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Over the Counter PCT Vs SERM PCT


Hearing the phrase “you’re better safe than sorry” is something that everyone has received for words of wisdom. Who is to judge what the safest and proven most effective PCT (Post Cycle Therapy)? Is there a point where the positive outcomes are greater than the negative outcomes? There is a heavy debate involving which most effective path to take when deciding on PCT. The two choices for PCT are to use an over the counter (OTC) approach or a selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). Keep reading to to find out when to you over the counter PCT vs when to you a SERM PCT.


Taking a prohormone is something that a bodybuilder, or an individual who is looking to become stronger and bigger, can do when they do not want to resort to the use of anabolic steroids. Though prohormones are not considered anabolic steroids, it does not mean using them should be taken lightly. Introducing a steroid hormone (also known as a prohormone compound) into the body initially stops the natural production of testosterone.  These prohormone compounds fool the body into thinking it has satisfied the natural level of testosterone, so the body stops its production of testosterone.

With the regular use of these compounds, the body gets use to not producing its natural testosterone. So when you stop taking the compound, the body is going to take a long period of time to regulate its testosterone level back to normal production. Also, when the body’s testosterone level is low after a prohormone cycle, the body’s estrogen level is higher than normal. The more frequent side effects that come with the use of prohormones result from this high estrogen level in the body. An action that is extremely important to retain your gains and avoid potential side is to run an efficient PCT immediately following your cycle. This will help the body’s hormones levels recover faster and bring the production of natural testosterone back to normal. Therefore, PCT is the most important part of a prohormone cycle.


Individuals who believe that they have taken prohormones that are not “too harsh” on their body, generally choose the OTC route for PCT. But how do individuals actually know what is “not too harsh”? The only true way to tell is to take a blood test prior to the cycle and after the cycle and compare the two. Only individual blood tests provide evidence as to whether OTC PCT worked effectively. However, not everyone’s body reacts the same way to the ingredients in the dietary supplements. Individuals also choose the OCT PCT because it is legal and they do not feel safe bending or breaking the law by using or obtaining SERMs. There are little to no side effects to using an OTC PCT and the supplements are usually quite easy to attain. An OTC PCT commonly contains a natural testosterone booster, an aromatase inhibitor, and a cortisol control supplement.

Natural testosterone boosters

Natural testosterone boosters are supplements that come from plant-based compounds that help the body to increase its natural testosterone production. These plant compounds contain plant sterols, which the body can convert into enzymes that aid in the testosterone production. The most popular herbal testosterone booster is Tribulus Terrestris. Tribulus has been in studies that deal with individuals with low testosterone levels. One study found that men receiving 750 milligrams of tribulus daily for five days showed a 72 percent increase in luteinizing hormone, along with a 40 percent rise in testosterone. A result that is not heavily reported was that there was an 81 percent rise in estrogen.

Aromatase inhibitor

A natural aromatase inhibitor (AI) obstructs the conversion of testosterone to estrogen by reducing the enzyme aromatase. Taking an AI in addition to a natural testosterone booster will make the rebound of the body’s natural testosterone production occur faster. The hormones testosterone and estrogen are inversely proportional; meaning that when one increases the other decreases. So when aromatase is reduced, it will increase the natural testosterone because the body’s estrogen level is decreasing. Natural aromatase inhibitors include Flavones, Flavanones, Resveratrol, and Oleuropein.


SERMs have more physical evidence that proves that the chemicals actually return the body’s natural testosterone estrogen levels back to normal. There have been controlled tests done on these chemicals in order for them to be produced. SERMs can only legally be attained by prescription from a doctor. This forces many individuals to look elsewhere to obtain these drugs illegally. Individuals choose not to go the SERM route for PCT simply because they do not want to see a doctor or break the law. Another reason leading away from SERM use is because individuals do not believe that the potential side effects that my come with the use of SERMs is worth the risk. SERMs include: Nolvadex, Clomid, Toremifene. Nolvadex is the marketing name for the drug Tamoxifen Citrate.


Nolvadex is the marketing name for the drug Tamoxifen Citrate. It is a must, when running a compound that has a high estrogen conversion rate. It is unique and a staple in many other SERM PCTs, due to the fact that it binds directly to the receptor site in breast tissue. The major potential side effect of the use of nolvadex is changes in liver enzyme levels. More severe liver abnormalities including fatty liver, cholestasis, hepatitis and hepatic necrosis have been reported in rare cases. There have only been a few reports on very serious cases in which there were fatalities.


Clomid is another commonly used drug for PCT. Clomid is the marketing name for clomiphene citrate, which also binds to the estrogen receptor in breast tissue and prevents estrogen from binding there. This prevents gynocomastia. Even though clomid and nolvadex, have the same effect on the body, nolvadex is much more efficient on binding to the receptor site. The unique attribute of clomid is that it also combats negative feedback. In a study published by the Department of Endocrinology at the University of Newcastle we see the proven effects off clomid:

A study was done on a 31-year-old man presenting with an 18-month history of sexual dysfunction resulting from severe adult-onset IHH (LH 1.7 U/L, FSH 2.0 U/L, T 3.5 nmol/L). Initial therapy with 50 mg of clomiphene citrate three times a day for 7 days, with overnight LH pulse profiling and 9 am T levels evaluated at baseline and on completion. A 2-month washout period, followed by low-dose maintenance therapy (25-50 mg/d) for 4 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Baseline and stimulated T levels and LH pulsatility; effect on sexual function. RESULT(S): Clomiphene therapy resulted in complete normalization of pulsatile gonadotropin secretion, serum T level, and sexual function.

The use of Clomid may come with less serious unwanted side effects such as affecting your vision and emotional issues. These side effects, though considered less serious, should be taken into consideration when choosing between nolvadex and clomid.