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Nolvadex vs. Clomid for PCT

F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T.

MuscleHead
Sep 24, 2011
1,318
115
#1
Nolvadex vs. Clomid for PCT

It seems like everyday questions concerning PCT pop up, and weather one should use either Clomid or nolva or a combo of both. I hope that this article written by BigCat may help to clear up some misconceptions.

While practically similar compounds in structure, few people ever really consider Clomid and nolva to be similar. Its not just a common myth in steroid circles, but even in the medical community. This misconception originates from their completely different uses. Nolvadex is most commonly used for the treatment of breast cancer in women, while Clomid is generally considered a fertility aid. In bodybuilding circles, from day one, Clomid has generally been used as post-cycle therapy and Nolvadex as an anti-estrogen.

But as I intend to demonstrate this is in essence the same. I believe the myth to have originated because nolva is clearly a more powerful anti-estrogen, and the people selling Clomid needed another angle to sell the stuff, so it was mostly used as a post-cycle aid. But few users really understand how Clomid for bodybuilders (and also Nolvadex, logically) works to bring back natural testosterone in the body after the conclusion of a cycle of androgenic anabolic steroids. After a cycle is over, the level of androgens in the body drop drastically. The body compensates with an overproduction of estrogen to keep steroid levels up. Estrogen as well inhibits the production of natural testosterone, and in the period between the return of natural testosterone and the end of a cycle, a lot of mass is lost. So its in everybody's best interest to bring back natural test as soon as humanly possible. Clomid and Nolvadex will reduce the post-cycle estrogen, so that a steroid deficiency is constated and the hypothalamus is stimulated to regenerate natural testosterone production in the body. That's basically how the mechanism works, nothing more, nothing less.

Both compounds are structurally alike, classified as triphenylethylenes. Nolvadex is clearly the stronger component of the two as it can achieve better results in decreasing overall estrogen with 20-40 mg a day, than Clomid can in doses of 100-150 mg a day. A noteworthy difference. Triphenylethylenes are very mild estrogens that do not exert a lot, if any activity at the estrogen receptor, but are still highly attracted to it. As such they will occupy the receptor and keep it from binding estrogens. This means they do not actively work to reduce estrogen in the body like Proviron, Viratase or arimidex would (by competing for the aromatase enzyme),but that it blocks the receptor so that any estrogen in the body is basically inert, because it has no receptor to bind to.

This has advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is that when use is discontinued, the estrogen level is still the same and new problems will develop much sooner. The advantage is that it works much faster and has results sooner than with an aromatase blocker like Proviron or arimidex. Therefor, when problems such as gynocomastia occur during a cycle of steroids one will usually start 20 mg/day of nolva or 100 mg/day of Clomid straight away, in conjunction with some Proviron or arimidex. The proviron or arimidex will actively reduce estrogen while the Clomid or Nolvadex will solve your ongoing problem straight away. This way, when use is discontinued there is no immediate rebound.

So which one should you use? Well personally, I'd have to say Nolvadex. Both as an on-cycle anti-estrogen and a post-cycle therapy. As an anti-estrogen its simply much stronger, demonstrated by the fact that better results are obtained with 20-40 mg than with 100-150 mg of Clomid. For post-cycle, this plays a key role as well. It deactivates rebound estrogen much faster and more effective. But most importantly, Nolvadex has a direct influence on bringing back natural testosterone, where as Clomid may actually have a slight negative influence. The reason being that tamoxifen (as in Nolvadex) seems to increase the responsiveness of LH (luteinizing hormone) to GnRH (gonadtropin releasing hormone),whereas Clomid seems to decrease the responsiveness a bit1.

Another noteworthy fact about Nolvadex is that it acts more potently as an estrogen in the liver. As you remember, I mentioned that clomiphene and tamoxifen are basically weak estrogens. Well, tamoxifen is apparently still quite potent in the liver. This offers us the positive benefits of this hormone in the liver, while avoiding its negative effects elsewhere in the body. As such Nolvadex can have a very positive impact on negative cholesterol levels2 in the body, and therefore too should be considered a better choice than Clomid. It will not solve the problem of bad cholesterol levels during Steroid use, but will help to contain the problem to a larger degree.

Another reason why I promote the use of Nolvadex over Clomid post-cycle (as if being 3-4 times stronger and having more of a direct effect on restoring natural test wasn't enough) is because it's a lot safer. Not just because it improves lipid profiles, but also because it simply doesn't have the intrinsic side-effects that Clomid has. Clomid causes more acne for sure, but that's mainly because you need to use a 3-4 times higher dose. But Clomid seems to also affect the eyesight. Long-term Clomid therapy causes irreversible changes in eyesight3 in users. Irreversible. For me that alone is reason enough to prefer Nolvadex.

Lastly, one should be aware that use of these compounds can reduce the gains made on steroids. Nolvadex more so than Clomid, simply because it is stronger. Estrogen is responsible for a number of anabolic factors such as increasing growth hormone output, upgrading the androgen receptor and improving glucose utilization. This is why aromatizing steroids like testosterone are still best suited for maximum muscle gain. When reducing the estrogen levels, we therefore reduce the potential gains being made. For this reason one may opt to try Clomid during a cycle instead of Nolvadex. Although I would imagine that the problem that needed solved would be of more concern, in which case nolva remains the weapon of choice. It's a plain fact that there is a high correlation between gains and side-effects. Either you go for maximum gains and tolerate the side-effects, or you reduce the side-effects, and with it the gains. That's life, nothing is free.

Stacking and Use:

If problems of Gynocomastia or other estrogen related symptoms tend to pop up during a cycle the use of 20-30 mg of Nolvadex or 100 mg of Clomid daily should easily contain the problem, and be used until a few days after the problem subsides. For best results and the least amount of problems upon cessation it is best stacked with Proviron (50 mg) or arimidex (0.5 mg) for this duration as well. Its not advised that these products be ran concomitantly with the steroid for the entire duration of the stack, as this will reduce your gains. Instead cease the usage of anti-estrogens once the problem is contained, and should the problem resurface, simply recommence the use of the products in the same manner as described above.

Once a cycle of steroids is concluded one should always initiate a post-cycle therapy to help bring back natural testosterone as soon as possible. This will help you to retain the mass you gained. How this is done depends highly on the type of steroid used. If only orals were used, therapy should start immediately, even the last day of the stack. If short-acting esters or water-based injectables were used, therapy should commence within 4-7 days after last injection, and if long-acting esters were used then it should commence 1.5 to 2 weeks after the last injection was given. The length of the therapy will vary as well, from 3-5 weeks. The longer acting the product was, the longer therapy should be continued to make sure all suppressive factors are cleared before use of Clomid/Nolvadex is discontinued.

For best results, it is best stacked with HCG (Human Chorionic gonadotrophin),which functions as an LH analog and can help bring testicle size back up. HCG use starts the last week of a cycle, and on from there every 5-6 days (usually 1500-3000 IU) and discontinued 1.5 to weeks prior to the cessation of Nolvadex/clomid. The reason being that HCG itself is also suppressive of natural testosterone and should be out of the body before therapy is over, or it will inhibit natural testicle function. But I can not stress enough that HCG possibly plays a more important role in post-cycle therapy than clomid/Nolvadex. For Clomid and Nolvadex, doses are usually tapered down. Its best to start with 40-50 mg of Nolvadex or 150 mg of Clomid for the first week or the first two weeks, and then finish the program with 20-25 mg of Nolvadex or 100 mg of Clomid for an additional two weeks.

References

1 Vermeulen A., Comhaire F., Hormonal effects of an anti-estrogen, tamoxifen, in normal and oligospermic men, Fertil. Ster. 29 (1978) 320-27

2 Bruning PF, Bronfer JMG, Hart AAM, Jong-Bakker M, tamoxifen, serum lipoproteins and cardiovascular risk, Br. J. Cancer 1988 Oct, 58 (4) 497-9
 
F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T.

MuscleHead
Sep 24, 2011
1,318
115
#2
Here's another good article on this subject...........

Clomid, Nolvadex and testosterone Stimulation
By William Llewellyn


I have received a lot of heat lately about my preference for Nolvadex over Clomid, which I hold for all purposes of use (in the bodybuilding world anyway); as an anti-estrogen, an HDL (good) cholesterol-supporting drug, and as a testosterone-stimulating compound. Most people use Nolvadex to combat gynecomastia over Clomid anyway, so that is an easy sell. And for cholesterol, well, most bodybuilders unfortunately pay little attention to this important issue, so by way of disinterest, another easy opinion to discuss. But when it comes to using Nolvadex for increasing endogenous testosterone release, bodybuilders just do not want to hear it. They only seem to want Clomid. I can only guess that this is based on a long rooted misunderstanding of the actions of the two drugs. In this article I would therefore like to discuss the specifics for these two agents, and explain clearly the usefulness of Nolvadex for the specific purpose of increasing testosterone production.



Clomid and Nolvadex

I am not sure how Clomid and Nolvadex became so separated in the minds of bodybuilders. They certainly should not be. Clomid and Nolvadex are both anti-estrogens belonging to the same group of triphenylethylene compounds. They are structurally related and specifically classified as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) with mixed agonistic and antagonistic properties. This means that in certain tissues they can block the effects of estrogen, by altering the binding capacity of the receptor, while in others they can act as actual estrogens, activating the receptor. In men, both of these drugs act as anti-estrogens in their capacity to oppose the negative feedback of estrogens on the hypothalamus and stimulate the heightened release of GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone). lh - leutenizing hormone - output by the pituitary will be increased as a result, which in turn can increase the level of testosterone by the testes. Both drugs do this, but for some reason bodybuilders persist in thinking that Clomid is the only drug good at stimulating testosterone. What you will find with a little investigation however is that not only is Nolvadex useful for the same purpose, it should actually be the preferred agent of the two.

Studies conducted in the late 1970's at the University of Ghent in Belgium make clear the advantages of using Nolvadex instead of Clomid for increasing testosterone levels (1). Here, researchers looked the effects of Nolvadex and Clomid on the endocrine profiles of normal men, as well as those suffering from low sperm counts (oligospermia). For our purposes, the results of these drugs on hormonally normal men are obviously the most relevant. What was found, just in the early parts of the study, was quite enlightening. Nolvadex, used for 10 days at a dosage of 20mg daily, increased serum testosterone levels to 142% of baseline, which was on par with the effect of 150mg of Clomid daily for the same duration (the testosterone increase was slightly, but not significantly, better for Clomid). We must remember though that this is the effect of three 50mg tablets of Clomid. With the price of both a 50mg Clomid and 20mg Nolvadex typically very similar, we are already seeing a cost vs. results discrepancy forming that strongly favors the Nolvadex side.



Pituitary Sensitivity to GnRH

But something more interesting is happening. Researchers were also conducting GnRH stimulation tests before and after various points of treatment with Nolvadex and Clomid, and the two drugs had markedly different results. These tests involved infusing patients with 100mcg of GnRH and measuring the output of pituitary lh - leutenizing hormone - in response. The focus of this test is to see how sensitive the pituitary is to Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone. The more sensitive the pituitary, the more lh - leutenizing hormone - will be released. The tests showed that after ten days of treatment with Nolvadex, pituitary sensitivity to GnRH increased slightly compared to pre-treated values. This is contrast to 10 days of treatment with 150mg Clomid, which was shown to consistently DECREASE pituitary sensitivity to GnRH (more lh - leutenizing hormone - was released before treatment). As the study with Nolvadex progresses to 6 weeks, pituitary sensitivity to GnRH was significantly higher than pre-treated or 10-day levels. At this point the same 20mg dosage was also raising testosterone and lh - leutenizing hormone - levels to an average of 183% and 172% of base values, respectively, which again is measurably higher than what was noted 10 days into therapy. Within 10 days of treatment Clomid is already exerting an effect that is causing the pituitary to become slightly desensitized to GnRH, while prolonged use of Nolvadex serves only to increase pituitary sensitivity to this hormone. That is not to say Clomid won't increase testosterone if taken for the same 6 week time period. Quite the opposite is true. But we are, however, noticing an advantage in Nolvadex.



The Estrogen Clomid

The above discrepancies are likely explained by differences in the estrogenic nature of the two compounds. The researchers' clearly support this theory when commenting in their paper, "The difference in response might be attributable to the weak intrinsic estrogenic effect of Clomid, which in this study manifested itself by an increase in transcortin and testosterone/estradiol-binding globulin [sex hormone binding globulin ] levels; this increase was not observed after Tamoxifen treatment". In reviewing other theories later in the paper, such as interference by increased androgen or estrogen levels, they persist in noting that increases in these hormones were similar with both drug treatments, and state that," …a role of the intrinsic estrogenic activity of Clomid which is practically absent in Tamoxifen seems the most probable explanation".

Although these two are related anti-estrogens, they appear to act very differently at different sites of action. Nolvadex seems to be strongly anti-estrogenic at both the hypothalamus and pituitary, which is in contrast to Clomid, which although a strong anti-estrogen at the hypothalamus, seems to exhibit weak estrogenic activity at the pituitary. To find further support for this we can look at an in-vitro animal study published in the American Journal of Physiology in February 1981 (2). This paper looks at the effects of Clomid and Nolvadex on the GnRH stimulated release of lh - leutenizing hormone - from cultured rat pituitary cells. In this paper, it was noted that incubating cells with Clomid had a direct estrogenic effect on cultured pituitary cell sensitivity, exerting a weaker but still significant effect compared to estradiol. Nolvadex on the other hand did not have any significant effect on lh - leutenizing hormone - response. Furthermore it mildly blocked the effects of estrogen when both were incubated in the same culture.



Conclusion

To summarize the above research succinctly, Nolvadex is the more purely anti-estrogenic of the two drugs, at least where the hpta - hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis - (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis) is concerned. This fact enables Nolvadex to offer the male bodybuilder certain advantages over Clomid. This is especially true at times when we are looking to restore a balanced hpta - hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis - , and would not want to desensitize the pituitary to GnRH. This could perhaps slow recovery to some extent, as the pituitary would require higher amounts of hypothalamic GnRH in the presence of Clomid in order to get the same level of lh - leutenizing hormone - stimulation.

Nolvadex also seems preferred from long-term use, for those who find anti-estrogens effective enough at raising testosterone levels to warrant using as anabolics. Here Nolvadex would seem to provide a better and more stable increase in testosterone levels, and likely will offer a similar or greater effect than Clomid for considerably less money. The potential rise in sex hormone binding globulin levels with Clomid, supported by other research (3),is also cause for concern, as this might work to allow for comparably less free active testosterone compared to Nolvadex as well. Ultimately both drugs are effective anti-estrogens for the prevention of gynecomastia and elevation of endogenous testosterone, however the above research provides enough evidence for me to choose Nolvadex every time.

In next month's follow-up article I will be discussing the role anti-estrogens play in post-cycle testosterone recovery. Most specifically, I will be detailing what a proper post-cycle ancillary drug program looks like, and explain why anti-estrogens alone are not effective during this window of time.


References
1. Hormonal effects of an antiestrogen, Tamoxifen, in normal and oligospermic men. Vermeulen, Comhaire. Fertil and Steril 29 (1978) 320-7

2. Disparate effect of Clomiphene and Tamoxifen on pituitary gonadotropin release in vitro. Adashi EY, Hsueh AJ, Bambino TH, Yen SS. Am J Physiol 1981 Feb;240(2):E125-30

3. The effect of Clomiphene citrate on sex hormone binding globulin in normospermic and oligozoospermic men. Adamopoulos, Kapolla et al. Int J Androl 4 (1981) 639-45
 
barbellbeast

barbellbeast

MuscleHead
Oct 4, 2010
343
43
#3
People(or at least the self proclaimed guru's) always seem to think the decision is either clomid or nolvadex. Everyone can see the synergy between say for example Testosterone and Deca, but for some reason few people writing these articles think of any synergistic effect between clomid and nolva.
 
F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T.

MuscleHead
Sep 24, 2011
1,318
115
#4
People(or at least the self proclaimed guru's) always seem to think the decision is either clomid or nolvadex. Everyone can see the synergy between say for example Testosterone and Deca, but for some reason few people writing these articles think of any synergistic effect between clomid and nolva.

You did notice that the second article was written by William Llewellyn? Definitely not what you would call a "self proclaimed guru"

While Nolva and Clomid may have some synergistic properties they have very significant differences as well.So while you may run both,you cannot get around those differences.Also,some prefer one over the other.Many I know never like to take Clomid due to the feminine side effects it has on their emotions.Meaning they all teary eyed to easily.

The 2 compounds may have similar properties but are quite different as are Test and Deca as you mentioned.Similar properties but very different compounds resulting in very different results/sides,etc.

On a note,I have and do run Nolva and Clomid for PCT and do think they work well together,but again,thats "MY" opinion and expereince with them.Everyone reacts differently and will get drastically different results resulting in opinions based on those results.The bottom line is learn to know your body and incorporate what works best for YOU.
 
Q

Qwerty1424

MuscleHead
Mar 2, 2011
429
13
#5
i use them both together never had a problem with recovery
 
F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T.

MuscleHead
Sep 24, 2011
1,318
115
#6
i use them both together never had a problem with recovery
I as well.My PCT always consists of both.I never have too bad a time with Clomid making me all emotional either.Somewhat,but nothing that makes me stop taking it.But many I know say they cant take it for that very reason.Not that it doesn't work for them,just makes them too girly and needing a hug all the time.LOL
 
barbellbeast

barbellbeast

MuscleHead
Oct 4, 2010
343
43
#7
You did notice that the second article was written by William Llewellyn? Definitely not what you would call a "self proclaimed guru"

While Nolva and Clomid may have some synergistic properties they have very significant differences as well.So while you may run both,you cannot get around those differences.Also,some prefer one over the other.Many I know never like to take Clomid due to the feminine side effects it has on their emotions.Meaning they all teary eyed to easily.

The 2 compounds may have similar properties but are quite different as are Test and Deca as you mentioned.Similar properties but very different compounds resulting in very different results/sides,etc.

On a note,I have and do run Nolva and Clomid for PCT and do think they work well together,but again,thats "MY" opinion and expereince with them.Everyone reacts differently and will get drastically different results resulting in opinions based on those results.The bottom line is learn to know your body and incorporate what works best for YOU.
Sounds like you took it personal, I wasn't attacking you...unless you wrote the first article yourself, then I guess we're not completely eye to eye on PCT protocol. I wasn't limiting my guru statement to the 2 articles you've pasted on here either; it's an observation I've made through the years of being on many internet forums. Your last paragraph here, you capitalize like you're making your viewpoint of an argument, but there's not really an argument between us. All my point I was trying to get across is that many of these internet experts write articles trying to convince the novice user that they should discard clomid because nolva is more powerful mg per mg, where I think both should be tried and experimented with because everyone is different. Like you mentioned, everyone else I know won't touch clomid because it turns them into a crying little bitch, but I don't get any side effects from it and I feel that in me clomid is more effective at recovery than nolvadex. If I were to take all these articles and opinions to heart though I'd never have touched it in the first place.
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Feb 27, 2011
17,066
4,635
#8
arguing nolva vs clomid is as big of a waste of time as arguing squats vs deads..




I hear the point about clomid making you a blubbering bitch though. Nolva/clomid is a time tested protocol, but its looking like there is a future with other alternatives. Someanddone is running torem/aromasin and is more than satisfied with the results. There's plenty of other reports saying the same thing too. I'll be using the torem/aromasin for my next pct.
 
F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T.

MuscleHead
Sep 24, 2011
1,318
115
#9
Sounds like you took it personal, I wasn't attacking you...unless you wrote the first article yourself, then I guess we're not completely eye to eye on PCT protocol. I wasn't limiting my guru statement to the 2 articles you've pasted on here either; it's an observation I've made through the years of being on many internet forums. Your last paragraph here, you capitalize like you're making your viewpoint of an argument, but there's not really an argument between us. All my point I was trying to get across is that many of these internet experts write articles trying to convince the novice user that they should discard clomid because nolva is more powerful mg per mg, where I think both should be tried and experimented with because everyone is different. Like you mentioned, everyone else I know won't touch clomid because it turns them into a crying little bitch, but I don't get any side effects from it and I feel that in me clomid is more effective at recovery than nolvadex. If I were to take all these articles and opinions to heart though I'd never have touched it in the first place.

I didnt take it personal at all brother.I agree about both being effectively utilized and as I stated,I am one of the ones who utilize both.That doesnt change the fact that Nolva is a stronger compound than Clomid.The clomid choice will be made by how you react to it though and not which is stronger.

As for which is better for pct,thats a personal choice thru trail and error as you said.Everyone should always ;earn everything they can about all substances they are planning on taking and adjust or eliminate as needed.

Im sorry if I made it as though I was taking it the wrong way.Not my intention at all.I love to hear from everyone on everything and appreciate the imput.
 
barbellbeast

barbellbeast

MuscleHead
Oct 4, 2010
343
43
#10
I hear the point about clomid making you a blubbering bitch though. Nolva/clomid is a time tested protocol, but its looking like there is a future with other alternatives. Someanddone is running torem/aromasin and is more than satisfied with the results. There's plenty of other reports saying the same thing too. I'll be using the torem/aromasin for my next pct.
I tried toremiphene last year from one of the more credible research companies. I wasn't really impressed, but maybe because I did torem alone. I'll probably stack it with clomid next, although aromasin is intriguing
 

SHINE

Friends Remembered
Oct 11, 2010
5,047
600
#11
all the years i've seen reviews posted on PCT and in my own experience recovery was slower and T levels always came back without clomid added.

I respect TheCat but I think even he has changed his mind on this lately to.

there how ever is a new drug coming out shortly to replace clomid ,
 
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