Post-course therapy. What is PCT in general?
In sports such as bodybuilding or powerlifting, it is impossible to do without taking special medications to increase muscle mass. Anabolic steroids side effects can adversely affect the body. Post-course therapy is necessary to restore the hormonal background. It also improves the work of the reproductive system and the gastrointestinal tract. To preserve the accumulated muscle mass, and most importantly your health, you should take therapy after the course of all steroids, even after safe steroid pills.
This article describes the features of post-course therapy and the principle of its administration. Modern post-cycle therapy includes drugs for restoring the endocrine system. As well as the whole body after a course of androgen-anabolic steroids. As described in the article, this therapy can reduce side effects after a course of steroids, as well as restore the natural level of hormones. This will also reduce muscle loss after a steroid course.
Why do you need PCT?
Post-course therapy should be carried out after a cycle of taking any anabolics and steroids drugs. During PCT, special drugs and sports nutrition for fast muscle growth are used. They will eliminate or reduce undesirable side reactions that occur after taking steroids. It is especially important to conduct post-cycle therapy after taking large doses of steroid drugs, or when several drugs were present on the course.
What is post-course therapy (PCT)?
Post-cycle therapy (PCT) is a set of drugs taken to restore the normal functioning of the body after a course of AAS (androgenic-anabolic steroids). They are primarily focused on the endocrine system.
With a properly conducted PCT under the supervision of a specialist, you will receive:
1. Maximum preservation of the result (strength and muscle mass), with a minimum rollback phenomenon;
2. Restoration of the natural hormonal background;
3. Prevention of gynecomastia (aromatization of testosterone to estradiol);
4. Stimulation of the production of own testosterone;
5. Elimination (reduction) of the development of other side effects associated with the use of anabolic steroids.
Categories of drugs
The intake of artificial hormones leads to an imbalance in the athlete’s body. The production of your own hormones stops. PCT preparations normalize hormonal levels, contributing to the natural production of hormones. They are divided into:
1. Antiestrogens. In order for the body to resume independent production of testosterone, you need to take estrogen receptor blockers. These include drugs such as Clomid and Tamoxifen. Aromatase inhibitors such as Proviron and Anastrozole also can block estrogenic effects if you used aromatized preparations during the course.
2. Chorionic gonadotropin. This medication inhibits testicular atrophy. Appointed after a heavy course.
3. Cabergoline. This tool is used to normalize the level of prolactin in the body.
Additional PCT (post-course therapy) drugs
In addition to the main one, many sportsmen also use additional drugs for PCT. These include:
cortisol blockers (suppression of catabolic processes),
testosterone boosters, which are based on natural components (restoration of hormonal balance),
Omega-3 complexes (for cholesterol level optimization),
growth hormones and peptides (preserving muscle gain),
hepatoprotective drugs (for liver protection).
Professional athletes, taking care of their health and continuing their sports career, do not neglect post-cycle therapy.
Estrogen receptor blockers
These drugs act by joining estrogen receptors and thereby blocking estrogen access to them. This group includes Clomid (clomiphene), toremifene, tamoxifen. It is strictly forbidden to use estrogen receptor blockers at the same time as taking steroids with progestogenic activity – nandrolone, trenbolone, oxymetholone. This will greatly increase their side effects.
Effective dosages of tamoxifen are 20-60 mg/day, you can divide the daily dose into 2-3 doses. Tamoxifen should be taken at least 3-4 weeks after the course, and preferably longer. Until the start of the next course.
Aromatase inhibitors are the second class of drugs to control the work of estrogen in the body. These are drugs such as Proviron, Letrozole and Anastrazole. It is advisable to use them both during and after the course. Nevertheless, they also reduce the effect of the course.
Letrozole and anastrozole are very similar drugs. For the prevention of side effects on the course, the usual dosage is 0.5 mg every other day. For the treatment of gynecomastia – 1 mg / day for anastrozole and 2.5 mg / day for letrozole. Both of these drugs have a beneficial effect on the secretion of testosterone but at a high dosage can lower libido.
Two drugs can control the progestogen activity of steroids – bromocriptine and Dostinex (cabergoline). However, the use of bromocriptine is a thing of the past. This is due to the fact that Dostinex significantly exceeds it in all respects. Dostinex inhibits prolactin production and the conversion of AAS to progesterone very effectively. And as a result, increases the secretion of prolactin. The dosage of Dostinex is 0.25 mg (1/4 tablet) every four days.
Increased Testosterone Production
In addition to the use of drugs that suppress female sex hormones, many sportsmen use chorionic gonadotropin to increase testosterone production. At its core, gonadotropin is an analogue of luteinizing hormone (LH), but it is produced not by the pituitary gland, but by the corpus luteum in the placenta of pregnant women.
Thus, gonadotropin stimulates the secretion of hormones in the testes, because it has the same effects as testosterone. Accordingly, spermatogenesis increases, the testes recover their size after a course of AAS.
Conclusions on post-course therapy
When deciding on the use of a course of drugs that stimulate muscle growth, do not forget about after a course of therapy. Grandiose success in sports and attractive appearance will not replace health. Before the start of the course, you need to pass a specialist consultation on the received blood test for hormone levels. Also, before taking muscle growth stimulants, it is desirable to have natural progress for three years. An athlete who has decided on a course must be at least 21 years old. A high-quality and relatively safe course necessarily includes after-course therapy. And it is also important support in the form of taking hepatoprotection, antiestrogens and hCG. Do not forget about the rehabilitation and training base.