How to Raise Testosterone with Arimidex

Awhile back, I discussed how I decided to raise my testosterone level and how I did it. Basically, my doctor prescribed me anastrozole (trade name Arimidex), an aromatase inhibitor which lowers estradiol, a form of estrogen. Estrogen feeds back negatively on luteinizing hormone (LH), the main stimulant of testosterone production. By lowering estradiol, feedback inhibition is decreased, LH goes up, and more testosterone is produced.

The synthesis of androgens, the class of male sex steroids that includes testosterone, goes like this:

By inhibiting aromatase, less testosterone is converted to estrogens, including estradiol.


It’s important to get your hormone levels checked relatively regularly, since driving estradiol down too far with an aromatase inhibitor is undesirable, even in men. So I got it rechecked as part of my annual doctor visit.

Following are my test results:

testosterone results 2016


Results were good, right about where they should be.

According to this study, men with an average age of 55 had an average testosterone level of 520, and at age 63, T was 420, quite a drop. My level of 985 is probably in the upper range of normal even for a young man.

Of interest, doctors are supposed to see a patient at least annually when they’re prescribing just about any drug at all. But my doctor told me that anastrozole falls under the radar of regulators — they don’t care much. He told me that if he had prescribed me testosterone itself, for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), then regulators would definitely be watching.

Ironic, because women regularly get all the female hormones they need whenever necessary.

A defense of putting testosterone supplementation on a list of scheduled (highly regulated) drugs is that it can change behavior, and allegedly has a possibility of being abused. Yet female hormones change behavior too — and they are not scheduled. The lesson I draw from that is that society has a low opinion of male behavior, but no problem with female behavior. As further evidence of that idea, boys in school regularly get drugged with other scheduled drugs like Ritalin or amphetamines.

I don’t know how many doctors would prescribe anastrozole, possibly not many, but getting a doc to prescribe it may be easier and cheaper than getting one to prescribe TRT. That’s especially if your T level is not obviously low. Mine was 575 before I started, which is well within the normal range.

Age may make a difference to getting a scrip too. A man with a T level of 575 who was a lot younger than me would likely have a worse chance of getting a doctor to prescribe a testosterone-boosting drug.

Furthermore, older men tend to have higher estradiol levels; if your estradiol level is already within the normal range, then there’s no possibility of lowering it further in order to boost testosterone.

Obese men often have higher estradiol, as fat tissue seems to lead to more aromatase activity and more testosterone is converted to female hormones. So, an overweight or obese man interested in this line of testosterone-boosting could have his estradiol checked and, if high, could see a doctor about getting anastrozole or another aromatase inhibitor.

To get TRT, one often has to visit an expensive male hormone clinic or anti-aging clinic, and then you have to pay for the medications. Anastrozole costs me $4.00 a month. However, I do pay out-of-pocket for my doctor visits and tests, since he doesn’t take insurance. Insurance companies are not only an administrative pain-in-the-neck for doctors, they limit what the doctor can do for his patients by limiting what they will pay for.

I’ve had some good body composition changes lately. I had been eating more than enough in an attempt to increase muscle mass, but it looked as if the only thing that was doing was increasing my fat mass. Over about two months, I dropped 10 pounds, from 170 to 160, all of it fat, using intermittent fasting. (I know it was all fat because I continued lifting throughout my weight loss, and the weights of my lifts actually increased. I continue to fast regularly.) But, how much of that may be due to higher testosterone, I don’t know. Hopefully the good changes will continue.

PS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men.


Leave a Comment:

Simon says June 11, 2016

Excellent testosterone level, very impressive. I attribute much of my gain of around 10kg of muscle in the last 3 years to TRT. Best decision I ever made.

JP says June 11, 2016

“if he had prescribed me testosterone itself, for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), then regulators would definitely be watching”

Watching for what? And so what if they do?

    P. D. Mangan says June 11, 2016

    Watching to ensure appropriate prescribing, and if not, sanction him, ultimately taking away the medical license.

Tuba says June 11, 2016

All of my health care is through the VA. Your T has to be below 200 before they will prescribing replacement therapy. And anything to reduce estradiol is totally out of the question (The government runs the VA health system completely and badly… and somehow this same inept government is going to run health care for all of us well? What kind of extra stupid is that?) Anyway… the VA was out and three hormone replacement doctors I approached said no because all I wanted was the inexpensive arimidex et cetera. But, I have a younger friend who is on T replacement and they messed up on his arimidex prescription, overfilling it significantly. I got a couple of years worth off him.

    P. D. Mangan says June 12, 2016

    Why am I unsurprised by how the VA does things?

Cloudswrest says June 11, 2016

“Ironic, because women regularly get all the female hormones they need whenever necessary.”

That’s because, despite feminism, women aren’t taken seriously as a potential threat, and never have been. Although one should always remember, *women are not benign!”

Hosswire says June 11, 2016

For any readers near the US-Mexico border, Arimidex is readily available in Mexican farmacias without a prescription. I live in Los Angeles and head down to Tijuana every so often to pick up some boxes. The downside is that there’s no insurance subsidizing it, so it comes out to way more than $12 a box for me.

    P. D. Mangan says June 12, 2016

    Thanks for that, Hosswire. Are you buying brand name Arimidex? Because anastrozole, the generic version, ought to be a lot cheaper. Also, when you say “a box”, how much is in that? I’m actually paying about $0.75 a 1 mg tablet, but since I only take about 4 tabs a month, it ends up cheap.

    Steve says June 26, 2016

    I bought Arimidex today at Costco in Puerto Vallarta. 28 pills, 1 mg each, around $2800 pesos, $148 USD ($5.29 per pill). No prescription required. Same price at Mega, and Pharmacia Guadalajara (chain). Great info P.D., I now donate blood to reduce my iron because of your presentation of good male-centered research.

      Steven says June 27, 2016

      Update: I went back to all these pharmacies, and specifically checked for generic brands. The searches of Anastrozole (Anastrozol in Mexico) all brought up Arimidex on the computers. I asked, and the pharmacists all said they only had the patented brand.

      Costco dot com shows Arimidex at 90 tablets for $1,549 USD and the generic Anastrozole from BRE 90 tablets for $32.

      Pricy here in Mexico but at least obtainable.

B says June 11, 2016

Free T looks relatively low.. possibly bound up by SHBG? Have you tested SHBG?

    P. D. Mangan says June 12, 2016

    SHBG wasn’t part of my panel. So I don’t know what may be going on. The free T, I don’t think it’s low, but could be higher. The problem with all the numbers is that they must be weighed against symptoms, since T deficiency is a clinical, not a laboratory, diagnosis. I feel great, so it must be working.

North Star says June 11, 2016

You’re the man, Mangan. Love these articles.

    P. D. Mangan says June 12, 2016

    Thanks, North Star – I can’t say I ever get tired of hearing things like that. If there are other topics you’d like to read about, please let me know.

Gerald says June 12, 2016

Armidex crashes my estrogen at .5mg twice a week It also causes eye issues for some. My levels are low naturally as long as body fat stays low. When I tried to put lots of muscle on, my estrogen came up with the body fat

JSterk says June 12, 2016

You can buy Arimidex as a research peptide fellas. Research on iron dragon or rasa-research.

Jay Campbell says June 12, 2016

Great article brother! Just be careful with Arimidex by itself as it can dangerously lower E2 which can lead to sexual dysfunction and potentially bone mineral density issues. Try to stay north of 25 regarding your E2 level. I’d like to know your dosage of Arimidex by itself just so I can give my opinion. Make sure and do bloods (especially if just starting this specific treatment/protocol)at 6 weeks to see how effective it is at lowering estradiol. Your Total T level is great. But as always with TRT (regardless of form or delivery system), is about balance between T and E. Way too many Doctors do this wrong and as you know it leads to serious problems for men.

    P. D. Mangan says June 12, 2016

    Thanks, Jay! I’m taking 0.5 mg, twice a week. That’s down from 3 times a week before. I’m guessing my loss of body fat made the difference.

Alan says June 12, 2016

What is the protocol you use?

    P. D. Mangan says June 12, 2016

    I take 0.5 mg, twice a week.

Thompson says June 12, 2016

I recently had my testosterone level checked due to being tired all the time and just general blah approach toward life. My total came back at 360, with free at 7. I’m only 33 years old, so that number seemed insanely low for me. But my doctor says that I’m within “normal range”. Yeah, normal range for a 70 year old man, perhaps. He said my prolactin level was normal, not sure if he checked my estradiol. His recommendation was to put me on high-dose Vitamin D-3 at 5000UI per day for 3 months, then recheck my t-level. I’ve been on the high-dose vitamin D-3 for about a month now and can’t say that I feel a huge difference, maybe a little.

It looks like I can buy anastrozole online without a prescription but wouldn’t know how much to take or how often to take it. Do you have any suggestions?

Joshua says June 16, 2016

I’d be interested in learning more about natural aromatase inhibitors — particularly those, if any, backed by some research. Some online have suggested grape seed extract and white button mushrooms. Anyone know if these work well? Trying to get a prescription for Arimidex or buy from some shady online store seems a bit of a hassle/risk to me.

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