What Are the Dangers of Tamoxifen and Bodybuilding?

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  • Written By: Maggie J. Hall
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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Dangers of combining tamoxifen and bodybuilding include the possibility of developing serious side effects. Studies suggest coagulation abnormalities and liver disease tumor development can occur. Physicians normally prescribe tamoxifen as a treatment for certain types of breast cancers. Some body builders incorporate it into supplement cycles as a means of counteracting the undesirable effects of metabolic steroids.

Commonly reported tamoxifen side effects include depression, nausea, fatigue and skin rashes. People using tamoxifen may also experience dizziness and headaches. Some patients complain about arthritis like symptoms that include muscle or bone pain. The medication might also cause hypertension, lymph and peripheral edema. Men combining tamoxifen and bodybuilding might develop chest pain, difficulty breathing, hot flashes, and sexual dysfunction.

More serious complications associated with the medication include the potential for liver damage. Studies indicate that patients may exhibit elevated blood cholesterol levels, develop fatty livers, and hepatitis. Bodybuilding drugs often include anabolic steroids which affect the liver, causing elevated low-density lipoproteins while decreasing high-density lipoproteins. Other side effects include hypertension and possible liver damage. Combining tamoxifen and bodybuilding may increase the likelihood of cardiac, liver and vascular diseases.


Tamoxifen abuse increases the likelihood of developing blood or fatty clots, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Laboratory results also indicate patients experience elevated blood calcium levels and altered blood clotting abilities. Tamoxifen may reduce platelet numbers, increasing the likelihood of hemorrhage. Laboratory blood tests of some patients also reveal the possibility of having a decreased number of white blood cells which inhibits the body's immune system and the ability to fight infection.

Studies on patients using tamoxifen show that this estrogen receptor binding medication increases incidents of eye disease. Individuals develop retinal deep vein thrombosis, decreased visual color acuity, and an increased number of cataracts. Though the anti-estrogen compound successfully inhibits or reduces dimehtybenzithracene-related tumors, women often develop cancers in other areas of the body, including the liver. While tamoxifen decreases the number of available estrogen sites in breast tissue, research suggests the medication may encourage estrogen binding in blood vessels, bones and the heart.

Another side effect of using anabolic steroids includes developing fatty deposits in various body locations, including breast tissue. Steroids also inhibit the hormones responsible for gonad size and function. Men combine tamoxifen and bodybuilding in hopes of reversing these effects. A tamoxifen dosage of 20 to 40 milligrams a day supposedly aids in releasing follicle stimulating and lutenizing hormones that trigger hypothalamus and pituitary function, which stimulates the testes and increases sperm and testosterone production.


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Post 3

I'm sure that tamoxifen has some negative side effects but I highly doubt that short term tamoxifen use will cause organ damage. I'm not a doctor, I'm just saying this from my personal experience on tamoxifen. Tamoxifen gave me some nausea and dizziness but that was it.

Most of the studies on tamoxifen were done on breast cancer patients. So I don't think that those results apply to people who use tamoxifen for bodybuilding.

Post 2

@ankara-- I'm sure tamoxifen had negative effects on your friends' bodies. But they might not be aware of those effects right now. Of course the dose and how long tamoxifen is used are also important. It won't have the same effects on everyone.

The reason that tamoxifen is dangerous is because it acts like estrogen hormone. It competes with the estrogen naturally present in the body and takes its place. So it's supposed to block estrogen but it doesn't always do that. Sometimes it has the opposite effect and this is where all the dangerous side effects come from.

Using tamoxifen to counter the side effects of steroids is basically useless. It'll actually make things worse, not better.

Post 1

I have several friends who took tamoxifen when they were on steroids and they didn't experience any negative side effects. I think that the dangers of tamoxifen use in bodybuilding is exaggerated.

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