Arimidex is a treatment for breast cancer that some bodybuilders take to reduce the side effects of anabolic steroids. The drug lowers estrogen levels in the body.
Bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids to try to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance can experience a range of symptoms. In some cases, males might start to grow breasts due to an increase in estrogen levels.
Arimidex lowers estrogen levels and can prevent breast growth in males. However, the drug also has side effects of its own.
In this article, we discuss what Arimidex does, why bodybuilders might use it, and the possible side effects.
Arimidex stops aromatase from working in the body. Aromatase is an enzyme that makes estrogen from steroid hormones, including testosterone. By doing this, it lowers the amount of estrogen in the body.
People who use anabolic steroids for bodybuilding can experience a range of side effects.
These drugs disrupt hormone production in the body and may increase estrogen. Higher levels of estrogen can cause males to develop gynecomastia, which is the enlargement of the breast glands.
By reducing estrogen levels, Arimidex could prevent gynecomastia in males taking anabolic steroids.
Arimidex can cause several side effects by disrupting hormone production in the body. For example, lower estrogen levels can lead to the thinning and weakening of bones.
Some other common side effects include:
- joint pain
- nausea and vomiting
- hot flashes
It is possible to have an
Arimidex comes as a small tablet for oral use only. The tablets are usually 1 milligram in size.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have only approved Arimidex for use in cancer treatment. There are no formal guidelines for its use in bodybuilding.
The FDA guidelines for breast cancer suggest a typical dosage of one tablet per day, but a doctor may prescribe a different dosage, depending on the case.
Taking Arimidex for bodybuilding is not recommended. Many of the side effects of anabolic steroids usually go away after a person stops using them. Estrogen levels should return to normal, and gynecomastia should reduce.
The primary use of Arimidex is to treat breast cancer. It may be part of treatment for postmenopausal women with:
- Early hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer. Arimidex can lower the risk of cancer returning or spreading following surgery.
- Advanced or metastatic HR+ or HR-unknown breast cancer. It is not usually possible to treat these cancers using surgery, so doctors may prescribe Arimidex as a first-line treatment.
- Advanced or metastatic breast cancer that returns following initial treatment with tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Arimidex is a second-line treatment in these cases.
Sometimes, treatments for other types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, might include Arimidex. However, the FDA only recommend its use for breast cancer.
Several other drugs — typically, those for the treatment of breast cancer — lower estrogen levels in the body.
For example, other aromatase inhibitors, such as exemestane (Aromasin), and a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) that act on estrogen receptors. Doctors may use SERMs to treat breast cancer, female infertility, and dyspareunia.
Although these drugs may lower estrogen levels, the FDA do not recommend that people take them for bodybuilding purposes.
Several natural products may also play a role in lowering estrogen levels, although there is limited scientific evidence to confirm their effectiveness. These include:
- wild nettle root
- grape seed extract
Arimidex is primarily for breast cancer treatment, and most of the research relates to postmenopausal women.
Estrogen plays a more significant role in the bodily function of females than males. Lowering estrogen levels can, therefore, have a more serious effect on females.
For this reason, female bodybuilders should avoid taking Arimidex or any other drug that lowers estrogen levels.
It is best to consult a doctor before taking any drug that disrupts normal hormone production.
Some people may be taking other medications or have medical conditions that affect hormone levels. Taking Arimidex could cause more serious issues in these cases.
It is essential to stop taking the drug and see a doctor right away if there are signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling or rashes.
Some bodybuilders use Arimidex to control gynecomastia, which is a side effect of taking anabolic steroids. It causes males to grow breasts.
Arimidex can have several side effects and is usually a treatment for breast cancer. It is not advisable for people to take Arimidex for bodybuilding.
It is best to speak to a doctor before taking any drugs that may affect hormone levels.