Prohormone & Designer Steroid Articles

OTC PCT (Over the Counter Post Cycle Therapy)

Disclaimer: Don't use these or any other supplements without first consulting with your physician.

The idea of PCT didn't become well know until Dan Duchaine wrote "The Underground Steroid Handbook". The purpose of PCT therapy is to:
  • Recover HPTA (hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis)
  • Boost Testosterone
  • Control Estrogen
  • Inhibit the effects of SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin)
  • Aromatase Inhibition/Estrogen control
Duchaine recommended Nolvadex for recovery of HPTA after steroid usage. He also suggested Clomid for its LH mimetic properties. The use of both together would block estrogen receptors in the breast (preventing gynecomastia) and help raise testosterone levels at the same time. Currently, these drugs are prescription only, but are available online as research chemicals.

There is some concern as to the purity of research chemicals, as well as legal and privacy issues. So what can a prohormone or steroid user use to recover HPTA function that has no legal, purity or privacy issues?

There is growing evidence that a natural SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) has been found in the compound Trans-Resveratrol. Research is still being conducted, but early indications show it acts as an antagonist to estrogen when estrogen is present. Moreover, it is selective to breast tissue estrogen receptors. A SERM blocks estrogen from binding to estrogen receptors, which prevents gynecomastia after a cycle of steroids. The growth of breast tissue is one of the most feared side effects of prohormones and steroids. The major cause of gynecomastia is the sudden rise of estrogen in response to the increase in testosterone during the restoration of HPTA.

Recovering HPTA involves getting hormones back to normal levels. This involves boosting testosterone while reducing estrogen. Getting testosterone production back involves using many different pathways to tell the testes to get busy producing testosterone again.

Icarrin is a compound extracted from Horny Goat Weed. In one study it was determined Icarriin had testosterone mimetic properties and could be used to treat hypoandrogenism (lack of androgens). Icariin also is a PDE-5 inhibitor, which can help you get your libido back after a steroid cycle. Libido seems to be directly related to androgen levels which are a direct function of HPTA.

Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is another promising compound. I3C is found in leafy green, cruciferous vegetables such as green cabbage and broccoli. I3C has been purported to have cancer fighting abilities in addition to properties that control and metabolize estrogen. I3C also blocks estrogen receptors in breast tissue, so it adds to the SERM properties of Trans-Resveratrol.

It's also important to include something to inhibit the rise of SHBG. SHBG binds to sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and renders them inactive. Many testosterone boosters work by freeing bound testosterone. Bound testosterone is testosterone that SHBG has has bound to and rendered inactive, meaning it can't bind to androgen receptors. Divanil is one such compound that has a higher affinity for SHBG than testosterone and consequently estrogen as well.

So the beginning of the OTC PCT protocol is to block the effects of estrogen on breast tissue and begin recovering testosterone. Three weeks into the OTC PCT protocol, we've blocked estrogen from effecting breast tissue, but as testosterone production increasees, so does estrogen production, especially with the effects of SHBG being inhibited. The next step is to inhibit estrogen effects.

To do this, an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) is used. However, estrogen is important for muscle generation as well as immune system function and bone health. There are several AI's on the market, but the most popular choice is 6-oxo. 6-oxo lets some estrogen exist (a good thing) while eradicating a majority of it. AI's are used to control estrogen and let it come back to a normal level at a slowed rate. AI's should be run towards the end of PCT.

Prolactin is another hormone to be concerned with. It's released from the pituitary when dopamine is suppressed. Prolactin gyno has symptoms such as puffy nipples, lumps under the nipples and a clear leakage of fluid when the nipples are squeezed. Cabergoline, high dosages of B-6 and L-Dopa have been reported to help with prolactin gyno. Cabergoline can be high toxic, and B-6 can be toxic at high dosages for extended periods, and L-dopa can have unwanted sides. Only look at using these compounds if you are experiencing the side effects of too much prolactine. If you choose to take these, use them for a short period only. If you feel ill or experience numbing in the extremities stop dosages immediately.

Supplement Suggestions:

Trans-Resveratrol/Icariin: Users have report good results from Post Cycle Support by Anabolic Innovations. The estrogen receptor modulating properties of Trans-Resveratol are documented in independent studies. While this compound is promising we still need to include other estrogen antagonistic compounds to be sure all the bases are covered.

Indole-3-Carbinol (IC3) has been shown to metabolize estrogen as well as having antagonistic properties on estrogen receptors in breast tissue. It helps rid the body of estrogens as well as protecting against gyno.

Zinc, Magnesium Aspertate (ZMA): Growth Hormone production is highest during sleep. Some ZMA supplements add valerian root to help with deeper sleep and more REM, which is when GH is released. Strenuous exercise can deplete the body of magnesium and zinc. ZMA can help keep these levels normal.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that tells the body to preserve fat tissue. As the body starts to recover testosterone, cortisol levels goe up. To combat this a cortisol blocker such as 7-OH, a metabolite of DHEA, is used. Lean Xtreme is popular for this purpose. Lean Xtreme also contains fat metabolizing compounds such as Forskolin and Green Tea Extract.

As testosterone begins to rise, it's important to control the corresponding rise of estrogen and SHBG. 6-oxo and Activate Xtreme can help here. Activate Xtreme is a divanil/icariin based testosterone booster. Divanil is an SHBG binder with a higher affinity for SHBG than testosterone or estrogen. Icariin is a testosterone mimetic which boosts the production of testosterone in the body. 6-oxo controls estrogen by eliminating the aromatase enzyme that signals the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. By inhibiting the production of estrogen it prompts the pituitary to release more LH thus boosting the production of more testosterone.

Sample OTC PCT cycle 1:

Weeks 1 - 2
  • POST Cycle Support: 2 Capsules in AM, 2 Capsules in PM with or without food
  • Cycle Assist 1 scoop per day OR Life Support 2 capsules AM, 2 capsules PM with or without food
  • I3C (indole-3-Carbinol): 200mg 3 times per day
Weeks 3 - 4
  • POST Cycle Support: 2 Capsules in AM, 2 Capsules in PM
  • I3C (indole-3-Carbinol): 200mg 3 times per day
Weeks 5 - 8
  • 6-OXO: Week 5 - 4/day, Week 6 - 2/day, Week 7 - 1/day, Week 8 - 1 every other day
  • Activate Xtreme: 2 Capsules in AM, 2 Capsules in PM
Sample OTC PCT cycle 2: