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Aromasin is the favored aromatase inhibitor (AI) ancillary of thousands of steroid users. That’s not to say Aromasin is perfect or that some of us don’t run into difficulties using it.
But how does Aromasin compare to some of our other AI options? And, are there any benefits in using Aromasin compared to other AIs, and what really is the best dosage to take? All this and more is covered in my Aromasin guide below!
Let’s get started.
What is Aromasin?
Aromasin is a name just about every bodybuilder will be familiar with. If you’ve never used Aromasin, you probably know someone who has!
Just about every steroid user will try this AI at least once, especially if you’ve found others falling a little short of your expectations one way or another. And while the widespread opinion is to avoid using AIs for PCT, as you will see, Aromasin can be more of an exception than possibly any other aromatase inhibitor.
History and Overview
Aromasin is a secondary treatment for advanced breast cancer treatment in postmenopausal women after Nolvadex has been taken for up to three years. Where women have not fully responded to Nolvadex and the cancer has progressed, Aromasin steps in to lower overall estrogen levels in the body to deprive the cancer of estrogen and attempt to stop its growth and spread.
Aromasin was only approved for medical use by the FDA in 1999, and it has since become a very popular AI all over the world. The developer of this AI was Pharmacia & Upjohn.
Aromasin has been put through extensive studies to prove its safety and efficacy in treating breast cancer patients, with studies finding even with long-term use, only mild side effects were commonly reported.
Mechanism of Action
To understand how Aromasin works and, importantly, WHY it works that way, we need to understand the purpose of this AI for medical use. With the type of breast cancer this AI aims to treat, being one that needs estrogen for it to continue to grow, Aromasin’s core function is to stop estrogen in its tracks.
And how does that work? Estrogen receptors exist in the cancer cells, and the aromatase enzyme is needed as a key part of their functioning. Aromasin blocks the aromatase enzyme, so it can not apply its effects – but this doesn’t just happen in breast tissue (Remember: AIs like Aromasin are not selective!).
This blocking of the aromatase enzyme will happen everywhere in the body. The result? A lowering of total estrogen levels. Aromasin has proven to suppress circulating estrogen levels, and more suppression occurs at higher doses.
Effects of Aromasin (Benefits) for Men
While the medical use of Aromasin seems irrelevant to any of us males who are healthy (mostly young) bodybuilders using steroids, it’s vital to understand the connection: Aromasin works to block estrogen to deprive the cancer of what it needs to grow.
Think about it:
The reason Aromasin is used in postmenopausal women is because their body has stopped producing estrogen at levels of younger women. Hence, crashing estrogen in older women is a vastly different concept to what we males will experience from Aromasin’s estrogen-lowering effects.
That’s why dosage control is paramount to the effects you’ll experience with Aromasin. And I mean both good and bad effects! Here are the positive effects of Aromasin once your dosage is dialed in for your specific needs and your personal response: The main purpose of using Aromasin is to combat estrogenic side effects.
You will use this AI to prevent and control:
- Water Retention
- High blood pressure resulting from fluid retention
Aromasin may also be used for testosterone stimulation following AAS use (PCT). It has been shown to stimulate LH and FSH; however, the associated estrogen-lowering effects will always make it a challenge to use AI as a sole PCT compound.
Importance of Aromatase Inhibitors in Bodybuilding
With some of the most popular anabolic steroids being hormones that aromatize (convert testosterone to estrogen), AIs are always kept on hand and ready to use on these steroid cycles. Mostly, this refers to AAS like:
Nandrolone steroids (Deca, NPP) can also bring about raised estrogen levels when they are used with testosterone, and most Deca users will be taking Aromasin or another AI.
At its most basic, an AI does just what its name implies: It inhibits the aromatase enzyme. That’s the enzyme that’s responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. When the drug blocks the enzyme, conversion can not take place. Without that conversion of hormones, you can avoid, reduce, or reverse the symptoms of high estrogen during a cycle:
- Water retention (and associated high blood pressure)
Does this mean you will absolutely need an AI while running any or all of the above aromatizing steroids? No! We can and do get away with (for example) running a testosterone-only cycle, sometimes at high doses of 800mg/week or more, without the need for an AI.
But take note!
YOU might need an AI at 600mg of testosterone, while others can run 1000mg without having estrogenic effects requiring control. As a general rule, the higher the dose of AAS (either one or a stack), the more testosterone will be converted to estrogen.
So, while aromatase inhibitors are really important for bodybuilding steroid cycles, you don’t have to take one from day 1 – watching for the onset of estrogenic effects and then taking the AI at an appropriate dose is the strategy for most users.
Aromasin for PCT
Aromasin won’t be your first choice for PCT use unless you have no access to SERMs.
Typically, we would avoid AIs during PCT. Still, among all the AIs, I would say Aromasin is the most suitable AI for PCT because it can stimulate testosterone production through the release of LH and FSH.
On the other hand, you’ll have the problem of potentially crushing your estrogen levels during PCT, which will cause all sorts of havoc with your testosterone recovery.
Use Aromasin cautiously if you’re set on using it during PCT, and always follow it with Nolvadex.
With Aromasin having its only medically approved use for the treatment of breast cancer in women, doses used for that purpose are not of great relevance to us as males will respond somewhat differently. And secondly, women treating life-threatening breast cancer are less concerned with any negative effects of Aromasin than we are.
With this in mind, a study that focused on the minimum effective dose of Aromasin in women found that doses of 2.5g to 5mg per day were very effective at reducing circulating estrogen. Still, even a dose of 0.5mg daily resulted in some estrogen suppression.
Aromasin Dosage On-cycle
With this being the number one use of Aromasin (combating on-cycle estrogenic side effects), standard dosages have become well-established. However, my preferred dosage might not work as well for you. It depends on:
- The dosage of the steroids being taken
- How sensitive you are to aromatization as an individual
I like to start at just 6.25mg per day. This is just one-quarter of a 25mg tablet. You could also take 12mg every other day. Another strategy that works for a lot of guys is to only take Aromasin on the days you’re injecting – this could be once every two to three days at a dose of 12.5mg to 25mg as required, according to your estrogenic side effects.
Aromasin Dosage for PCT
You’d only want to consider using Aromasin for PCT in rare situations. Generally, we don’t use AIs for post-cycle therapy to recover testosterone function – SERMs are much more effective and useful for your PCT protocol.
So, when might you think about including Aromasin during PCT? If you get bloodwork done and find that your estrogen levels are too high AND you’re seeing side effects, then a low dose of Aromasin might be considered – but I’d say be very careful with this because the risk of crushing your estrogen is real.
Should you use Aromasin on its own for PCT? You can for a short period, but I’d still want to use it alongside Nolvadex. I wouldn’t expect a full HPTA recovery solely from Aromasin, but you may have a different experience! Remember – Nolvadex and Aromasin are often used together in medical situations for breast cancer treatment as they complement one another.
One PCT example to consider is Aromasin for only two weeks of PCT at 25mg per day. Nolvadex can be used for the entire four weeks at 20mg to 40mg.
Dosing Schedule, Half-life, and PCT Length
Aromasin has a short half-life of about 24 hours in women. It’s debatable whether the half-life is, in fact, the same in males. One study reports that this AI’s half-life in males is about 9 hours.
The opinion is split on whether taking it every day or every other day is best. Still, like always, I recommend experimenting with both splitting the dose and frequency of administration. I like a once-daily administration of this AI to keep levels stable, but I’ll take a low dose each day and closely monitor the effects. Many guys take it every other day and find this to be effective – you don’t know until you try!
And let’s not forget this:
With Aromasin being a suicidal aromatase inhibitor, we don’t have to taper it down like you often need to with Arimidex because Aromasin won’t give you that estrogen rebound. Once your dosage is dialed in, you can stop taking it before starting PCT.
Proper Administration and Timing
The time of day you take Aromasin is going to be a personal preference – the official FDA guideline when this AI is prescribed for women is to take it once daily with a meal, which may improve absorption. In my experience, it’s just easier to take the dose in the morning with breakfast. I then don’t have to think about it again for the rest of the day.
I have heard of guys saying they find it hard to sleep after taking Aromasin in the evening – but I take that with a grain of salt because we are using AAS that can so often disrupt sleep quality.
Aromasin vs. Other PCT Options
Is Aromasin going to be your best choice for PCT? In most cases, the answer is no. Can you imagine crushing your estrogen levels during PCT? That’s the risk if you use Aromasin as the sole PCT compound. It’s also not considered as potent enough to stimulate testosterone production as the very popular PCT SERMs are.
Let’s compare Aromasin to a SERM and two other AIs:
Aromasin vs. Nolvadex
Nolvadex is a widely used SERM and a very effective PCT compound. It’s the drug that is prescribed to breast cancer patients for two or three years before Aromasin.
These two drugs work very differently, yet both can address many of the same issues we face:
- Both will work to help prevent and reverse gynecomastia
- Both can stimulate testosterone production
Nolvadex, however, will be the more potent and effective PCT compound of these two options. Nolvadex will not help you with water retention, though – that’s where you’ll need to be using Aromasin on cycle. A protocol of using Aromasin on cycle and Nolvadex for PCT is often all any steroid user will need as these are two of the best ancillaries available.
Aromasin vs. Arimidex
Aromasin is a suicidal aromatase inhibitor, while Arimidex is a non-suicidal AI.
At its most basic, this means:
- Aromasin permanently inhibits the aromatase enzyme
- Arimidex binds temporarily
What does this mean for you? Arimidex can bring about a rebound in estrogen once any unbound aromatase enzymes are free – and this generally requires tapering the dosage down before stopping. We can use Aromasin at a single dose and stop all use without any tapering, and you can expect no estrogen rebound. Aromasin is a more powerful AI than Arimidex, and while this has some benefits, it does bring an increased risk of reducing your estrogen too low.
Aromasin vs. Letrozole
Letrozole won’t give you a suite of beneficial effects we get from Aromasin. That’s because Letrozole is primarily helpful for mitigating gynecomastia. And Aromasin is just a way more tolerable drug than Letrozole for just about everyone.
In fact, some guys will call Letrozole the nuclear option – basically a last resort or a desperate option to eliminate gyno fast. Letrozole is possibly the most estrogen-crushing AI we can use, and it can very quickly have you at dangerously low estrogen levels with no erectile function and feeling very lethargic.
And that, for me, is the significant difference between Aromasin and Letrozole: Aromasin gives you more wiggle room to get things wrong with your dosage and is a less potent AI than Letrozole.
Aromasin Side Effects in Men
Most users will tolerate Aromasin, and its officially listed side effects for female medical use are mostly unlikely to apply to us. So what should you consider when it comes to possible Aromasin sides?
The great thing about Aromasin is its lack of severe negative effects on cholesterol levels in comparison to most other AIs. While Aromasin can raise cholesterol slightly in some users, studies show its effects are often neutral (neither raising nor lowering cholesterol).
In fact, I’d say the top reason I like Aromasin is its reduced impact on cholesterol compared to other AIs. This can make all the difference in using it on-cycle with cholesterol-increasing AAS.
You’d have to be doing regular bloodwork to compare your cholesterol values before and during Aromasin use. Still, I’ve always been confident that this AI does not worsen my cholesterol profile.
Most of the complaints I hear from guys taking Aromasin relate to low estrogen symptoms. If you’re not prepared for the signs of crashed estrogen, you can be in for a shock! We guys need a healthy (although small) constant level of estrogen for healthy functioning – your number one goal with Aromasin is not to screw that up!
Without careful use of Aromasin, you can quite easily bring about a drastic and fast reduction in estrogen levels, and with that comes some pretty unpleasant side effects that can be somewhat similar to low testosterone:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Anxiety and depression
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of energy
- Painful joints
Aromasin has proven to be a very safe drug. Studies with humans have shown that a single dose of up to 800mg produced no serious effects, and even longer-term daily dosing at 600mg has been tolerated well.
In studies on female patients, some users reported hot flashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes as other side effects.
Where to Buy Aromasin?
Suppose you have a regular supplier of AAS, SARMs, SERMs, or other ancillaries. In that case, you will likely find they sell Aromasin, as this is a popular AI (although rarely the most popular).
As with most AIs, it can be tough to get hold of pharmaceutical-grade products. Suppliers selling imported pharma-grade Aromasin are dicing with the law, so generally, you’ll need a word-of-mouth recommendation for a good supplier as some of the best won’t be widely advertising it.
Don’t fret, though: There’s always research chemical Aromasin available if you have no luck elsewhere, and these can be good quality.
Availability of Aromasin
Aromasin is relatively easy to find for sale at your favorite AAS or SARMs suppliers. Pharmaceutical grade, as always, is the ultimate prize if you can get it. Unlike most drugs, which are sold under multiple brand names, Aromasin is pretty much the only name you’ll find for Exemestane.
Generics may exist in some countries, and these can often be cheaper than the name brand – however, you’d still need a prescription unless you can find generic Exemestane on the black market.
Underground labs can be a great source – if you find a good one! The best labs will provide a legitimate certificate of testing that confirms the ingredients and purity of the product so you know you are, in fact, getting Exemestane.
Research chemical Aromasin is an option that is widely available, and thanks to the legality (technically speaking) of selling and buying research chemicals online, most peptides and research chemical suppliers will stock Exemestane.
Is Aromasin Legal?
Aromasin is only legal to buy with a valid doctor’s prescription. In the US and most other countries where Aromasin is a prescription-only drug, it’s illegal to sell, import, or manufacture Aromasin, and some suppliers have wound up with prison sentences.
However, you as a buyer are unlikely to run into legal issues because Aromasin is not a prohibited substance to possess or use – as long as you aren’t found with large quantities that could lead authorities to suspect you’re illegally selling Aromasin.
These rules don’t apply in all countries, though! Many countries (India being one example) make Aromasin available as an easy over-the-counter purchase.
Genuine branded Aromasin can be a very expensive pharmaceutical drug in the US, even with a prescription; some online retailers list 30x25mg tablets at over $1000 without insurance.
Underground lab-manufactured Exemestane will be sold under different brand names (often using variations on the name Aromasin). Expect to pay around $100 for 50x25mg tablets from quality labs that provide an authenticity certificate or lab result.
Research chemical grade Aromasin pricing is typically based on 30ml vials at 25mg/ml concentration. Expect to pay $45 to $60 per vial, but most suppliers will offer discounts for bulk buys.
Aromasin is a really unique AI for two main reasons:
- It’s not likely to ruin your cholesterol like other AIs
- It’s capable of stimulating testosterone more effectively than other AIs
It is also known to work very well with Nolvadex and doesn’t come with the same incompatibility issues with that SERM as Letrozole or Arimidex. A complimentary PCT of Aromasin plus Nolvadex is a viable option, and quite simply – it is the only AI I would consider for PCT.
Ultimately, though, it’s the fact that Aromasin is a suicidal inhibitor that makes it my top AI choice. I like the lack of estrogen rebound and that I don’t have to mess around with tapering the dosage at the end. I stop when I want, then restart again if I start seeing those estrogen sides.
An AI is something you shouldn’t have to think about too much. There’s less planning required with Aromasin, and let’s face it: enough planning goes into our AAS cycles as it is.
We have some awesome aromatase inhibitors available, and I don’t claim Aromasin is the “best,” but it may be the best for YOUR needs on a specific cycle. I suggest always being flexible in the ancillaries you’re using on-cycle.
- Post Cycle Therapy 101: The Ultimate Guide for PED Users
- Clomid (Clomiphene) PCT 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide
- Enclomiphene (Androxal) PCT 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide
— Furious Joe