Post-cycle therapy

Post-cycle therapy (PCT) is a drug regimen designed to stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPTA) so that it begins to produce testosterone normally, while keeping estrogen levels low. PCT is traditionally done after a cycle of pro-hormones or anabolic steroids in order to restore normal endogenous sex hormone production (typically testosterone), thereby preserving the muscle and strength gains made during steroid/pro-hormone use and minimizing side effects such as decreased libido, depression, and gynecomastia. Due to the harsh nature of some anabolic steroids on the liver (particularly oral, methylated steroids), PCT is also used to help cleanse the liver and ultimately prepare it for handling another cycle.

The Need for Post-cycle Therapy

When exogenous dosages of synthetic testosterone are high (as the case is when taking anabolic steroids), the body will slow down or even shut off its own natural production of testosterone and increase the production of estrogen, cortisol and other hormones in order to reach equilibrium (see Le Chatelier's Principle of Chemical Equilibria for details). Once the steroid/pro-hormone cycle is over, the lack of exogenous testosterone puts the body in a very catabolic (and unhealthy) state. For a few weeks after the cycle ends, the body is still producing large amounts of estrogen and cortisol while not producing much testosterone. PCT allows the body to slowly return to producing normal levels hormones while maintaining most of the muscle that was gained during the cycle.


=Drugs Used [http://forum.anabolicx.com/index.php?showtopic=4053] =

While there is no official post-cycle therapy there are three different forms of drugs that are traditionally used.

ERMs

SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) are the foundation of most PCTs. SERMs work by blocking the negative effects of estrogen. The most popular form of SERM is Nolvadex (Tamoxifen), while others include clomid (Clomiphene Citrate), toremifene, and raloxifene.

Cortisol Controllers

Cortisol is an extremely catabolic hormone, which is why it needs to be controlled during PCT. Cortisol controllers work by either controlling the amount of cortisol in the body, or by suppressing the cortisol receptors in the body, greatly reducing its negative effects.

Testosterone Boosters

Although less common than SERMs or cortisol controllers, testosterone boosters help the body produce most testosterone and expedite the process of returning the body's natural production of testosterone to normal.

External links

* [http://www.postcycletherapy.com Rough Guidelines for Post-Cycle Therapy]
* [http://mesomorphosis.com/articles/anthony-roberts/post-cycle-therapy.htm Post Cycle Therapy]
* [http://forum.anabolicx.com/index.php?showtopic=4053]

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