Should I PCT or not after a SARMs cycle?
TL;DR, if you want to know if you need a PCT, get bloodwork done. If that isn’t an option for some reason then, read on.
This question has been asked a lot, in an attempt to streamline answers we have decided to write sort of a guide if you should PCT or not.
This is not medical advice. If you want medical advice you go to a doctor we base this articles of off various studies done on SARMS, but also off 4 years of selling SARMs on the Canadian market and multiple feedback as well as customer experiences to write this article for you.
What is PCT?
PCT is short for Post-Cycle Therapy. When people use injectable testosterone and various steroids in cycles they absolutely need to use Post-Cycle Therapy. PCT exists for 2 purposes.
First reason why someone would use PCT is to get back to optimal hormonal levels. After using steroids one will find his hormonal profile shut down. This means testerone is at 0, estrogen is running wild, could be at 0, could be at super high levels, and various other hormones are also unstable. The reasons this is happening is because injectible testosterone (or various steroids) have shut down and suppressed your natural hormones and are now dependant on various medications to keep them optimal or supraphysiological and in correct ratios. In an anabolic world your base cycle would be something like: injectable testosterone base, anti-estrogen medication, HCG, and whatever steroid you want to stack on top of that. So number one thing to keep in mind, we PCT because we want to get back to optimal levels of our natural hormones. Why is that important to get back to natural levels? When our hormones are not in an equilibrium we are moody, depressed, emotional, angry for no reason, and we crave junk food because we are emotional.
Second reason we do PCT is mainly to keep our gains. When hormones are suppressed and there is no more testosterone in the body so while your body is struggling by itself to restart your hormones (and eventually it will) your muscle tissue is wasting away, some people can lose up to 20 lbs of muscle while the body is doing the work on its own.
So, what does this have to do with SARMs?
While SARMs usually cause minor to medium suppression (body heals super quickly from it and you do not notice it) since every person is different you can also get heavily suppressed from SARMs. However, after years in this industry and people coming to us with their stories, heavy suppression comes from two things.
1.SARM abuse (spending 6 months on multiple chemicals is not a great idea)
2 Fake SARMs. We will not point fingers to any vendor but the way SARM business works is that raw powders are super expensive and a lot of vendors will either cut them with pro-hormones or steroids, the results during the cycle will be similar or even superior, your shutdown will be way heavier on pro-hormones or steroids and gains will be lost.
Which SARMs are suppressive?
Some SARMs are suppressive and some are not at all.
Here is a list of suppressive SARMs with their degrees of suppression.
RAD140 / Testolone (minor suppression)
S4 / Andarine (heavy suppression)
MK2866 / Ostarine (very minor to no suppression)
LGD4033 / Ligandrol (medium to heavy suppression)
GW501516 / Cardarine, SR9009, MK677 are not suppressive at all, they do not even interact with the HPTA axis.
Is suppression safe?
Yes, it is safe. There is nothing dangerous about hormonal suppression and even if it is qualified as heavy suppression it is not dangerous. Here is a study about LGD-4033 that says that: “LGD-4033 was safe, had favorable pharmacokinetic profile, and increased lean body mass even during this short period without change in prostate-specific antigen. Longer randomized trials should evaluate its efficacy in improving physical function and health outcomes in select populations.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22459616
So… Should I PCT after SARMS?
Are you planning on using any of the suppressive chemicals for long periods of time? (14 weeks +). How are your hormones now? How sensible are you to these chemicals. Have you used steroids before? In most cases you will not need a PCT but here is a bit of info that will help greatly… Keep in mind, that we wrote that S4 causes heavy suppression but in most cases 4 weeks of S4 usually do not need PCT as you aren’t totally suppressed.
The BEST WAY to PCT:
Get a blood test and a complete endocrine profile before starting (this will establish a baseline) and then get one after. You will know your levels of suppression and will be able to decide whether to medicate your suppression or not.
Ok, not getting a blood test, what is my other option?
It’s the old school method. Keep PCT medication on hand in case something goes wrong. What we mean by “something going wrong” is once you get off SARMs you start getting moody, angry, gains are melting away, you have insomnia or no motivation you need to start medicating that suppression, or wait it out. Should you decide to wait it out you will bounce back naturally it just might take 8-12-16 weeks before getting back to normal, once again depending on the level of suppression.
Another way is to just PCT without prejudice, assume you need it and go with it, this is the “better safe than sorry” method.
So, how do you medicate suppression?
There are multiple possible medications for hormonal suppression.
Here are a few:
To make things clear, nolvadex and arimistane aren’t really there to restart your testosterone they are there to keep your estrogen in check, which might make you feel better about yourself but isn’t solving the issue of suppressed hormones. You will eventually recover on these and if your only options are nolvadex or arimistane it’s still better than nothing.
The only one we recommend to restart a suppressed HPTA axis is Clomid (Clomiphene).
Clomid can kickstart your natural testosterone and bring you back from severe suppression within the first week and after week #4 of the treatment you should be 80-90% recovered.
How do you dose clomid?
We cannot comment on that, as each case is different. A dose that is generally recommended on internet is 50mg per day on week one. 25mg week 2 until week 4. There are multiple protocols out there you need to find which one works for you.
Does Clomid have any side effects?
Yes, but not everyone gets them. The most prominent one is the Clomid blues, it is a feeling of sadness. The first week can feel bad but, this is akin to a fever in a body, fever is there to fight off infection, the Clomid blues are actually a sign that you’re starting to heal and your hormones are changing. Go with it, second week will feel a lot better.
So there you have it.
Is PCT necessary? In most cases, no. In some cases yes, if you’re going to worry about it and let it ruin the experience of SARMs for you, have Clomid on hand and you will be fine.
This has been a gross vulgarization of what happens in the body once you ingest chemicals that interfere with your hormones and the PCT process. For more fun and learning about SARMs here are a few scientific articles to make this more clear for you.
Design, Synthesis, and Preclinical Characterization of the Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) RAD140
Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) have specific impacts on the mouse uterus.
The safety, pharmacokinetics, and effects of LGD-4033, a novel nonsteroidal oral, selective androgen receptor modulator, in healthy young men.