Clenbuterol, also known as Clen, is a bronchodilator which is prescribed throughout the world for asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease. Clenbuterol relaxes the smooth muscle and helps regulate the disastrous symptoms of asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease. Clenbuterol is not approved for human usage in the United States of America. Albuterol, a drug very similar to Clenbuterol, is however being used to treat asthma in the USA. Clenbuterol gets FDA approval in the US, only when prescribed by veterinary doctors for use in horses. Clenbuterol is not an anabolic steroid contrary to popular belief.
Clenbuterol has the notorious reputation of being a performance enhancing drug and has been banned in most athletic competitions. Use of clenbuterol for livestock has been banned in the US as well as in most of Europe, but it is still being used to increase livestock production. Many athletes found guilty for clenbuterol usage claim they may have consumed contaminated meat and got off without major charges. Alberto Contador, a three time ‘Tour de France’ champion, is one of the famous athletes who blamed his positive test for Clenbuterol usage on an animal treated with clenbuterol.
Clenbuterol used as a fat burner
Clenbuterol has the reputation of being a rapid fat burner in the body. It has been fondly addressed as the most efficient fat cutting drug used by athletes as well as bodybuilders during the cutting phase of their respective steroid cycles. Clenbuterol cuts down the production of adipose tissue in the body helping to regulate excessive fat production. Clenbuterol is also heavily popular among women who are extremely conscious of their weight.
The popular belief is that clenbuterol removes those residual fats from the body which just do not leave the body even after following a strict diet and exercising. When it is introduced in an individual’s bloodstream it tends to cause stimulation of the beta-2 receptors which facilitates a rapid increase in the metabolism rates of the body. Increased metabolism rates increase the cellular heat of the body causing a breakdown of triglycerides leading to the formation of free fatty acids. People using Clenbuterol will experience high body temperatures while on the drug which they will have to endure to a certain extent. If they are having difficulties in enduring this increase in body heat they should get medical assistance immediately.
Clenbuterol cycles and dosages
There are generally two procedures of Clenbuterol usage for safe and effective utilization of the drug. The most popular procedure is consuming it for 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks off. While this procedure may be the tried and tested option, a steady and longer period of administration is increasingly gaining popularity among users.
2 weeks On/2 weeks off procedure – This procedure is not very tough to follow. The user needs to start with a low dose and keep increasing it very 2-3 days until the user successfully reaches his maximum dosage as desired. Once the body begins to adapt to the drug, users discontinue usage, wait for a couple of weeks and then begin again close to the dosage they had previously ended with. Some users even go for the exact same dosage. This procedure continues until and unless the desired effects are not seen.
Steady use – Users, who operate under this procedure, tend to start with a low dose and gradually increase the dose slightly every couple of weeks according to their needs. More often than not, the dosage will be increased in 20mcg spurts and there will be sustained increase every 2-3 weeks until the user is satisfied with the level of fat loss achieved.
The above mentioned procedures are the two methods users generally prefer for clenbuterol administration. Research has shown that the 2 weeks on/off method is more common among users because they have the misconception that the body needs some time to recuperate from the use of the drug.
Studies show that steady use of the drug is required to take maximum benefit of the increased metabolism rates of the body. This is exactly why the steady use procedure is growing in popularity among users. A 40mcg dosage at the start is appropriate for a user with a gradual increase of 20mcg every 2-3 weeks. Following this dosage can give the user quick results.
Side effects of Clenbuterol
There are both long and short-term side effects faced by clenbuterol users. Short-term side effects are likely to disappear once all the clenbuterol is expelled from the body but long-term side effects of the drug may cause a few complications.
Short-term side effects
Here are a few short-term side effects of using clenbuterol:
Increased blood pressure – Clenbuterol is known to increase blood pressure levels in patients, exposing patients to the dangerous possibility of a heart attack or a stroke.
Headaches – Clenbuterol users have also reported headaches as a common side effect of Clenbuterol use. These are notoriously recurring and cause a lot of discomfort to the patient.
Nausea and vomiting – Nausea and vomiting are side effects which have been associated with Clenbuterol administration. This is a common side effect with several forms of hormonal therapy but only for a short period. If a patient continues to suffer from these side effects, it is better he/she consults their doctor as soon as possible.
Muscle cramps – Muscle cramps are a disturbing occurrence post clenbuterol administration.
Shakiness – Users may experience shakiness in some parts of the body especially on their hands.
Sweating – Clenbuterol users may experience unnecessary sweating even when the temperatures are cooler. This is due to the increase in body heat due to the fat burning initiated by Clenbuterol.
Insomnia – Users have also reported suffering from insomnia, which is the inability to sleep.
Increased heart rate – Users have also reported an increase in their heart rate after the administration of clenbuterol.
Palpitations – Palpitation is a condition in which there are abnormal changes in the heart beat of a person, which may range from unnoticed skipped beats and sudden accelerations in heartbeats. Noticeable changes are accompanied by dizziness and difficulty in breathing.
Anxiety and Nervousness – Users tend to be anxious and have a heightened sense of nervousness after clenbuterol administration.
Dry mouth – Users are likely to experience dry mouths after clenbuterol use. It is recommended that they increase their intake of water to counter this side effect.
Long-term side effects
There have been some long-term side effects observed in animals. Clenbuterol use has shown a growth in the size of the heart muscle cells due to the increase in the amount of an inelastic material known as collagens. This material can reduce the heart’s effectiveness at pumping blood in our system and causing reduction in blood output in the process. The collagens can also interfere with the electric signals being sent through the heart muscle cells causing arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats heightening the chances of a stroke occurrence.
Studies involving rodents have found that clenbuterol facilitated degeneration in heart cells. Studies have also indicated that clenbuterol has adverse effects on the heart’s structural dimensions and tends to cause aortic enlargement post exercise heightening the chances of sudden death and aortic rupture.
Adding further to the complications, Clenbuterol may cause the aggravation or recurrence of any blood pressure complications or pre-existing heart condition. When taken in high doses, clenbuterol is believed to be the cause for left sided cardiac atrophy – accelerated degradation of the left side of the heart.
Clenbuterol is also known to affect the mechanical characteristics and micro-composition of the bone, causing weakness in the bones. There is greater muscle mass in the body, but since the bones are fragile the user is greatly at risk of bone fractures. They should take ample precautions to avoid accidents and painful fractures. The amount of damage clenbuterol can cause to a developing body is still unknown.
There is the possibility of Clenbuterol overdose and the effects of this can be fatal for the user. Listed below are a few symptoms the user should be on the lookout for after using clenbuterol:
Tachihardia – Racing heart beats, which can be around 200 beats per minute.
Hypokalemia – Reduction in potassium concentration in the blood leading to elevated blood pressure and arrhythmia.
Hypophosphatemia – Incredible reduction in phosphate levels in the blood.
Stroke – Rapid loss in brain function due to the sustained disruption in blood supply to the brain.
Vertigo – Often referred to as a subtype of dizziness in which a patient experiences perceived motion inappropriately.
Breathing difficulty – There may be instant difficulties in breathing post clenbuterol administration.
Clenbuterol and weight gain
The list of potential side effects clenbuterol can cause is very long and some of them can be life threatening. There is one side effect in particular which calls for special attention from those users who are abusing clenbuterol to lose weight. They should know that over a period of time clenbuterol is likely to lose its efficacy and initiate a rapid weight gain in the user’s body. This is probably due to the effects it already had on the user’s metabolism. Some users have actually reported that this can happen after clenbuterol administration for 3-4 weeks.
However, the black market and several illegitimate websites on the internet are still selling this drug without prescription for those willing to shell out those extra bucks. There are also those veterinary doctors who can be coerced into writing a false prescription in exchange for handsome amounts of money. Users do not have appropriate information about this drug and continue to abuse the drug oblivious of the dangerous side effects the usage of the drug may entail. The drug is considered a dangerous agent and even administering it to animals needs FDA approval.
Despite the bans and restrictions on the drug, it continues to gain popularity in society. Athletes continue to be tested positive but get off without charges blaming the whole episode on the consumption of contaminated meat. This occurrence is a direct result of a loophole in the laws governing the use of Clenbuterol. The authorities have to take responsibility and stop the circulation of this dangerous drug in the market. They should first ensure that there is more general awareness among the mainstream public about the adverse effects of this drug. Then there should be a massive crackdown on the black market scene. Athletes found guilty should also be interrogated with further scrutiny and should be given appropriate punishment.