Cytadren is an extremely powerful often labeled Aromatase Inhibitor (AI). Similar in an AI capacity to Arimidex (Anastrozole) and Femara (Letrozole) it is actually far more powerful in totality as its AI capabilities are merely part of its total action. Cytadren is also an inhibitor of adrenocortical synthesis, which will dramatically reduce cortisol levels in the body.
Cytadren, officially known as aminoglutethimide first hit the market in 1960 as an anticonvulsant and as an AI in 1967 under the Cytadren name manufactured by Ciba. This makes Cytadren one of the oldest AI’s on the market and to this day it remains one of the most powerful. However, by 1966 its use as an anticonvulsant was removed and it would primarily rest as an AI to treat breast cancer and to treat Cushing’s syndrome thanks to its cortisol inhibition properties.
Cytadren has also held a bit of popularity in performance enhancing circles, particularly bodybuilding over the years, but it is rarely used in the modern age. Many find Cytadren to be too harsh, and while it can produce tremendous results the drain it can place on the body is often too much. Most bodybuilders will prefer AI’s like Arimidex, but we can make an exception for Cytadren in some high level hardcore circles. The inhibition of cortisol, which is already inhibited by anabolic steroid use, simply reaches a tremendous level. Couple this with a strong anti-estrogenic action and you can begin to see what type of result this could provide.
Cytadren carries a few specific functions and traits and is far from a one trick pony. First on the list is the compound’s ability to prevent the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone. This conversion is responsible for the production of glucocorticoids like cortisol, as well as mineralocorticoids, estrogens and androgens. Secondly, Cytadren inhibits the aromatase process by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. This is the enzyme responsible for the testosterone to estrogen conversion. Both of these functions present therapeutic advantages and to a degree both present advantages to performance, but it will be the inhibition of aromatase that’s most important in performance plans.
Through glucocorticoid inhibition, primarily cortisol, this will cause protein synthesis to be enhanced. It will have a strong, positive impact on protecting the body from catabolism. This is precisely why Cytadren is used to treat Cushing’s syndrome, which simply refers to a condition where the body produces too much cortisol. The bodybuilder who uses Cytadren should find there is a strong shift in anabolic to catabolic effects in favor of the former, but it will take an extremely large Cytadren dose to pull this off. A large dose and the harsh environment it can promote can simply be too much. We’ll look over this harsh nature as we go along.
Without question, Cytadren’s most welcomed trait is in its aromatase inhibition as it has the ability to reduce estrogen levels in the body by as much as 92%. This can be beneficial to the breast cancer patient as breast cancer often feeds off the estrogen hormone. It can be beneficial to the anabolic steroid user as many steroids promote an estrogen buildup, which can in turn lead to some of the most common side effects associated with anabolic steroid use. This protection provided by Cytadren will also carry over into protecting against progestin, which can also promote estrogenic related side effects.
In order to understand the effects of Cytadren in a practical way, we must examine them in two separate parts by both the inhibition of cortisol and aromatizing activity.
Cortisol is an essential hormone to our health, and while levels can vary greatly from one person to the next too much can be detrimental. Training, diet and overall lifestyle as well as genetics can all affect total cortisol levels. By reducing cortisol levels, this reduces the breakdown and release of amino acids and prevents any catabolic action. This could prove to be extremely beneficial during periods of intense training as intense physical activity is well noted for increasing the amount of stress hormones in the body. However, if Cytadren were to be useful for its cortisol reducing properties it would be during periods of hard dieting that would be the most beneficial. Hard dieting, long term caloric deficits along with intense physical training can truly increase cortisol levels far beyond what we’d desire. The use of anabolic steroids will aid in this greatly, and as a result, protect your lean muscle mass. However, with the added effects of Cytadren this enhancement is just that, enhanced.
Unfortunately, severe cortisol suppression caused by the effects of Cytadren can have a negative effect by leading to an increase in adrenocortiotropic (ACTH), which very well may reverse the effects of Cytadren and return cortisol production back to its original state. For this reason, some athletes will administer small amounts of hydrocortisone with their Cytadren in order to prevent a total cortisol depletion and the resulting buildup of ACTH. Another option and one that is far more suitable is to follow a two day on two day off approach with Cytadren use. This will give the athlete the desired effects of Cytadren without a total collapse of cortisol levels. However, this will take large Cytadren doses to pull off correctly. Unfortunately, this can also cause a lot of fatigue and really drain the athlete, something that could be a problem in cases of hard dieting. For this reason, Cytadren will normally only be used for short periods of time such as prior to a bodybuilding contest in order to provide a harder look.
As an anti-estrogen, the effects of Cytadren are remarkably strong. Many anabolic steroids have the ability to promote estrogenic related side effects due to the aromatase process such as gynecomastia and excess water retention. Excess water retention is also noted for contributing to high blood pressure when it gets out of hand. Testosterone (any form) will carry a high amount of aromatase activity, as will Dianabol. Nandrolone and Boldenone can also carry a fair amount of aromatase activity, but steroids like Nandrolone will also carry a strong progestin nature. The Trenbolone hormone also carries a strong progestin nature despite no estrogenic nature and progesterone has the ability to activate the estrogenic mechanism particularly in the mammary tissue. By the effects of Cytadren when combined with such steroids, this can reduce the amount of circulating estrogen in the body and should protect the individual from the related side effects. It will also protect against such effects that are progesterone related.
Without question Cytadren is one of the most effective AI’s on the market for estrogen control. It will also not require nearly as high of a dose to accomplish this end as it would for cortisol inhibition. This will aid the athlete as he shouldn’t feel as fatigued; however, some fatigue can still occur due to the tremendous suppressive nature. This will make second and third generation AI’s far more desirable for most athletes despite their slightly weaker estrogen reducing properties. These same effects of Cytadren can also prove useful to the breast cancer patient, especially metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women. However, due to the creation of Arimidex and Letrozole along with SERM therapy through Nolvadex Cytadren is rarely used for this purpose.
There are several possible side effects of Cytadren use, and due to this fact it has largely fallen out of popularity among performance enhancing athletes. The extreme fatigue it can cause is enough to keep most away but there are truly numerous possible side effects of Cytadren use. The most common side effects of Cytadren include:
While some of the side effects of Cytadren are typically associated with high doses, keep in mind high doses can make the ones like fatigue and rash far worse. Severe side effects such as jaundice and depression can also occur and even changes in total blood cell count. Such effects are, however, most commonly associated with high dose or long term use. Virilization symptoms may also be possible in some women who use the compound.
The possible side effects of Cytadren truly outweigh the reward that this medication can provide. When we consider it as an anti-estrogen medication, there are other anti-estrogens that can provide the same protection without the harsh nature. When we consider cortisol suppression, due to the effect on energy it can cause, the fact that anabolic steroids will already limit glucocorticoids handedly and the necessary high doses of Cytadren it will require for greater suppression simply isn’t worth the risk.
For the purpose of cortisol suppression or to treat Cushing’s syndrome a total Cytadren dose of 1,000mg per day is common and can at times approach 2,000mg per day. It is also not uncommon for this to be accompanied by 20-30mg of hydrocortisone in order to avoid an increase in ACTH that may occur. For the athlete who is using the compound for this purpose, while this protocol will work he may find 1,000mg for two days followed by two days of no use to be far more manageable. He should not need the additional hydrocortisone if this method is followed. However, for the best possible outcome in an athletic capacity short-term every day use will prove most efficient, such as ten days leading up to a bodybuilding contest. Outside of bodybuilding, due to the necessary energy requirements this is a compound athletes will want to stay away from.
To combat estrogenic activity due to the use of anabolic steroids, 125mg-250mg every other day should be a solid Cytadren dose. Some may need a daily dose but should only need such dose for a short period of time. If a full 250mg dose per day is needed, the individual may want to adjust his steroid supplementation. As for estrogen inhibition in breast cancer patients, total Cytadren doses will be determined on a patient by patient basis.
Cytadren is not a highly available compound. It can be found on the pharmaceutical market but only in a few select countries around the world. It is also one of the more expensive related compounds in its category and is not commonly found on the black market. You may find it cost as much as $2-$3 per tab on the black market and even more through many pharmaceutical outlets.
With anti-estrogens, many of these compounds are now produced by research chemical labs (RCL’s). RCL’s manufacture such products in their liquid form and are able to sell them legally so as long as it’s for research only. You will not need a prescription and while a loophole in the law it is one many take advantage of. However, very few RCL’s carry Cytadren or an Aminoglutethimide product, and if they do it will typically be very expensive.
You can buy Cytadren online from some large anabolic steroid suppliers and a few select pharmaceutical outlets, but it is rare. Most will not have access to the compound online and getting a prescription can be very difficult. You will find prescriptions for more traditional AI’s to be far easier to come by, especially in the United States. Although it is not a controlled substance, if you buy Cytadren online you will be breaking the law. Despite a non-controlled item a prescription is still needed for a legal purchase.
While U.S. law requires a prescription, you will find Cytadren can be purchased over the counter in some countries, but you will also find it’s not all that commonly available. It is simply not a commonly carried AI due to other options being readily available and far more affordable. However, despite an easier ability for a purchase existing in many other countries, if you buy Cytadren online from such countries most will not be thrilled with this type of purchase. Regardless, it is imperative you understand the law as it pertains to where you live before you make a purchase.
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On its surface Cytadren is a very exciting compound. The idea behind strong cortisol suppression has a strong appeal to many athletes, and in a physique related capacity this appeal is only enhanced. But when we consider the harsh nature of Cytadren it’s simply not worth it as the same results can be obtained without it. No, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to suppress cortisol to the same degree without Cytadren but in a physique sense you should be able to obtain the desired look without it.
As an anti-estrogen Cytadren also has a lot of appeal, especially for men who find combating estrogenic related side effects to be difficult. The amount of estrogen reduction this AI can provide is tremendous and will protect most any man from related side effects associated with the use of some anabolic steroids. However, once again we’re faced with the harsh nature of Cytadren, and it simply isn’t worth it. Estrogenic side effects can be combated with milder AI’s; if not, you need to reexamine your anabolic steroid use because there is no excuse for it. With this in mind, this truly makes Cytadren more of a novel idea and not a compound for practical use in the modern era.