Clomiphene citrate is as good as HRT – and a lot cheaper

Cheaper than topical HRT gels

Cheaper than topical HRT gels

Clomiphene citrate is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) marketed under the brand name Clomid. Originally designed as a female fertility drug, Clomid is regularly used by bodybuilders upon cessation of a steroid cycle as part of their post cycle therapy (PCT). This is done because Clomid inhibits the effect of estrogen in the pituitary thereby short circuiting the natural negative feedback loop that controls gonadotropin release. The result of this is an increase in Luteinizing hormone (LH) which is a hormone that tells the testes to produce testosterone. Clomid also inhibits the effect of estrogen in breast tissue, limiting the potential for gynecomastia (male boobs). For this reason some bodybuilders also use Clomid during a cycle to avoid this, but more often than not another SERM called Nolvadex, or aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex are used. But the general take-home message is that Clomid raises testosterone and antagonizes the effects of estrogen. A previous study from 2005 has shown that use of Clomid can pretty much correct androgen deficiency when given to hypogonadal men at a dose of 25mg/day for three months. While this gave the men normal blood hormone readings, I’ve also seen several cases on some message boards somewhat recently where normal men have used Clomid and noticed their testosterone levels increase significantly to supraphysiological levels. One guy even claimed that he was now in the shape of his life thanks to Clomid. And I guess this segues nicely into this updates research study.

androgelSome good folk from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have investigated the comparative effects of Clomid with typical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the form of Androgel or Testim (both topical gels). They decided to assess the contrast “with regard to biochemical and clinical efficacy and cost.” I found the latter both intriguing and somewhat refreshing. Over one hundred men were reviewed with just over half receiving Clomid at 50mg every other day (EOD) and the rest either Androgel or Testim, both dosed at five grams per day. All the men in the review were determined as hypogonadal which they determined as being testosterone levels below 300 ng/mL. The effects from both treatments after several months of treatment were almost identical with the Clomid users reporting an average testosterone level of 573 ng/dL and the HRT users measuring in at 553 ng/dL. But here’s the interesting bit, as the cost of medication is rarely factored into most clinical studies. The researchers calculated the monthly cost for each drug at the above dosing as follows: Testim – $270, Androgel – $265, and Clomid $83. Yep, you read that right, Clomid is as effective as HRT and clocks in at around 30% of the price.

testimClomid is, however, not completely side effect free. While any dose can give rise to abdominal pains, higher doses in the 150mg/day range can lead to blurring of vision. It is also not entirely uncommon for some bodybuilders to report feeling overly emotional when using Clomid, although this is typically only during PCT. Ultimately, however, I do not envisage any problems if you follow the dosing scheme from the study of 50mg EOD.

So in summary, Clomid is as effective as HRT gels, taking it EOD is a damn sight lot easier than applying a topical gel daily, and the cost is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Source: Taylor F, Levine L. Clomiphene citrate and testosterone gel replacement therapy for male hypogonadism: efficacy and treatment cost. J Sex Med. 2010 Jan;7(1 Pt 1):269-76.

About the Author

Matt Cahill has worked extensively in the nutritional supplement field, and is the former CEO of Designer Supplements. During his time in the field has researched and developed prohormones, testosterone boosters, and other related compounds, both for his own company and others.