Aromasin (Exemestane) is a breast cancer treatment medication designed for treating breast cancer in women who are post-menopausal and who still have the disease after using a SERM drug.
It is a powerful aromatase inhibitor which is what makes it also valued so highly by people who use anabolic steroids.
Find out everything you need to know about Aromasin for post cycle therapy (PCT) in my in depth guide below. My Aromasin PCT guide has been broken down into the following sections:
Table of Contents
What is Aromasin (Exemestane)?
Exemestane, which is the active compound and chemical name of Aromasin, works by blocking the effects of estrogen in the breast tissue so the growth of cancer can be limited or stopped.
This breast tissue targeted estrogen blocking action of this aromatase inhibitor is useful for bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids with aromatizing effects which cause estrogenic side effects – specifically gynecomastia (gyno), or male breast tissue enlargement.
When we let gyno take hold while using steroids, the effects are not only ugly and embarrassing to look at but they can be impossible to get rid of without surgery. So making use of an aromatase inhibitor like Aromasin is one of the most important things a male steroid user must do.
Editor’s Note: For real, NO-BS information on cycling steroids (full suggested dosages, recommended anti-estrogens, and post-cycle therapy) be sure to check out Straight From the Underground (my recommended underground steroid handbook). Everything in this book is based on first hand experience, not theory.
Aromasin For Gynecomastia and Estrogen Control
Aromatase inhibitors including Aromasin have become a vital tool for steroid users in the battle to combat estrogen related side effects during a steroid cycle.
One of most feared estrogenic side effects from steroids which aromatize is gynecomastia – male breast tissue enlargement. If not adequately controlled then this condition can become irreversible through any means besides invasive surgery.
Additional estrogen related side effects we need to control with an aromatase inhibitor include water retention and the high blood pressure that can come with allowing water retention to reach a high level.
AIs like Aromasin work more universally than another type of drug that’s popular with steroid users; SERMs which are selective in the tissue they target. Aromasin on the other hand can lower overall serum estrogen levels by blocking the process of aromatization. When the steroids you’re using convert testosterone to estrogen, this is an aromatizing process and one which most steroids will cause.
Aromasin is a powerful and effective way to lower your estrogen levels while on a steroid cycle so you can reduce or even completely prevent estrogenic side effects like gyno, and this drug is known to be very effective at lowering estrogen.
Studies show that Aromasin can lower estrogen levels and increase testosterone concentrations in males. It was found that the drug works fast to start suppressing estrogen, with concentration of the drug being at its highest level just one hour after a 25mg dosage, and the maximum level of estrogen suppression was seen at the 12 hour mark.
Aromasin tablets in their original form made by Pfizer are a round pill shape at a dosage of 25mg per tablet. Aromasin is a very potent aromatase inhibitor and new users, as well as experienced ones, will find that ongoing adjustments are not only ideal but recommended when it comes to both your dosage and frequency.
Rather than just copying what someone else is taking so you can get the best outcome of mitigating estrogenic side effects without taking more Aromasin than you need and striking a balance between effective estrogen control and avoiding detrimental side effects.
Aromasin Dosage During Anabolic Steroid Use
Low doses of Aromasin are effective at reducing estrogen levels while on a steroid cycle. This isn’t a drug that needs to be taken everyday while you’re on a cycle, and most of the time a two to three days per week is administration does the job.
Most people will find that 12.5mg every two days works very well, but your dose and frequency will heavily depend on the intensity of the steroids you’re using and your individual sensitivity to estrogen and Aromasin itself.
In rare circumstances some guys will find that a 25mg dose every two days or even every day is required to keep estrogen at bay, but due to possible effects on cholesterol this high level of Aromasin intake should only be done for a short period of time as needed.
Female Aromasin Dosage
Women who use steroids don’t have the same concerns as men when it comes to estrogen levels. Additionally, Aromasin is a very powerful inhibitor of estrogen so young women will not want to reduce estrogen levels to the extent that this drug is able to.
Some females who use steroids and are concerned about water retention might choose to use Aromasin at a low dose of just half a tablet twice per week, adjusting as necessary and many women will find even this amount is at the high end. This equals 12.5mg per dose with a 25mg tablet.
Aromasin Dosage for Increased Endogenous Testosterone Secretion and PCT
It’s known that Aromasin is able to stimulate the release of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone which are both required for testosterone production. But the very dramatic and effective way that Aromasin is able to suppress estrogen can in fact be its downfall for PCT use, where you do need some low level of estrogen as a male in order for testosterone to start normalizing again. Therefore, SERMs like Nolvadex and Clomid are mostly recommended for PCT instead.
Some people will combine both that SERM and the AI Aromasin for PCT, and while studies have shown a SERM-AI combination can be counterproductive using other aromatase inhibitor products, this does not seem to be the case with Aromasin. A maximum dosage of 25mg daily for Aromasin during PCT for 2 weeks can be combined with Nolvadex at up to 40mg daily for 4 weeks as an effective PCT cycle – however many men will find that the SERM alone is enough to adequately recover testosterone function and retain your gains.
Aromasin vs Nolvadex for PCT
The two main goals of PCT are to help your testosterone recovery and to retain the gains you’ve made on your steroid cycle. Both Aromasin and Nolvadex are both known to work very well to reduce your estrogen levels and associated side effects while you’re using steroids – but what about after your steroid cycle during post cycle therapy?
The SERM Nolvadex is possibly the most commonly used drug for post cycle therapy to stimulate testosterone production and help get your normal hormonal function back on track following the extreme testosterone suppression that steroids cause. In addition to helping lower your circulating estrogen levels while you’re on a steroid cycle, Aromasin has the other beneficial effect of stimulating natural testosterone production and this can make it appealing for PCT purposes.
One of the stand out factors of this AI compared to some of the older (though still popular) products like Arimidex is that it can also increase Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) which is something that other AIs are not known to be able to do. This increases your overall anabolic state which is going to be critical for maintaining your gains, which can easily fall away after your steroid cycle if you descend into a more catabolic state where muscle tissue is lost.
So while this looks to make Aromasin a very appealing PCT choice, it’s not quite that simple and in fact the very potent estrogen lowering effect of Aromasin can prove to be its downfall for PCT use – while we certainly don’t want higher than normal estrogen levels (men should always have a very small amount), suppressing it completely or to extremely low levels like Aromasin does can result in a great difficulty in testosterone production going back to normal levels because that process does require some amount of estrogen and it’s very possible to Aromasin is just too powerful in the estrogen suppression process to be of great use during PCT.
This is why a SERM like Nolvadex is most often used and recommended for PCT over the AI Aromasin. For most anabolic steroid users besides the most hardcore and advanced, Nolvadex is all you will often need and an AI may not be necessary at all despite the fact that more and more steroid users are claiming that AIs are essential especially for controlling water retention.
This side effect can and should be addressed by the diet as well and with some effort most steroid users can find that the use of Aromasin during PCT is not necessary at all or only required at very low doses. Aromatase inhibitors are best used where they provide the most benefit, and that’s during a steroid cycle to protect against both estrogenic and progestin side effects.
Aromasin Side Effects
Overall, Aromasin is considered a well tolerated drug by most men who use it. The side effects will clearly have a different profile between men and women due to the differing roles estrogen plays in each gender. Men require only low levels of estrogen while for women, it is the main sex hormone.
Most of the side effects known about Aromasin relate to its use as a cancer drug. Women taking Aromasin for breast cancer treatment will usually take this drug for two or three years, or even longer. This is considerably longer than the short periods of time that bodybuilders make use of Aromasin either during a steroid cycle or sometimes during post cycle therapy; in each case you’re likely to be using Aromasin for several weeks at the most. It is to be expected that using the drug for several years consecutively is likely to pose considerably greater risk of side effects than the short time use of Aromasin for bodybuilding purposes.
The medical use of Aromasin can potentially cause these common side effects:
Joint, Bone or Muscle Pain
Estrogen is important for bone mineral content and bone health but the short term use of this drug by steroid users is unlikely to cause a noticeable impact in this area. If you allow your estrogen levels to drop too far, some joint and bone pain might be experienced and this usually disappears once your use of Aromasin stops.
Bone Mineral Content
One of the side effects bodybuilders and athletes can be most concerned about is the potential for Aromasin to lower bone mineral content which can potentially lead to a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. But it should also be remembered that many steroids actually improve bone mineral content so this Aromasin downside can be offset somewhat and is, like so many side effects, thought to be a very individual response to the drug where it could be a concern for some users but not at all for others.
Another effect of reducing estrogen below a certain point is the onset of fatigue, sometimes to a chronic level. Modifying your dosage of Aromasin can get this unwanted side effect under control.
Another side effect area to consider with Aromasin is cholesterol. There is still conflicting evidence out there concerning the effect that this drug has on cholesterol, with some studies showing no effect and others showing a negative effect.
Mostly of concern for steroid users is that steroids themselves often have a negative impact on cholesterol so even if Aromasin only has a mild impact on your cholesterol as an individual, this could be alleviated much more substantially while you’re using a cholesterol-impacting anabolic steroid. So if you know you’re prone to cholesterol issues, keeping close track of it is already going to be a priority while you’re using steroids and should be done even more so if you’re making use of Aromasin or any other aromatase inhibitor.
One aspect that can come as a surprise to new users of Aromasin is that it is capable of exhibiting mild androgenic side effects. This is a steroidal aromatase inhibitor, unlike other AIs used by anabolic steroid users which are usually non-steroidal. It will take higher doses of Aromasin for any androgenic effects to become noticeable though and they would almost certainly be weak in nature such as a mild case of acne which could be barely noticeable for many people. Those with a higher sensitivity to androgenic side effects such as acne and hair loss should be aware of this potential with Aromasin though.
Other minor side effects which are listed for Aromasin by women using it as a medication include:
- Upset stomach
- Hot Flashes
Again these effects are relatively unlikely in male steroid users using this drug for estrogen control unless very high doses are taken or Aromasin is used for longer periods of time than is recommended or necessary for our needs of estrogen control.
Are Arimidex and Aromasin the same thing?
Both of these drugs are aromatase inhibitors and both are designed to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. They are two different drugs however with Arimidex being a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor while Aromasin is a steroidal AI so there are clear differences between the two.
It is known that steroidal AIs like Aromasin can bring about hormonal effects besides a lowering of estrogen that we don’t get with Arimidex. Further effects of the differences between these two types of AIs are still under investigation as far as their impact on medical users of the drug.
Can Aromasin cause liver damage?
Aromasin is metabolized by the liver and while metabolites are known to be formed during this process, it is still not fully understood how potentially toxic they may be, if at all. There have been rare cases of serious hepatotoxicity from the use of Aromasin in a very small number of women using it long term for cancer treatment but the study states this is a small risk that is outweighed by the benefit of the drug. It is unknown whether liver toxicity is a risk to steroid users making use of Aromasin, but the potential liver toxicity of some anabolic steroids should be of a much greater concern.
Does Exemestane cause fatigue?
Fatigue, tiredness or weakness can be reported by women using Aromasin for medical purposes but this is not thought to be a major issue for men using this drug during steroid use unless you’re in the process of a serious cutting phase where your diet is restricted, and it’s possible Aromasin might amplify any fatigue during this time. Taking too high of a dosage or Aromasin can also bring about chronic fatigue and if this does happen, lowering your dose should fix the problem quickly.
Does Aromasin affect cholesterol?
In a 12 month study focused on women using this drug for breast cancer it was found that Aromasin has a neutral effect on cholesterol, so it did not raise or lower the levels overall. This concerned both total cholesterol, as well as HDL levels (that’s the good cholesterol type). Aromasin also didn’t affect the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). There was actually a benefit found in this study where Aromasin lowered the levels of triglycerides so less fat lipids are stored in the blood.
Despite this study, some other studies have found that Aromasin does in fact lower HDL levels in some women. This tells us that the effects may be highly individual between people, and these results may not necessarily have any bearing on men who use Aromasin over short periods of time while using anabolic steroids.
However, due to the fact that many steroids have a negative impact on cholesterol it’s possible that a powerful aromatase inhibitor like Aromasin can amplify this negative effect on your cholesterol levels, making it critical that you monitor cholesterol and take measures to maintain healthy cholesterol during this time by consuming a cholesterol friendly diet.
Does Exemestane cause bone loss?
Aromatase inhibitors including Aromasin are known to reduce bone mineral density so can lead to a higher risk of bone fractures and more serious diseases like osteoporosis. Exemestane has shown in studies to possibly result in less bone loss than other aromatase inhibitors because of its slightly different androgenic structure.
However these studies are on women who are at greater risk of bone loss from lowered estrogen levels that Aromasin causes, There are no studies on men who use this drug to combat steroid side effects as to whether it can pose the same risk for bone loss or osteoporosis.
How much does Aromasin cost?
This will depend greatly on where you live and how you plan to acquire this drug. This is a prescription medication but you’re guaranteed to never get a prescription for it because it’s almost always only prescribed purely for breast cancer treatment. If you do manage a prescription, Aromasin costs over $1000 for a pack of 30x25mg tablets in the USA. In comparison, other countries which have subsidized medicines such as Australia allow people with a prescription to buy Aromasin for as low as $10 per box.
In reality most steroid users will not get Aromasin on prescription so will turn to the black market or research chemical labs where you can get Aromasin in liquid form only. Costs will vary from either source but in general this is not considered to be a low cost aromatase inhibitor and if planning to use it, you will need to factor the cost into your anabolic steroid budget.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
The main use you’ll be having for Aromasin is to use it on a steroid cycle to stop estrogen related side effects with the most important one being gyno.
Aromasin is an aromatase inhibitor so it lowers your entire estrogen levels, and gyno is caused by the excess estrogen when you’re using aromatizing steroids like testosterone and derivatives of testosterone like Dianabol. Because Aromasin is so effective at lowering estrogen, possibly as low as 85%, it should work well to prevent or at least greatly minimize the risk of gyno.