How much Arimidex should I take on TRT?
I’ll often talk about estrogen more than testosterone when discussing TRT as it’s the single hardest hormone to control in men. While some men start TRT and never run into issues with their estroven levels (Consider yourself lucky) others aren’t so fortunate. Symptoms of high estrogen can start as early as 2-3 months into treatment. The symptoms often negate the entire point of being on testosterone replacement therapy in the first place. To make matters worse research and studies on estrogen levels in men are limited at best. Symptoms can include: loss of muscle mass, extreme fatigue, low libido, depression, erectile dysfunction, raised body fat and the worst Gynecomastia (Man Boobs). If you are or have experienced high estrogen symptoms while going through TRT therapy you can know doubt relate to the fact it’s a horrible experience. Let me tell you this: You’re not alone. It’s manageable and you can get through it.
So how much Arimidex should you take? Unfortunately I cannot give you a straight answer, but can perhaps share some guidelines that may give you a head start. Try to read through this post in it’s entirety then visit our estrogen section. The more you learn about E2 levels, how you can control them and how the process works the more likely you’ll obtain better management.
First let’s talk about how Arimidex works
Note that Arimidex does not lower your estrogen directly, rather it blocks the enzyme Aromatase which helps convert testosterone into estrogen. This important because I was unaware of this when I first started taking Arimidex. I had incorrectly assumed that Arimidex helped to directly lower your E2 levels and that with this in mind, taking more meant faster results. This lead to a separate host of symptoms: low estrogen levels. (It never seems to end does it) Alas that’s for another topic. Let’s try to ensure you can avoid this.
Imagine you’re driving your car on the freeway and you have a gas pump (we’ll pretend it’s a magic floating gas pump) attached to your car. The gas is your estrogen and the car is your body. As you’re driving the gas pump is constantly filling your car. Arimidex is the hand that removes the gas pump from the tank. While you’re no longer receiving gas (estrogen) from this magical pump, you still have gas (estrogen) in the tank. In fact it’s probably overflowing and you need to “burn” some off. Thus taking a large amount of Arimidex too quickly can lead to your E2 levels dropping past the “sweet spot” and you’ll have to come off of it and start all over again.
Finding the correct dosage for you
It goes without saying that you should speak to your physician or better yet your Endocrinologist before starting arimidex. Every person is different (body size, BMI etc) and the dosage you require may be completely different from what someone else needs. However within the TRT community there’s some pretty decent guidelines that had I followed to begin with probably would have resulted in a much better outcome.
Arimidex has a half life of 48 hours. This means it’s most potent 48 hours after taking your first dose and slowly drops off from there. The idea here is to try and match up with your peak test levels (which normally hit 48-72 hours after taking your injection) and limit your body from converting your T into estrogen.
Many men in the TRT community report taking 1/4mg to 1/2mg two time per week. Most well informed TRT clinics and Endocrinologists try to keep your E2 levels around 20-30pg/ml. This is what we call the “Sweet Spot.” (Or at least as close to these numbers as possible)
At one point, if you can believe it, I was taking .5-1mg Arimidex per day. I hit my sweet spot quickly and then crashed hard with symptoms equal to or greater than having high E2 levels. Don’t do this. My latest dosing schedule is .5mg of Arimidex the day of my shot (usually a few hours prior) followed by another .25mg dose 3 days later. You doctor will likely prescribe you a bottle with instructions that read “1mg once per day” this is NOT meant for men. Doctors do this as a way to ensure the insurance companies fill your prescription. What works for you may vary but this is a good place to start. Keep in mind how much you need will depend on how high your E2 levels are. When I first started taking Arimidex my E2 levels were around 249. (Yes, really. I felt horrible, bloated and depressed) a secondary test was done to ensure these numbers weren’t in error. (The second test came back at 239)
While I’ve personally learned to read the signs my body provides me, you really can’t manage your E2 levels without follow up blood work. (If you’re a cash patient read this post to help save some money on blood work) While you’re trying to get your E2 levels under control I suggest blood work weekly if it’s within your means, bi-weekly if you need to save some cash. If you’re on a weekly dosage schedule (and you should be if you want to avoid highs and lows) try to take your test just before your next injection. For example, if you took your last injection on a Sunday, test on a Friday. This will help you check your trough levels (the point at which your T is starting to drop) and will give you a pretty good idea of how well you’re keeping your E and T levels in check.
How to recognize the signs
There’s a post floating about a number of forums by a member called “PM Gamer” that I thought I’d post here. It provides you with a second opinion and one that I see copy and pasted often:
“How To Take Arimidex and not go down on your Estradiol to Low.
What I found is if you go to low taking arimidex, it’s the length of time your to low, if your too low say for 8 weeks it can take your body a longer time to make more Estradiol. Bottom line is to know how not to go to low. Keep a log on your dose and how you feel men going to low can’t get it up taking viagra. I went to low when I first tried Arimidex and did not know about going to low or how one feels to low, so I was low a good 8 weeks. I did not know I was low until my next labs.
The best gage I have found to control your Estradiol levels is to gage your night time and morning wood. At good levels or what I call the sweet spot you get your night time and morning wood back so strong it will wake you up and you can hang a coat on it.
Most men do good taking .25 mgs or 1/4 of a 1mg. pill, I use a pill cutter to cut the small pill in half then I stand it on the cut end and use a single edge razor to cut this in half. A good way to take arimidex is by how high your levels are. I tested over 90 pg/ml so we tried doing .5 mgs every other day after 8 weeks my next set of labs showed it did not move below 90, test said >90. So we did .5 mgs. every day in about 2 weeks I got some strong night time and morning wood back after not having them for many yrs.
I kept doing this dose and in 8 weeks my next set of labs said <20 back in the day labs were like this they did not have to good labs we have today they could not read lower the 20. My Dr. told me this looks to low to stop taking the Arimidex. The one thing I noticed was my wood stopped and stopping the Arimidex my wood came back in about 7 weeks my next test at 8 weeks was 24 pg/ml. So we went back on the Arimidex but the Dr. told me to take .5 mgs every 3 days I was on this dose not a week and lost wood. This is when I figured out going to low you lose wood. And the longer your too low the longer it takes to get levels back up.
I stopped the arimidex right away and got my wood back in 4 days. I then after playing with the dose for a time found the best dose is .25mgs every 2 to 3 days.
So lets say your labs are less the 50 pg/ml if your take .5 mgs you can go down so dam fast your miss the sweet spot of your wood and go to low. It’s best with lower levels 50 and under to do less Arimidex .25mgs every 2 days if later your lose wood when it comes back go to every 3 days.
I have found estradiol is the hardest hormone to control, it goes up or down from month to month some times I need .25mgs every 2 days other times I need .25mgs everyday most of the time I do well on every 3 days.
So between wood and labs I do great and so do most of the men I have told this to. I keep a log on how much I am taking and how I feel. Doing this and reading back in my log I was able to tell when I was going to high or to low my Dr. lets me dose my arimidex by how I feel.
Over the yrs. I have posted this story until I am blue in the face. ”
Update 6/14/2017 – I now recommend split injections over Arimidex when possible. Please see my post Here