Letrozole is an anti-estrogen of the Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) family and is one of the most potent and powerfully effective of all AI’s.
Letrozole was first developed in an effort to combat breast cancer in post-menopausal women. In fact, it would prove to be virtually identical to the already popular AI in Arimidex (Anastrozole). While intended for breast cancer treatment, like many AI’s, it has found a welcoming home among anabolic steroid users. Letrozole is one of the most commonly used anti-estrogens among steroid users during steroid use to combat possible estrogenic related side effects. It is so effective as an anti-estrogen in this regard many anabolic steroids have effectively reversed gynecomastia symptoms with Letrozole.
Letrozole is an AI, which holds the purpose of blocking the aromatase enzyme, which is in turn responsible for the production of estrogen. By inhibiting estrogen production, this lowers total serum estrogen levels in the body. This will be useful to the breast cancer patient on the basis of such cancer often feeding off the estrogen hormone. It will be beneficial to the anabolic steroid user as excess estrogen often leads to some of the most commonly associated side effects of anabolic steroid use.
By including Letrozole in a cycle that contains aromatizing anabolic steroids, this can prevent the estrogenic related side effects. This will protect the individual from gynecomastia and water retention. Further, while many steroids can promote high blood pressure despite aromatization, an AI will improve the individual’s odds when water retention is the culprit. Heavy excess water retention is normally the number one cause of high blood pressure among steroid users.
With its ability to promote natural testosterone production, Letrozole is often an appealing choice for Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plans. This can also make it appealing for low testosterone treatment, but it’s often not enough. However, for PCT purposes, while it can be effective it’s generally not recommended. The primary purpose of PCT is stimulating natural testosterone production, which Letrozole can do very well. However, part of the purpose of PCT is also normalization, which will be difficult with severely suppressed estrogen levels. Estrogen is an important hormone as it promotes a stronger immune system and healthier cholesterol levels. For the anabolic steroid user, his best bet for PCT is sticking with SERM’s for his natural testosterone production needs.
Side Effects of Letrozole:
The side effects of Letrozole will cover a wide breadth and will be very similar to Arimidex. Both weakness and fatigue are two of the most common side effects of Letrozole use. However, for the anabolic steroid user, this will normally not be an issue. The use of anabolic steroids should prevent such states so as long as estrogen suppression isn’t taken too far. The exception would be its use during a hard bodybuilding contest prep cycle. During a harsh bodybuilding diet, the individual will normally be very weak and fatigue at the end of his diet due to tremendously intense training and very low caloric intake. Beyond possible energy issues, the most common side effects of Letrozole use include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Hot Flashes
- Joint Pain
Letrozole has also been shown to have the ability to notably decrease bone mineral content, which could increase the risk of osteoporosis. This should, however, not be a big risk for the anabolic steroid as most steroids have the ability to promote bone mineral content to a degree, especially Nandrolone.
As with all medications and anything we put into our body, the side effects of Letrozole will largely surround possible and not guaranteed. We are all different and respond to varying substances differently. This is something you need to keep in mind, and if the side effects of Letrozole prove to be too much to handle, alternative medications should be looked at.
The final side effect of Letrozole surrounds cholesterol, specifically a reduction in HDL cholesterol. Alone it does not appear to have a strong, statistical impact, but for the anabolic steroid user, this can be a concern. Many anabolic steroids already have the ability to negatively affect cholesterol, and when conjoined with an AI it appears to be greatly exasperated. Studies have shown that therapeutic doses of testosterone have a very little negative effect on cholesterol but the same doses can suppress HDL cholesterol by as much as 25% when combined with an AI. Due to the possible adverse effects on cholesterol, especially for the anabolic steroid user, a cholesterol friendly lifestyle becomes imperative.
A healthy lifestyle will greatly revolve around your diet. Simple sugars and saturated fats should be limited and omega fatty acids should be a large part of your diet. Daily fish oil supplementation is recommended. Many may also find a cholesterol antioxidant supplement to be useful. Further, implementing plenty of cardiovascular activity into your routine is very important. Some type of daily cardiovascular activity is advised.
In the treatment of breast cancer, the standard Letrozole dose will normally be 2.5mg per day. This is an extremely potent dose and will normally be administered until cancer subsides. In many cases, at the point of remission, the patient will switch from Letrozole to Nolvadex in a preventative treatment plan scenario.
For the anabolic steroid user, Letrozole doses will normally be much lower. Even with the use of anabolic steroids, a 2.5mg dosing will normally be too high and could potentially drain the individual of energy; in fact, it’s almost guaranteed. The only exception we could make for such a dose would be to combat early gynecomastia symptoms. If symptoms begin to show 7-14 days at a dose of 2.5mg per day can reverse the symptoms. Once symptoms begin to fade away the individual should be able to taper down to a more manageable dose and maintain it for the remainder of the cycle. If this doesn’t work there’s a good chance the symptoms have already set in beyond remedy. When this happens the only thing that will remove your gynecomastia is surgery. For standard estrogenic related protection, most men will find 0.5-1mg every other day to be more than enough.
When used as an anti-estrogen in low testosterone treatment plans, even less may be needed. For the competitive bodybuilder, the final 7-14 days before the competition, a full 1mg per day leading up to the show can be a solid dose and will greatly help with dryness and a tighter look. This is, however, not a dose most would want to maintain for an extended period of time as it can be harsh.