Nolvadex: what you need to know

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) overview

Nolvadex, also known as ”Tamoxifen Citrate” is one of the 3 Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) commonly used as an anti-estrogen and post-cycle therapy drug by anabolic steroid users.

The drug is primarily used in the treatment of breast cancer in women, but its also used for cycles by athletes and bodybuilders who wish to selectively block the effects of estrogen in one part of their body. That body part is the breast tissue area, as this extremely popular SERM was developed to target this area. The orginal aim of Nolvadex was to treat breast cancer, and for medical purposes this is what its prescribed for.

Its gained wide notariety among the bodybuilding community as one of THE ”go-to” SERMS for post cycle therapy.

Max’s Note: The article you are about to read, is based on my own personal experience, it does NOT promote any illegal use of anabolic steroids (Performance Enhancing Drugs).

Nolvadex: What is it exactly?

Tamoxifen is used as a hormone therapy drug. It can be used alone, OR with other medications for the treatment of breast cancer.

Nolvadex is available in tablet form, and almost always in dosages of 10 or 20mgs. per pill. It cannot be bought over the counter, and legally can only be acquired through a prescription.

Nolvadex was first formulated to treat breast cancer, and is very effective towards lowering estrogen-receptor binding in the breast tissue. This severely minimizes or eliminates estrogenic effects within the breasts, which is good because this binding is what enables the cancer to spread.

If you’re a lifter using steroids (that aromatize), you always want to proactively ward off increased estrogen activity so you can avoid gynocemastia and water retention.

Its important to understand that Nolvadex will not directly reduce estrogen overall, but simply will bind to certain estrogen receptors, which in turn minimizes estrogen levels to that one area. Estrogen cannot take is usually course of action, in other words. For fending off estrogen in the breast area Nolvadex excels greatly, but its important to note this same process also occurs in other areas of the body too.

In other body parts where this same process occurs, Nolvadex can be a hindrance and can be hard on your liver in particular. To be more specific, it can actually mimic as a physiologic receptor of estrogen.

On the positive side, this estrogen activity in your liver can actually positively impact cholesterol levels. Given that many steroids adversely affect your cholesterol, this impact Nolvadex has on cholesterol is a nice way to offset that hit a little.

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GCUT Gynecomastia Reduction
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    • Assists in liver detoxification
    • Supports healthy estrogen metabolism
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Max’s Note: For a real, NO-BS info-packed guide on cycling steroids, then grab your digital E-Book copy of ”Straight From The Underground” by John Doe Bodybuilding. This is my #1 recommended underground handbook on EVERYTHING related to steroids. Everything in this book is based on real first-hand experience as opposed to theory.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) vs. Aromatase Inhibitors

SERMS inhibit the release of estrogen in the breast tissue. They work by sitting in the estrogen receptors of breast cells. If a SERM is in an estrogen receptor, estrogen cannot attach itself to that cell, and if/when this happens, these cells don’t receive the estrogen signals that help it grow (and multiply).

Most serms have the capacity of regulating wider estrogenic activity (resulting from steroids), but nolvadex, Toremifene, & clomid are restricted to the breast (gyno)

Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) on the other hand, are better at preventing water retention. SERMS won’t do much for you in this area, but are still highly sought-after for their effectiveness against gyno.

AI’s also stop the production of estrogen in postmenopausal women. They block the enzyme aromatase, which converts the androgen hormone into smaller amounts of estrogen. As a result, less estrogen is available in the body to stimulate the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells.

Tamoxifen is the most commonly used SERM, and this is why its effectiveness is often compared with that of Aromatase Inhibitors.

If gyno is all you’re worries about, Tamoxifen might be all you need. In situations where the Nolvadex isn’t enough, an AI might be the better choice as it can assist with gyno as well, but can also reduce estrogen in other body areas.

The aromatization from steroids is what AI’s, as their name suggests, inhibit. So these AIs work to actively interfere with this aromatization process.

The biggest downside of AIs is their potential negative impact on cholesterol, when they’re used in conjunction with steroids that aromatize. This is quite literally the opposite effect to the benefit SERMS provide in which they actually help cholestrol levels. For this reason, SERMS are the more common choice for those wanting to take something on cycle, since many steroids hurt cholesterol levels.

I pointed all this out here, simply because its helpful to know what SERMS and AIs are designed to do. Having a wholistic perspective of their intended use is critical for someone who’s going to use steroids.

Nolvadex for Gynecomastia:

Gynecomastia is the condition in which breast tissue in men enlarges or overdevelops. It is usually caused by the imbalance of the estrogen and testosterone hormones.

Estogen is what causes cancer to spread throughout the breast tissue, so when Nolvadex binds onto estrogen receptors in this area, its stops this process.

For the same reason that Nolvadex is effective at blocking estrogen-binding in the breast (to stop cancer spreading), its also effective for the purpose of preventing gynocemastia. Gynocemastia can affect one or both of your breasts. While many medications are used to treat this condition, Tamoxifen in particular, an estrogen antagonist, has proved to be most effective for early-stage gyno.
Alternatively, Tamoxifen can be taken alongside hormonal anti-prostate cancer treatments every day, for its prescribed duration.

It should be stated that many use Nolvadex during their cycles as well, not just afterwards. This has been a common practce for years. Some men respond better to this approach than others do however.

Depending on how genetically predisposed you are to Gyno, Nolvadex may not be enough to stop the onset of it. In this case, an AI is is often the best altrernative. Its also important to know that Nolvadex only increases testosterone function when used during a Post cycle therapy context, not while on cycle as most steroids suppress it beyond what Nolvadex can help with.

Nolvadex for post cycle therapy (PCT):

Nolvadex is among the most popular choices for post-cycle therapy. It’s used in moderate and heavy cycles that include various compounds for more extended periods. Its in Post Cycle Therapy, that Novadex shines in its ability to increase the speed that testosterone is produced.

Nolvadex gained notoriety for its ability to do this, and also for its ability to halt the production of estrogen, which is what allows the pituitary gland to release larger quanitities of lutenizing hormone. (2)

LH (Lutenizing Hormone) is the crucial hormone for testosterone production. Nolvadex’s ability to affect this hormone’s function, is what makes it so effective at helping men avoid low T symptoms, while also keeping their cycle gains. (3)

A recommended dosage (for PCT) is between 10mg.-40 mg. daily for about 4 weeks. Most of the time, the 40 mg. daily dose should be taken for the first 2 weeks and a 20 mg. daily dose for the following 3 to 4 weeks. Longer and/or more powerful steroid cycles however, sometimes require a longer post cycle length of Nolvadex. Its not unheard of for users to extend this to up to 8 weeks, and even combing it it with Arotamase Inhibitors.

Its been observed that 20 mg. is the ceiling at which Nolvadex will positively increase testoserone levels during post cycle therapy, so there isn’t a benefit to going over this amount (for testosterone purposes).

HCG and AI’s are often stacked with Nolvadex during PCT, therefore, to cover a wider-reaching overall impact.

Nolvadex dosage

A 20mg. to 40mg. dose is what’s recommended for those with breast cancer. If the dose is taken daily and is greater than 20mg., then it should be divided into a morning and evening dose.

Nolvadex Dosage During Anabolic Steroid Use

The only reason there is to take Nolvadex ON cycle, rather than post-cycle, is to put an early stop-block on breast tissue growth.

Since Nolvadex is very powerful, 8 out 10 men find that a 15-20 mg. dose is enough to stop growth from starting. For the small percentage that don’t, its almost always a result of stronger, more powerful steroids being used (those with higher aromatization).

Nolvadex cannot be grouped into three-tier users of beginner, intermediate and advanced, like other steroids can. This is because Nolvadex is an ”ancillary” drug that’s not usually used for performance enhancement, but instead to combat various estrogen-related side effects resulting from anabolic steroids.

This means the doses are used to increase the endogenous secretion of Testosterone in men, allowing it to be used as an ancillary medication during PCT.

The key point here to take away is: since most anabolic steroid users are only taking Nolvadex to ward off Gyno or increased estrogen, a larger dose just isn’t necessary.

Female Nolvadex dosage

Women don’t use Tamoxifen as an anabolic steroid because they don’t suffer from gynecomastia like men. Females who use Nolvadex are those with breast cancer. As mentioned earlier, these patients take a doses of 20-40 mg. daily.

If the dose is more than 20 mg., it should be divided and taken into two doses; one in the morning and the other in the evening.

Women who take Nolvadex for any reason beyond this, would only be taking it to as an alternative to steroids, many of which bring masculinization effects. In other words, women can and sometimes do use Nolvadex as a performance-enhancer.

Nolvadex can give women a tighter and leaner physique, at a low dose of only 10 mg. a day, while at the same time helping them avoid the risks that come with certain steroids.

Nolvadex dosage for PCT & Increased Endogenous Testosterone Secretion

Tamoxifen is standard in PCT because it stimulates the pituitary gland to release a lot of Luteinizing Hormone as well as follicle-stimulating hormone, which are essential for the production of endogenous testosterone. The most common doses administered are 10 to 30 mg., taken daily, for 4-8 weeks.

As previously mentioned, sometimes its combined with AI’s and hCH (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
For post cycle therapy specifically, its often recommended that men take 40 mg. a day during the first half of their PCT, and lower this to 20 mg. a day for the second half.

As with all PCT cycles, the number of days you wait after your last steroid dose, will depend on how long or short-acting the steroid’s half-life was. The ”ester” of the steroid, in other words. Long ester steroids usually give you a 14-20 day window between your last steroid dose, and your first Nolvadex dose, and short ester steroids, often only give you a window of 2-4 days.

Nolvadex side effects:

A male and female body sometimess react differently to the same compound, and this is the case with Nolvadex. The duration of use also makes a difference in what you experience from it, for example longer term usage (for cancer treatment), will produce more negative effects that shorter term use (for on-cycle and/or post cycle).

The side effects associated with longer use of Nolvadex, can largeley be ignored by bodybuilders using it due to steroid-use.

Severe reactions to Nolvadex are few, less serious, and often aren’t enough to force someone to discontinue its use. Below are some of the side effects of Tamoxifen:


Acne is rare with the use of Nolvadex but usually develops from hormonal changes in the body.

Acne is the one effect most widley attributed to Nolvadex. While not all men have a genetic pre-disposition to acne, those that do must be aware of this. Acne results from the increased testosterone production that Nolvadex stimulates. I should state here that even men that do report this side effect, often state its effect is mild.

Nausea or cramping of the abdomen

Nausea is generally a queasy stomach, with or without the feeling of vomiting. The factors that cause nausea are a problem for the abdomen and your pelvic organs. Upon using Tamoxifen, some people have experienced mild nausea but their symptoms improved and became manageable over time.

Abdominal cramping is associated with the prolonged use of Nolvadex, for up to six months. Usually, individuals with such symptoms are diagnosed with acute pancreatitis.

Will tamoxifen get rid of gyno?

The early signs of gyno appearing include a lump under your nipple, and/or itching/sensitive nipples. If start to notice these, immediately halt your cycle, and begin taking 2.5 mg. a day of Letrozole (or 1mg. a day of Arimidex). This should be the standard proceduce for any cycle if you start noticing these.

Many on steroid cycles opt for taking Nolvadex during the cycle, to ensure these symptoms never show up. Nolvadex is usually strong enough to prevent it, and only isn’t in the case that you took extremely strong steroids over a long cycle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure however, so its always better to ”get in front” of it so to speak, this is one way of doing that.

Nolvadex won’t do much for those who already have developed cases of gynocemastia. It will be effective either during the cycle, or immediatley following it (when your T levels are still low and estrogen levels are elevated). Those with developed gyno usually will only have the option of invasive surgery if they wish to get rid of it.

Does nolvadex cause weight gain?

With so much research done on this Tamoxifen, it’s clear that it is connected to losing weight during its use. However, with cancer treatment, gaining weight is normal for many reasons, the most common one being a change in hormone levels.

Does Tamoxifen Increase Testosterone?

Nolvadex stimulates natural testoserone production by way of igniting the release of luetinizing hormone from the pituitary gland. This is the hormone thats responisble for producing Test in your body. So, Nolvadex in a way, indirectly influences an increase in testosterone. In this way, Nolvadex is just like Clomid.

Bear in mind that most steroids will suppress natural testosterone to a degree that makes this feature of Nolvadex not one of the reasons people seek it out. This is not why you’d want to invest in Nolvadex as your PCT option, in other words, its just a nice perk.


Nolvadex is a SERM, which means its selectively blocks estrogen, rather than blocking the overall level that’s circulating through your body. Nolvadex was designed to treat breast cancer, so the breast tissue area is where Nolvadex carries this out. It does this by blocking the receptor sites where estrogen would normally bind onto to. This blockage effect prevents the breasts from beign able to grow/enlarge, which is what estrogen would otherwise contribute to.

Does Nolvadex Effect Sleep?

One notible side effect of Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) is that sleep interruption, and/or night sweats. This effect was studied in women taking it for the treatment of breast cancer. These effects were shown to occur with longer use of Tamoxifen, and therefore will not be as commonly seen for men who’re taking it for anabolic steroid use.

Does nolvadex cause water retention?

Water retention (Edema) has been shown to occur in those taking Nolvadex for medical purposes, but not in men taking it for the purpose of steroid use.

What will tamixofen do for bodybuilders?

There are 2 widely regarded reasons why bodybuilders seek out Nolvadex. The first reason is its use during a steroid cycle in which, as mentioned, it helps to greatly reduce any liklihood that signs of gyno will rear its ugly head. The second reason is its ability to faster restore your body’s natural ability to produce testosterone follwing a cycle. So in its use as their ”Post Cycle Therapy” treatment in other words.

does nolvadex cause brain fog?

Concentration and memory have been shown to get slighly impaired from the use of Nolvadex over longer durations. This effect was only observed in women who were taking it to treat breast cancer and again with longer use. Men taking it to treat estrogenic effects of steroid use aren’t likley to experience this, unless they’re intake of it extends beyond the suggested timeframes outline above.

does tamoxifen help prevent atrophy of testicles while on testosterone?

Shrinkage of testicles while on testerone, is best dealt with by taking hcg. If this is a concern for you, I suggest that route, but Nolvadex will still help towards this as it helps restore natural testosterone production.

how much does nolvadex cost?

In the U.S. a prescription will in the ballpark of $60-$80. Nolvadex usually comes in 10 mg. pills, with generally 60 per fill. At one tablet per day makes this is a perfect quantity for a post cycle therapy.

While most bodybuilders will get Nolvadex from the black market, its also possible to aquire it for research purposes. Some online pharmacies based internationally (to the U.S) also offer it.

Similar to Clomid, Nolvadex is generally considered fairly easy to get, and isn’t expensive compared to steroids. This is good news considering how important it can be, whether you’re using it as a PCT, or during a cycle to minimize estrogen.


In summary, Nolvadex helps breast cancer patients and men with gynecomastia. Although there are few side effects associated with the compound, its acclaimed benefits and reputation make it worth considering. Nolvadex is common among athletes and bodybuilders, who use it for mitigating the estrogenic effects of steroids.

It truly excels in its ability to suppress estrogen levels, which in turn assits your testosterone levels in getting back to normal. It’s side effects, when compared to Clomid, are noticbly lower, so its not hard to see why its a highly sought-after option for steroid users.

The doses should be followed strictly to get as much benefit as possible from it.

Learn More
GCUT Gynecomastia Reduction
Read Reviews
0 Ratings
    • Assists in liver detoxification
    • Supports healthy estrogen metabolism
    • Aids healthy hormone balance & fat burning


If you enjoyed this article and you’d like a more real, NO-BS info-packed guide on cycling steroids, then grab your digital E-Book copy of ”Straight From The Underground” by John Doe Bodybuilding. This is my #1 recommended underground handbook on EVERYTHING related to steroids. Everything in this book is based on first-hand experience instead of theory.

-Mad Max

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