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Arimidex: How Bodybuilders Prevent Estrogen Side-Effects with Anastrozole

Dear Friend and Fellow Athlete,

Today in Elite Fitness News we will be profiling Arimidex (anastrozole). A very powerful drug that has been used for years to counter estrogen side-effects.

The action of this drug has been researched and documented by many authorities in the world of pharmaceutical enhancement. 

Anastrozole is an oral aromatase inhibitor manufactured by the Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and approved for use in the United States in 1995s. It is a prescription drug and this means it is a licensed medicine and you need a written prescription from a medical practitioner in order to obtain one.

It is primarily prescribed for adjutant therapy of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer. Adjutant therapy is the treatment given in addition to the patient’s primary treatment (surgery with or without radiation) to prevent cancer cells from multiplying.

Oftentimes, Anastrozole is compared to Nolvadex (tamoxifen nitrate) as these two drugs are purposely for the reduction of estrogenic activity in the body to halt or delay the progression of cancer. However, Anastrozole is reportedly a more effective drug in combating estrogen-related concerns. This is because as an aromatase inhibitor it blocks the aromatase enzyme, thereby preventing the production of estrogen. Nolvadex, on the other hand, only hinders the action and not the production of this hormone. This is why Anastrozole is considered as the second-line defense against breast cancer. When advanced breast cancer has progressed following treatment of Nolvadex, Anastrozole is usually prescribed. In cases of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women, however, Anastrozole is approved for initial use rather than as a second-line defense.

For those male bodybuilders who use steroids, Anastrozole can be effective drug in combating excess estrogen. It is usually taken with Nolvadex to ensure estrogen-related side effects are avoided. If used with such drugs as Propecia (finasteride), it results to more ideal outcome. With Anastrozole preventing estrogen production and with finasteride preventing testosterone conversion to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), you have an efficient duo in eliminating these hormones’ (estrogen and DHT) undesirable effects, as far as bodybuilding is concerned. Propecia is a specific inhibitor of the 5a-reductase, the enzyme responsible in testosterone conversion to DHT. Propecia reduces the serum concentration of DHT and thereby reduces unwanted androgenic effects like male pattern baldness.

If you’re using highly aromatizable steroids, such as testosterone, you can achieve impressive muscle gains with decreased possibility of water retention and gynecomastia if you stack it with Anastrozole and Propecia. The result is a more ripped and defined physique.

It is wrong to think, however, that estrogen and its effects (particularly water and fat retention) are absolutely detrimental to bodybuilding. Remember that this hormone is also responsible for muscle strength and gains. Consequently, it minimizes the occurrence of injury as it improves the ability of muscle fibers to withstand contractile tension or stress. Notice that one of the side effects of Anastrozole use (as mentioned below) is the likely occurrence of fractures, a major drawback of this drug. This is because when Anastrozole effectively blocks the formation of estrogen, it effectively blocks the benefits of this hormone as well. This is why many still decide for estrogen receptor antagonists like Nolvadex and Clomid because these drugs allow some estrogen activity in the body.

Further, aromatase inhibitors like Anastrozole have the tendency to completely suppressed estrogen activity, including its positive effect on cholesterol levels in the body. Anastrozole is known to decrease HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or what is commonly known as the ‘good’ cholesterol.


Daily dosage for males is from 0.5mg to 3mg. For women, a maximum dosage of 1mg per day is enough to combat estrogenic side effects. Because Anastrozole has a short active life, dosages are usually taken two to six times a day at equal intervals. During PCT, athletes normally start with higher dosage then implement a progressive decrease in dosage. The PCT protocol typically runs for seven to 14 days.

In clinical studies, it has been observed that a daily dose of 1 mg of this drug results to more than 80% of estrogen suppression.


One of the principal drawbacks of this drug is its high cost. A 28-tablet box could cost around $250-280. Recreational bodybuilders would not opt for this drug despite its effectiveness for the simple fact that it is too costly. To their view, an ancillary drug which is overpriced than their staple bodybuilding drugs (steroids) is simply absurd. This market segment tends to look for cheaper alternatives or for generic anastrozole. A generic tab would cost around $2-2.50. The problem with unpatented drugs, however, is that the consumer is not assured of its quality (purity and hygienic concerns). To get around this problem, you can ask around or do some research before opting for such products.

For those who are into competitive bodybuilding, however, price is of no concern. They generally go for Anastrozole because it results to more qualitative gains.

In early breast cancer clinical trial, Anastrozole side effects include the following: hot flashes, joint symptoms, weakness, mood changes, pain, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, depression, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, swelling of arms/legs, and headache. Fractures (including fractures of the spine, hip, and wrist) occurred more frequently with this drug than with tamoxifen (10% vs 7%).

Anastrozole is strongly advised against women who are pregnant or likely to get pregnant since this drug might cause fetal harm.

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Yours in sport,

George Spellwin

George Spellwin