Most often, it’s found in post-cycle-therapy or PCT cycles as well as in cutting stacks for fat loss/
What exactly is it, how does it affect the body, and does it cause side effects? Such questions are just a few that should be asked prior to putting any drug into the body whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter.
Any drug, including Clenbuterol, which is used for reasons other than which it is intended can increase the risk for side effects and adverse reactions
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Clenbuterol is a sympathomimetic amine marketed under a variety of brand names including but not limited to Ventipulmin, Spiropent, and Dilaterol.
A sympathomimetic amine is often recommended in the treatment of lung or breathing disorders as well as bronchodilators commonly prescribed for asthma and found in decongestant medications.
While Clenbuterol is not a controlled substance, it is a prescription-only drug. Despite its many chemical names, synonyms, brand names, and street names, an individual can always recognize the drug through its chemical formula: C12H18C12N2O.
It’s classified under the therapeutic category of bronchodilators and as a beta-2 sympathomimetic agent.
Today, the drug is banned in the US, although it still used by asthma patients in other countries around the world.
It does have some anabolic properties and promotes fat-burning or thermogenic effects, but was discontinued in the US for the most part because of its severe side effects.
As with many drugs, individuals and especially illicit drug manufacturers and underground labs always manage to find a way to get their hands on prescription-only drugs.
But this method of procurement increases the potential for not only side effects but unexpected and adverse reactions as well as legal ramifications.
The dangers of purchasing drugs like Clenbuterol without a prescription from foreign sources also increases risk.
Methods of creation, ingredients and fillers used, expiration dates, bacteria, contaminants, and counterfeit products are prevalent in the black market.
Any person considering the use of non-prescription Clenbuterol should be aware of such safety considerations.
Clenbuterol is not an anabolic androgenic steroid, so why would a bodybuilder or athlete be interested in it? It doesn’t affect muscle growth, does it?
Clenbuterol is defined as a sympathomimetic amine that in medical environments is often recommended in the treatment of lung conditions or breathing disorders such as asthma and COPD and other chronic pulmonary issues.
Because of its composition and effect on the body (think amphetamines or ephedrine), it’s often used by athletes to increase performance and metabolism.
Understanding how it works and its mechanism of action in the body is important to know before use.
Clenbuterol may still be used in veterinary environments, most specifically in Clenbuterol syrup.
Each milliliter of clenbuterol syrup contains 72.5 mcg of clenbuterol hydrochloride, specifically used in the treatment of horses affected with COPD or other airway obstruction, and for a limited time.
Clenbuterol, because of its classification as a sympathomimetic amine, is an agonist that triggers a number of activities of the autonomic nervous system.
Autonomic functions in the body are those that we have no direct control over such as breathing rate, heart rate, digestive processes, and metabolism.
The sympathetic nervous system is one component of the body’s central nervous system that is responsible for these autonomic functions.
The basic mechanism of action associated with Clenbuterol, as a sympathomimetic amine, is the ability of the drug to enhance binding to adrenergic receptors of the bronchial tubes inside the lungs, most specifically the smooth muscle tissues that line the walls of these tubes.
When Clenbuterol binds to beta-2 adrenergic receptors, it triggers the release of adenylate cyclase (often spelled adenyl cyclase), an enzyme involved in metabolism or energy production cycles in the body.
More specifically, adenyl cyclase is a participant in the process of converting adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into cyclic adenosine monophosphate (known as cAMP ), which is in itself a vital component in energy production as well as metabolism in the body.
cAMP also plays a role in fat-burning (thermogenic) effects in the body.
Energy metabolism and functions involving ATP and cAMP cycles are also beneficial in the construction and development of muscle mass, among other benefits in the body.
However, Clenbuterol does not have a huge impact on such weight loss. A person would have to take very high doses of Clenbuterol to achieve these results.
The main focus in regard to use of Clenbuterol by bodybuilders is to tack it onto the end of a cutting cycle.
Clenbuterol has the ability, due to its thermogenic effect, to aid in some weight-loss for bodybuilders or athletes wishing to achieve optimal sculpting or physique results prior to a competition or in shedding those last couple of pounds prior to athletic events.
In most cases, this focus on fat loss is on visceral and abdominal fat.
Because of its ability to stimulate metabolism and produce energy, Clenbuterol may provide minimal effects in muscle building endeavors.
In some ways, Clenbuterol does provide similar tissue building or anabolic effects that are often linked to anabolic androgenic steroids, while at the same time reducing or inhibiting damage or destruction of muscle tissue (catabolism).
Not all bodybuilders or athletes use Clenbuterol in their exercise routines or regimens. In fact, some believe it is completely useless and a waste of money in regard to overall efficacy and results.
It’s not generally known for its ability to aid in the decrease of moderate fat levels in the body.
Clenbuterol may be effective in helping a person with an already lean physique to drop two to three pounds, but it is certainly not perceived as a weight-loss drug that while provide significant or even moderate benefits when it comes to weight loss for those who are overweight or obese.
When looking for a Clenbuterol PCT cycle recommendation or sample on the Internet, you’ll likely find dozens of suggestions and recommendations in regard to dosage, other drugs to combine in the post cycle therapy routine, and how long those routines or cycles should last.
In many cases, Clenbuterol is used by itself, but in other cases may be recommended in combination with other anabolic androgenic steroids and other drugs designed to maintain control over hormone levels.
Clenbuterol is generally used to enhance recovery near the end or at the end of a steroid cycle. Some athletes and bodybuilders also believe that Clenbuterol usage also helps to maintain strength and muscle mass gains and endurance after a steroid cycle has been completed.
Recommended dosage of Clenbuterol in a PCT cycle varies depending on the bodybuilding website/magazine promoting use of Clenbuterol in such cycles.
Dosage recommendations range anywhere from 60 mcg daily to 140 mcg daily for men and for women in dosages ranging 40 mcg to 120 mcg a day.
The average cycle recommendation is two days on and two days off, while others recommend three weeks on and three weeks off.
Some sites recommend that athletes also take potassium because
Clenbuterol may reduce potassium stores in the body depending on age, weight, and overall health condition. Clenbuterol is typically most effective with an adequate diet high in protein, relatively moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat consumption.
A sample Clenbuterol cycle for men may include some form of anabolic androgenic steroid such as Winstrol (Stanozolol) as well as other ingredients including drugs that provide anti-estrogenic effects such as Proviron (Mesterolone).
Some websites also recommend use of an additional bronchodilator such as brand name Ventolin, Vospire, and Proventil in the cycle. A sample:
Week 1: 80 micrograms Clenbuterol daily combined with 50 mg daily of testosterone (Winstrol), and 16 mg daily of an additional bronchodilator such as Ventolin.
Week 2: 50 mg daily of testosterone, 25 mg daily of Proviron, and 16 mg daily of the additional bronchodilator
Week 3: 80 micrograms daily of Clenbuterol, 50 mg daily of testosterone, 25 mg daily of Proviron, and 16 mg daily of the additional bronchodilator.
Access different website forum boards, bodybuilding magazines, and bodybuilding websites, and you’re likely to find a number of other popular Clenbuterol cycles for both men and women.
Every individual may experience different results as well as potential side effects when using Clenbuterol by itself or with other drugs in a PCT regimen.
Putting any drug into the body when it is not needed can cause a number of side effects and adverse reactions for both men and women.
The severity and duration of those side effects depend on dosage and frequency of dosage. When used for weight loss, it’s not very effective for more than a few pounds of weight loss.
Side effects associated with Clenbuterol can be temporary or more severe and long-term in nature, depending on dosage.
Some of the more serious side effects linked to misuse of Clenbuterol, and can also indicate potential overuse (over dosage) or abuse include but are not limited to:
Bodybuilders and athletes using a prescription-only drug without a prescription and without medical supervision often take more of the drug than recommended for medical treatments, increasing the risk for side effects.
A recommended dosage for medical-based treatments of asthma, for example, average about 20 mcg a day. Clenbuterol use by athletes or bodybuilders may reach 160 mcg a day.
The greater the dosage and frequency of dosages, the greater the risk for potential side effects and adverse reactions.
When it comes to weight loss, Clenbuterol is not to be perceived as a weight-loss drug in general.
While it can increase thermogenic and metabolic rates in some people, a Clenbuterol diet plan or Clenbuterol used specifically for weight loss is not particularly effective.
Clenbuterol has been studied for its potential impact on glucose or sugar levels in the body. Glucose is stored in the liver and muscle as glycogen.
Glycogen in the liver is broken down by liver enzymes in order to maintain constant blood glucose levels, especially when intake of carbohydrates is inadequate.
Hormone levels in the body are carefully balanced and can affect metabolic functions such as blood glucose regulation.
Insulin and glucose work together to maintain concentrations of glucose in the blood within normal ranges.
Energy production in the body requires glucose as one form of muscle fuel. During exercise, the body will supply glucose to the muscles from stores of glycogen in the muscles as well as the liver.
For this reason, diet and exercise is an important aspect when it comes to any form of weight-loss.
Clenbuterol should never be used as a weight-loss miracle drug or a quick fix to drop weight because duration and intensity of exercise as well as fuel use has the most impact on positive weight loss.
Clenbuterol can also have an impact on skeletal and muscular development (in heart patients) as well as on the cardiovascular system and heart muscle itself.
Because of its impact on the sympathetic nervous system and autonomic body functions, any individual considering use of Clenbuterol for non-medical, pulmonary or lung disorders should use caution and discretion.
Introducing any drug into the body that is not required for normal function or balance can interrupt balance, production, and secretions of numerous hormones in the endocrine system that in turn can trigger malfunction or dysfunction between hormonal glands, metabolism, organs, and entire body systems.
Clenbuterol, when used under medical supervision, is considered relatively safe. However, it should be noted that Clenbuterol is not condoned for use by athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Clenbuterol can interact negatively with a number of over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs.
Clenbuterol drug interactions of over-the-counter and nonprescription medications include acetaminophen and butalbital, often recommended for the treatment of headaches.
Negative interaction with amphetamines or other drugs often recommended in the treatment of chronic bronchitis, COPD, and asthma may also contribute to unexpected and alarming side effects.
Individuals taking any drug for obesity treatment such as benzphetamine should note that this drug can negatively interact with Clenbuterol as well.
The bottom line is that Clenbuterol doesn’t have a huge impact on either weight gains, weight loss, or development of muscle mass.
Used alone or in combination with other drugs, Clenbuterol can and does contribute to a number of side effects on the sympathetic nervous system.
Clenbuterol is designed to relax smooth muscle tissues inside the lungs and to open airways.
Yes, this function does increase oxygenation, which in turn is valuable in protein synthesis, delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body including muscle tissues.
This results in growth, proliferation, and strength and endurance, but for some the side effects are not worth it. Toxicity is possible, even in low doses.
The drug has been linked to rhabdomyolysis, or shredding of muscle tissue fibers that are excreted through urine.
Anyone considering use of Clenbuterol should read the abstract of an interesting 2013 study on Clenbuterol: “A descriptive study of adverse events from clenbuterol misuse and abuse for weight loss and bodybuilding.”
The above mentioned study reported adverse effects in 11 of 13 users of Clenbuterol for weight loss and/or bodybuilding.
Side effects included tachycardia, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, elevated levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK), chest pains, heart palpitations, and tremors.
These effects occurred in otherwise healthy and overall low-risk individuals with potentially damaging and life-threatening side effects that lasted more than a day.
Two of the patients involved in the study experienced myocardial injury or damage to the myocardium of the heart.
Before considering use of Clenbuterol, engage in diligent research and consideration.
Does use of Clenbuterol and its minimal impact on muscle growth, or weight-loss outweigh the potential for side effects and adverse reactions?
In most cases, the answer is no. Individuals wishing to increase metabolic functions in the body are recommended to consume a balanced and nutritious diet and increase levels of exercise.
Use of over-the-counter supplements and nutritional and dietary aides, including steroid alternatives that increase health and wellness of hormone and metabolic functions in the body, may prove just as effective and without the risk of damage to body organs and functions. The same applies to Clenbuterol.