Nolvadex for Bodybuilding & Breast Cancer Treatment - Uses, Dosage, Efficacy, and Side Effects

What is Nolvadex?

Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) is an oral medication used to treat breast cancer. It is prescribed to women diagnosed with human receptor-positive breast cancer, or to people with a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Tamoxifen has been used to treat millions of women since the year 1998. It is also recommended for women diagnosed with breast cancer after they undergo early treatment (radiation or chemotherapy).

Apart from that, Nolvadex is used by bodybuilders and athletes. As it is an antiestrogen, it helps treat the side effects during and after the steroid cycle. Before we discuss that in detail, let me explain to you how tamoxifen treats early-stage breast cancer.

How does Nolvadex Treat Breast Cancer?

Human receptor-positive breast cancer tumors need hormones such as estrogen and progesterone to grow, multiply and spread over to the other parts of the body. Nolvadex is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), which blocks the estrogen receptors on breast cancer cells. As soon as the drug enters the cells, it stops the cells from accessing the hormone they need in order to grow. This inhibits the growth of cancerous cells. 


Nolvadex are 10 mg tablets, taken orally once or twice a day. For breast cancer, the treatment typically lasts for around 5-10 years, depending upon the response of your body to the medication.

There are a couple of things to remember while using such medicinal drugs. Take your medication regularly, as prescribed by your doctor for effective results. Always tell your doctor about your medical history or allergies to avoid any harmful reactions. There are certain conditions in which tamoxifen may be harmful, one of which is pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, always consult your doctor during the use of such medicinal drugs.

Nolvadex During a Steroid Cycle

Bodybuilders (and other athletes) use anabolic steroids in order to boost their performance. However, the use of these steroids comes with some side effects. Some of these steroids may be converted into estrogen- the “female” hormone, by a change in chemical structure. Due to this, estrogen levels shoot up in the male body and increase the risk of gynecomastia (female breast growth). The symptoms of gynecomastia include swelling in nipples, pain, or tenderness.

Now, what tamoxifen does is block the effects of estrogen on the human body. This will reduce the swollen breast tissue by some level. If you have a severe condition and are not happy with the results, you can always take surgery into consideration.                                                                                                               Nolvadex during Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)

Due to the increased use of steroids, the natural testosterone level in your body is almost non-existent. After your steroid cycle ends, post cycle therapy (PCT) is practiced in order to stimulate the testosterone levels in your body. Nolvadex blocks the estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus, causing the body to produce higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). This is essential for the increase of natural testosterone levels in the body.

There are few other drugs that can be used instead of tamoxifen, but it is probably the safest option you have. This is because it helps recover the hormonal imbalance, without actually wiping estrogen out of your body. Instead, the estrogen in your body helps you to maintain muscle mass and keeps your immune system healthy.


Most users take a dose of 10-20 mg daily over a course of 2-4 weeks. The daily amount may go up to 40 mg, depending upon the severity of your condition. Usage of tamoxifen should not go above or below what your doctor has prescribed.

Does Nolvadex Really Work?

Nolvadex plays a significant part in post cycle therapy (PCT) and is proved to be effective in preventing gynecomastia and stimulating testosterone levels in the human body. Even though the treatment lasts for about 3-4 weeks, the results are visible within a few days. A couple of things to keep in mind include proper nutrition, adequate workout, and rest, which are important to maintain your gains.

Side effects

People using the drug tamoxifen may experience some of these side effects:

  • Hot flashes

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Bone/ muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Blurred vision

  • Hair thinning

Note: Some patients may not experience any of the above-mentioned side effects. If any of these side effects get severe, immediately inform your doctor and seek medical advice.