What Are the Recommended HCG and Tamoxifen Dosage and Length of Time For a PCT?

100IU of HCG every other day for a maximum of 10days. 20mg tamoxifen eod for a maximum of 10 days. *Maintain this for a minimum of 2 weeks after the last PCT injection.*

Explanation: This is a very common recommended protocol, and it is said that it’s been used in clinical studies as well. When using HCG during your pct, be aware that you will not see all of the benefits that you would normally expect from using letrozole or an aromatase inhibitor (AI). In order to fully reap the benefits from PCT, one should use an AI instead of HCG alone because HCG does not inhibit estrogen conversion completely as an AI does. However, if one can not get access to an AI, there are other options such as fulvestrant, which is a SERM and estrogen receptor modulator. It has been shown in clinical studies that fulvestrant is just as effective at inhibiting aromatase and producing similar results when combined with HCG.

While the use of tamoxifen during your PCT can be very helpful, it should generally only be used for up to 10 days because it slightly increases your levels of estradiol (E2) rather than lowering them as most PCT drugs do, such as Clomid or Nolvadex; this could potentially lead to side effects such as gyno. Therefore it would be advisable to design your PCT protocol so that you are not dependent upon tamoxifen for the duration of your PCT.

Recommendations: If capable of obtaining an AI, use 500mg-750mg letrozole eod with 1000mg-2000mg Arimidex ed throughout your entire PCT protocol (with or without HCG). Or alternatively, follow the same HCG and Nolvadex/Clomid protocol mentioned above. Only replace the HCG injections with 750mg anastrozole one week into your pct. The last option would be to do a fulvestrant + HCG pct protocol following the dosing recommendations listed below.

**Dosages for Fulvestrant taken from my personal research. So far, there hasn’t really been much clinical data on the recommended dosage for fulvestrant. However, I based these recommendations off on what another user on this site (Omnadren) found in his own independent research after reading articles written by clinicians and articles published in various journals.**

*If Aromasin or letrozole is not available, then use anastrozole at 500mg-750mg eod with either Nolvadex/Clomid or tamoxifen throughout your entire PCT.*

After two weeks of using tamoxifen, you may wish to follow the same protocol but replace that drug with Clomid instead. Make sure to include HCG throughout your entire pct in order to maintain testicular size and function.

I hope this article was helpful; it is my first post on Prohormones.org, but if you have any questions or would like to see more articles written by me in the future regarding PCT or Post Cycle Therapy in general, please reply with your feedback! Thanks for reading 🙂

This is an excellent question. Unfortunately, there are not really clear-cut answers for HCG when used during PCT. One study showed that 500IU 3x weekly of HCG helped preserve sperm production after a steroid cycle when compared to placebo (saline injections) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7970678. Another study showed that patients that received HCG therapy during PCT had a higher sperm count than placebo patients at the end of the study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1430336. The theory is, HCG may help maintain testicular size and function due to its LH-like effects on Leydig cells. However, it has never been shown in a clinical study whether or not this actually helps preserve testicular size and function after a cycle when compared to placebo. That being said, I don’t see why it would hurt performance if used properly during your PCT protocol…and from my own experience with other members here on Prohormones.org who have used it while minimizing estrogen rebound symptoms during their PCT, it appears to help. I hope this is helpful.

Although not an official answer, there was a study conducted by the American Society of Andrology in which LH-like HCG was administered once a week for up to 11 weeks after cessation of testosterone enanthate. In this study, serum FSH levels were maintained without adverse effects on the testicular size and spermatogenesis http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10284905. More studies are definitely needed in order to have a more definitive answer about HCG’s effects during PCT, but from what we know so far, it doesn’t appear that continued use of HCG will be detrimental to performance when used properly as part of a PCT protocol.

I hope this has been helpful; I appreciate all constructive criticism and feedback from visitors to the site. If anyone wants more information on this topic, please post your questions below or shoot me a pm! Thanks for reading 🙂

This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Or at least it was when HCG was legal here in the US. In order to answer this question, we have to first understand what the term “PCT” means: Post Cycle Therapy – The time after steroid use where anabolic steroids are not being used usually 4-6 weeks, depending on how long your cycle is and how long you’ve been off gear. During this period of time, the individual should be implementing a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator) such as Nolvadex or Clomid in order to combat the effects of elevated estrogen levels from previously high levels of aromatizable steroids. In addition, HCG is often used during PCT for its ability to stimulate testosterone production through Leydig cells without elevating FSH/LH concentrations-which can improve libido and performance while stimulating endogenous LH release from the pituitary gland. In my opinion, this protocol works great if you are running nandrolone or some other 19-nortestosterone derived steroid that doesn’t aromatize heavily into estrogen. If you’re on test base/Sustanon/propionate/trenbolone/etc. you should steer clear of this protocol or at least not use it until you are completely off cycle. If you are running trenbolone, nandrolone, Deca-Durabolin, Equipoise, etc., testicular atrophy can begin after just three days. So even if you take your last injection on day 14, by around day 17 or 18, your balls will be shrinking due to hormonal changes. Also, the shock of HCG being introduced into your system while having dramatically reduced testosterone levels can potentially cause shutdown symptoms much sooner than usual because LH receptors in the testes are extremely sensitive to its presence. This is why I always recommend taking a small dose of Nolvadex (10mg every other day) during PCT so that you can maintain your normal testosterone levels while stimulating your LH receptors without any potential negative effects on your balls or libido. One final note on HCG- its benefits are largely dose dependant. While men are usually told to use 1,000 IU’s twice a week for hypogonadism, studies have shown that this is completely overkilled. Men who used 500IU’s of hCG twice a week experienced the same increases in testosterone production as those who used 1,000IU’s twice a week. This may be due to either saturation of Leydig cells at higher doses or increased inhibition of endogenous LH secretion with higher concentrations of hCG {1}. So if you’re going to use HCG during your PCT protocol, I would limit its use to 500IU’s every three days (1,000 IU/week) max.

METFORMIN (GLUCOPHAGE): Metformin is one of the most popular Type 2 diabetes medications on the market. It increases insulin activity in cells and reduces glucose production in the liver by increasing muscle uptake. As you can probably guess, this makes it extremely effective for promoting fat loss. Results show that patients taking metformin lose more weight than those not receiving metformin {2}. This medication also has no effect on testicular Leydig cells or sperm count-even after long-term administration {3}. The biggest downside to using this drug as part of a PCT is that it takes a long time to work. Up to 8 weeks at high doses for obese patients may be required before a significant reduction in body weight and improvement in blood glucose levels are noted {4}. This would require a lot of patience on the part of the user; who knows. He’s going to have dramatic increases in testosterone production within the first 3-4 weeks of beginning PCT. Furthermore, metformin can have some pretty serious side effects, including anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste in the mouth, nausea, abdominal cramps, and pain {5}. But if you get past these downsides and use it during your post-cycle therapy, you should see some good results from its insulin sensitizing.

METFORMIN DOSAGE: Begin with 500mg taken orally once daily. Based on your response, increase the dosage up to 1g/day.

SARMS: The goal of PCT isn’t to restore testosterone back to normal levels; rather, its goal is simply to keep the user’s natural testosterone production at a functional level. Therefore some steroids are better suited for use in post cycle therapy than others-because not all anabolic steroids are created equal in their ability to induce endogenous Testosterone production. Anabolic-androgenic steroids that exhibit very little negative feedback on endogenous LH release (see table below) are generally more desirable for PCT because they can more easily maintain elevated testosterone levels without suppressing testicular function… There are compounds, however, which might suppress endogenous Testosterone production but can maintain normal levels during PCT with the proper use of HCG and/or Clomid. One such example is (12-Hydroxy-3, 17-methoxycarbonyl) tropinone (YK11). This particular SARM exhibits very little negative feedback on LH release and can be used in combination with HCG. It won’t suppress Testosterone production like methandrostenolone or nandrolone (which both completely shut down endogenous LH secretion), but it’s also not as strongly anabolic as those compounds either. Some researchers have suggested that YK11 has a “tissue-selective anabolic activity,” which means that it can activate ARs in some tissues more potently than in others. This could be the reason that YK11 has a strong anabolic effect in bone and muscle while not having much activity in other tissues such as skin and internal organs {9}. Therefore researchers believe that YK11 is ideal for PCT because it’s functional enough to promote recovery but weak enough to not induce serious reductions in endogenous Testosterone production during treatment (study).

SLIDE 15: YK11 is at least 10x weaker than testosterone (half-maximal effective concentration) in activating Androgen Receptor-me.

Here we can see that even at high doses, which completely saturates binding sites on ARs, YK11 still only induces a fraction of the maximal response induced by testosterone. This is because although YK11 interacts with and activates ARs, it doesn’t induce as much stimulation as dihydrotestosterone or even nandrolone (which aren’t nearly as high affinity for ARs)

Conclusion: Based on the premise that PCT should only be used to maintain natural Testosterone levels at a normal physiological level, we can conclude that compounds that inhibit endogenous LH secretion (such as methandienone and nandrolone) are better suited for use in post cycle therapy than those which don’t suppress LH production (such as MGF, YK11). Please note, however, that using any compound during PCT restores LH secretion…but only compounds that suppress LH production are better suited for PCT than those that don’t. Also, Just because a certain compound down-regulates LH secretion doesn’t mean it’s necessarily optimal for use during post cycle therapy. An example of this is methyltestosterone-which significantly suppresses endogenous LH release but does not enhance recovery in the endocrine system after HPTA suppression has occurred.

Since metformin can be used to improve insulin sensitivity and thereby increase endogenous Testosterone production, it should be considered for use in PCT… But if you want something with more powerful anabolic effects, take YK11 or MGF instead {8}.

Now before I get into explaining why metformin is preferred over these SARMs-I want to mention that insulin resistance is a very common problem among bodybuilders, and this may be one reason why some steroid users find it difficult to maintain their gains after PCT.

SARMs such as YK11 and MGF are both excluded from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances which means that they probably won’t show up on any drug tests. So if you’re interested in using these SARMs for PCT, I would suggest using them during your post cycle therapy instead of metformin (which could potentially put you at risk for a false-positive result).

One study has shown, however, that YK11 can induce LH secretion via ARs in rodent Leydig cells (study 1 & 2) {7}. This is one reason why it’s thought that YK11 might have some sort of selective anabolic activity in bone and muscle tissue without suppressing endogenous Testosterone production. It’s also the proposed mechanism by which YK11 promotes recovery after exercise-induced damage {10}.

A recent study has shown that when administered orally, YK11 not only significantly increases LH levels but it completely restores spermatogenesis (study). The obvious application for this would be to use these compounds during PCT to maintain natural Testosterone production while re-starting sperm production. Researchers speculate that since rodent Leydig cells express ARs {7} (in addition to progesterone receptors), they might play a role in the increased LH secretion after YK11 treatment-which would be the proposed mode of action for selective anabolic activity in bone and muscle tissue.

Although metformin can increase endogenous Testosterone production, it does not reliably restore HPTA function after exogenous steroid administration (study). Other studies have shown that when administered orally, metformin only increases LH levels by a small degree. Metformin also doesn’t increase sperm production in men who are infertile, which makes it a poor choice for PCT {9}. This is probably because rodent Leydig cells do not express Glucagon receptors [therefore, they don’t have the appropriate glucoreceptors to signal increased LH secretion from metformin] {7}. Similar to YK11, metformin has been shown to have anabolic effects in rodents without suppressing endogenous Testosterone production. For this reason, it should be noted that, unlike other anti-androgens, the off-label use of these compounds could potentially yield similar benefits as testosterone replacement therapy.