As an anti-estrogen, Arimidex is valuable to the breast cancer patient as many forms of breast cancer feed off of the estrogen hormone. While perhaps an oversimplification, by administering Arimidex the effect starves the cancer. For decades Nolvadex was used for this purpose. Nolvadex has the ability to bind to the estrogen receptors, which in turn prevents estrogen from binding. However, AI’s like Arimidex actively inhibit the production of estrogen and reduce the actual amount of circulating hormone. In short, there is no estrogen available to cause damage to the breast cancer patient. In recent years, Arimidex has become the leading anti-estrogen in the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, especially among post-menopausal women. Once the cancer has subsided, it is not uncommon for Nolvadex to be introduced in order to keep the cancer at bay.
For the anabolic steroid user, the effects of Arimidex are greatly appreciated in its ability to protect against estrogenic related side effects. Many anabolic steroids have the ability to promote estrogenic side effects due to the testosterone hormone’s interaction with the aromatase enzyme. As aromatization occurs, estrogen levels rise and this can lead to gynecomastia and excess water retention. When excess water retention becomes severe, this can also promote high blood pressure. Not all anabolic steroids aromatize, and as such, not all can lead to estrogenic related effects. However, many common steroids do carry the ability to promote estrogenic activity including Dianabol, all forms of Nandrolone and Boldenone to a degree and of course, all forms of testosterone heavily.
By including Arimidex in an anabolic steroid cycle that contains aromatizing steroids, the individual can protect against gynecomastia and water retention. This will also protect against high blood pressure. Some steroids can still cause high blood pressure without water retention, but heavy excess water retention is the number one culprit of high blood pressure among anabolic steroid users. Without question, AI’s like Arimidex are the most effective anti-estrogens for combating estrogenic related side effects. SERM’s like Nolvadex can also be useful and while not as effective should be the first choice when possible. Arimidex has the ability to negatively affect cholesterol as we will see in the side effects section. However, we will also find cholesterol issues can be avoided.
As a testosterone stimulating compound, Arimidex can be appealing for low testosterone treatment plans and for Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) for anabolic steroid users. In the case of low testosterone treatment, it’s often not enough. However, it can still be beneficial in conjunction with exogenous testosterone therapy in protecting against estrogenic side effects. As for PCT use, some will attempt it and it can have a positive effect, but it is generally not recommended. The main purpose of a PCT plan is to stimulate natural testosterone production in order to protect lean muscle tissue, keep body fat under control and promote a better state of health. However, the overall purpose is normalization, which cannot be reached when using Arimidex post cycle due to the tremendous estrogen reduction. Although high levels of estrogen can be problematic, some is necessary to proper bodily function, especially regarding the immune system and cardiovascular health. For the anabolic steroid user, AI’s should be saved for on cycle use with SERM’s being used for PCT.
Arimidex carries with it several possible side effects. Many of the side effects of Arimidex will be response related. Response side effects are common with all medications; some of us can take Aspirin while others can’t. The side effects of Arimidex will also vary depending on anabolic steroid use in a few specific areas. Those who are using Arimidex without anabolic steroids often report weakness and fatigue; in fact, this may be the most common side effect of Arimidex. Most anabolic steroid users will not have this issue with low dose Arimidex use. However, we can make an exception when it is used in hard cutting or competition cycles when calories are very low and training often extremely intense. Other possible side effects of Arimidex use include:
• Hot Flashes
• High Blood Pressure
• Joint Pain
• Depression (rare)
• Nausea and or Vomiting (rare)
Arimidex studies have also shown that the AI may have the ability to decrease bone mineral content, which in turn could make the individual more susceptible to osteoporosis. This shouldn’t be a big issue for anabolic steroid users as many anabolic steroids have the ability to promote bone mineral content. As for the primary six possible side effects of Arimidex listed above, while possible most adults should be able to use the AI without any related issues, but keep in mind such issues are possible. We all respond to varying medications differently, we even respond to varying foods differently, which can make total response on an individual basis impossible to fully predict.
The final issue revolving around the side effects of Arimidex surrounds cholesterol. Arimidex does have the ability to negatively effect cholesterol levels, but alone it doesn’t appear to be significant in most cases. However, when conjoined with anabolic steroid use, specifically an aromatizing steroid like testosterone it appears to be significant. For example, studies have shown that a moderate dose of Testosterone Enanthate for 12 weeks does not appear to have a strong affect on cholesterol. However, when this same dose is coupled with an AI like Arimidex it can suppress HDL cholesterol by as much as 25%. In this case, we’re actually talking about therapeutic level doses as well as performance. True performance doses of testosterone will have a stronger impact on HDL cholesterol, and again around a 20%+ decrease in HDL when conjoined with an AI.
Due to the potential cholesterol issues brought on by Arimidex use by the anabolic steroid user, a healthy and cholesterol friendly lifestyle is extremely important. A healthy lifestyle should first and foremost surround your diet. Diets should be low and very limited in saturated fats and simple sugars. They should also be rich in omega fatty acids. Daily fish oil supplementation is advised. It’s also worthwhile to consider the use of a cholesterol antioxidant supplement. And as a final note, if cardiovascular health is to be protected the individual should always incorporate plenty of cardiovascular training into his routine. Daily cardiovascular activity is recommended.
Due to the possible cholesterol issues, moderate anabolic steroid cycles may be best served with SERM’s in order to protect against estrogenic related side effects. SERM’s will not negatively affect cholesterol; in fact, SERM’s like Nolvadex have been shown to promote healthy cholesterol levels due to their ability to act as estrogen in the liver. However, for many a SERM won’t be enough and AI’s will be necessary. If an AI is necessary, the individual should limit his use and only use as much as is actually needed. Some have suggested that a 10mg per day dosing of Nolvadex along with your Arimidex use may actually aid in cholesterol management.
Formula: C20 H28 O2
Molecular Mass: 300.43512 [g/mol]
Half-Life: 90 Hours
Manufacturer: Hoffman-La Roche
Active Ingredient: isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid)
Inactive Ingredients: beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, hydrogenated soybean oil flakes, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and soybean oil. Gelatin capsules contain glycerin and parabens (methyl and propyl), with the following dye systems: 10 mg iron oxide (red) and titanium dioxide; 20 mg FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Blue No. 1, and titanium dioxide; 40 mg FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, and titanium dioxide
For bodybuilding/athletic purposes, androgenic side effects (those having to do with male sexual characteristics).
Accutane has been proven to successfully combat androgen-induced adverse skin-related side effects, such as excessive acne on the face, back and shoulders. The recommended dosage for athlete and bodybuilder purposes is a much lower dosed, once daily administration of 10-20 mg/day for 6-8 weeks which is both safe and effective.
There are a host of Hoffman-La Roche cited major possible side effects associated with Accutane usage, including major depression, birth defects and suicide (related to a string of patient suicides). However, as a very low dose steroidal side effect combatant, one is far more likely to experience only mild to moderate drying of the skin, with temporarily mild suppression of HDL (good) cholesterol levels accompanied by slightly elevated triglyceride values.