrogen. The normal application of Nolvadex is in the treatment of certain forms of breast cancer in female patients. With Nolvadex it is possible to reverse an existing growth process of deceased tissue and prevent further growth. The growth of certain tissues is stimulated by the body own estrogen hormone. This is especially true for the breast glands in men and women since the body has a large number of estrogen receptors at these glands which can bond with the estrogens present in the blood. If the body own estrogen level is unusually high an undesired growth of breast glands occurs. However, in healthy women and particularly in men this is not the case. Despite this, it is mostly male bodybuilders who use Nolvadex, and fewer women. At first sight this seems somewhat inconceivable but when taking a closer look, the reasons are clear. Bodybuilders who take Nolvadex also use anabolic steroids at the same time. Since most steroids aromatize more or less strongly, i.e. part of the substance is converted into estrogens, male bodybuilders can experience a significant elevation in the normally very low estrogen level. This can lead to feminization symptoms such as gynecomastia (growth of breast glands), increased fat deposits and higher water retention.
The anti-estrogen Nolvadex works against this by blocking the estrogen receptors of the effected body tissue, thereby inhibiting a bonding of estrogens and receptor. It is, however, important to understand that Nolvadex does not prevent the aromatization but only acts as an estrogen antagonist. This means that it does not prevent testosterone and its synthetic derivatives (steroids) from converting into estrogens but only fights with them in a sort of competition for the estrogen receptors. This characteristic has the disadvantage that after the discontinuance of Nolvadex a "rebound effect" can occur which means that the suddenly freed estrogen receptors are now able to absorb the estrogen present in the blood. For this reason the combined intake of Proviron is suggested. Nolvadex is also useful during a diet since it helps in the burning of fat. Although Nolvadex has no direct fatburning effect its anti-estrogenic effect contributes to keeping the estrogen level as low as possible. Nolvadex should especially be taken together with the strong androgenic steroids Dianabol (D-bol) and Anadrol, and the various testosterone compounds. Athletes who have a tendency to retain water and who have a mammary dysfunction should take Nolvadex as a prevention during every steroid intake. Since Nolvadex is very effective in most cases it is no wonder that several athletes can take Anadrol and Dianabol (D-bol) until the day of a competition, and in combination with a diruretic still appear totally ripped in the limelight. Those who already have a low body fat content will achieve a visibly improved muscle hardness with Nolvadex.
Several bodybuilders like to use Nolvadex at the end of a steroid cycle since it increases the bodys own testosterone production which will be discussed in more detail in the following to counteract the side effects caused by the estrogens. These can occur after the discontinuance of steroids when the androgen level in relationship to the estrogen concentration is too low and estrogen becomes the dominant hormone. A very rare but all the more serious problem of Nolvadex is that, in some cases it does not lower the estrogen level but can increase it.
Another disadvantage is that it can weaken the anabolic effect of, some steroids. The reason is that Nolvadex, as we know, reduces the estrogen level. The fact is, however, that certain steroids especially the various testosterone compounds can only achieve their full effect if the estrogen level is sufficiently high. Those who are used to the intake of larger amounts of various steroids do not have to worry about this. Athletes however, who predominantly use mild steroids such as Primobolan Depot, Winstrol, Anavar, and Deca Durabolin should carefully consider whether or not they should take Nolvadex since, due to the compound already moderate anabolic effect, an additional loss of effect could take place, leading to unsatisfying results.
A rarely observed but welcome characteristic of Nolvadex is that it has a direct influence on the hypothalamus and thus, by an increased release of gonadotropine, it stimulates the testosterone production in the testes. This does not result in a tremendous but still a measurable increase of the bodys own testosterone. This effect, however, is not sufficient to significantly increase the testosterone production reduced by anabolic /androgenic steroids.
The side effects of Nolvadex are usually low in dosages of up to 30 mg/day. In rare cases nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, numbness, and blurred vision can occur. In women irregular menstrual cycles can occur which manifest themselves in weaker menstrual bleeding or even complete missing of a period. Women should also be careful not to get pregnant while taking Nolvadex. It is important for female athletes that Nolvadex and the "pill" not be taken together since the anti-estrogen Nolvadex and the estrogen-containing pill negatively counter effect each other. The normal daily dosage taken by athletes corresponds more or less to the dosage indications of the manufacturer and is 10-30 mg/day. To prevent estrogenic side effects normally 10 mg/day are sufficient, a dosage which also Keeps low the risk of reducing the effect of simultaneously-taken steroids. Often it is sufficient if the athlete begins this preventive intake of Nolvadex only three to four weeks after the intake of anabolics. Athletes who have tendencies toward gynecomastia, strong water retention, and increased fat deposits with steroids such as Dianabol (D-bol), Testoviron Depot, Anadrol, and Deca Durabolin usually take 20-30 mg/day. The combined application of Nolvadex 20-30 mg/day and Proviron 25-50 mg/day in these cases leads to excellent results. The same is true for athletes who are in competition, and for women. Women, however should do without the intake of Proviron or at least reduce the dose to one 25 mg tablet per day. Unfortunately, in most cases, a very pronounced gynecomastia ("bitch tits") cannot be reduced by taking Nolvadex so that often surgery is required, surgery which is not paid for by health insurance. First signs of a possible gynecomastia are light pain when touching the nipples. The tablets are usually taken 1-2x daily, swallowed whole without chewing, with some liquid during meals.
Nolvadex unfortunately is a very expensive compound. Some examples: In Germany one hundred 20 mg tablets cost $ l92 (Red List 1995). Since the generic compounds (see list of various trade names) usually at a lower price are of the same quality than the trade name Nolvadex, athletes often prefer generics. The less expensive tamoxifen-citrate compound in Germany is Tamoxasta by Astamedica Company. One hundred 20 mg tablets, in comparison, cost $ 107 (Red List 1995). In Spain the prices are fixed by the government and it makes no difference whether it is an original Nolvadex or a generic compound. One hundred 20 mg tablets cost approx. $60 in Spain. In Greece the same quantity costs about $85. The athlete should look for the 20 mg version since, from its price, it is the most economical. On the black market mostly the foreign Nolvadex can be found costing about $2 - 3 per 20 mg tablet. Original Nolvadex tablets can be easily identified since, on the front, ICI (name of the manufacturer) is stamped and, on the back, the name "Nolvadex". Most of the time the tablet strength is also imprinted. Ten tablets are included in an unusually large push-through strip. The American Nolvadex can rarely be found on the black market. In the U.S. original Nolvadex is packaged by the manufacturer, ICI Pharma, in small, white plastic boxes with a child-proof screw cap. So far there are no fakes of Nolvadex and its generic products.