Clenbuterol is a steroid-like chemical that was initially developed to treat asthma in horses, working by relaxing the airways in the animals’ lungs.
The drug is both a decongestant and a bronchodilator. A decongestant works by narrowing and constricting blood vessels, which reduces congestion, while a bronchodilator helps to relax the muscle around the airway, which in turn opens the airway.
In some European and Latin American countries, clenbuterol is approved as an asthma drug for humans. However, in the United States, it is banned to use for this purpose.
What does clenbuterol do?
Clenbuterol stimulates both the heart and central nervous system.
It is also a beta-2-agonist, which is the opposite of a beta-blocker. While a beta-blocker will reduce the production of epinephrine and noradrenaline, clenbuterol increases it.
This increase will lead to a variety of effects, such as:
rapid fat burning
Why is clenbuterol used?
Clenbuterol’s initial use was as an asthma drug. However, bodybuilders, performance athletes, and those wanting to lose weight are now using the drug.
Clenbuterol can be used as a weight loss aid because it can increase a person’s metabolism. As well as reducing body fat and weight, it also allows the user to retain both muscle mass and body strength at the same time.
Clenbuterol became known as a celebrity diet secret because of its apparent use by celebrities and famous athletes.
One study reviewing data from two regional poison centers in the U.S. found that in 11 of the 13 reported casesTrusted Source of people taking clenbuterol, it had been used for weight loss reasons or as part of a bodybuilding regime.
Athletes and bodybuilders taking clenbuterol will often work on a program cycle that includes on and off periods.
Such a program could mean 2 days taking clenbuterol and 2 days without taking any, or perhaps a week taking the drug followed by a week of none.
Dosage can vary depending on factors that include gender and tolerance, and it can be taken orally or injected.
When used in Europe and Latin America to open up the airways in cases of asthma, the recommended dose is 0.02–0.04 milligrams (mg) per day.
Clenbuterol risks and side effects
The reason clenbuterol is banned in so many countries and has become so controversial is that many side effects are associated with it.
Many of the side effects are the same as those associated with amphetamines, including:
raised body temperature
Clenbuterol can also negatively affectTrusted Source the heart, such as heart palpitations, atrial fibrillation or an irregular and often fast heartbeat, and problems with blood pressure.
Athletes will often accompany the taking of clenbuterol alongside a diet that is high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat.