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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Clenbuterol for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Clenbuterol for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 3, 2023
6 min read 1293 Views 0 Comments
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Clenbuterol is used for asthma, but it helps increase your metabolism and reduce body fat. However, this medication can cause severe side effects if used – keep reading to learn more.

clenbuterol for weight loss

If you’re trying to lose some weight, it’s normal to want to find something that can help you achieve your goal faster. It can be difficult to identify which methods can actually help you and which ones are dangerous.

Besides being used to treat asthma, some people use clenbuterol to lose weight. This medication can also help increase your lean muscle mass. But it can cause side effects and complications. Because of this, it’s not approved in several countries, including the US.

So, is it a good idea to use clenbuterol for its weight loss effects? What are the possible side effects of taking clenbuterol? Let’s go over some of the most important things you need to know about this medication.

Can I take clenbuterol for weight loss?

Clenbuterol can boost your metabolism, increase muscle mass, and burn body fat faster. It also allows you to maintain your muscle strength even when you’re actively losing weight.

Athletes who use clenbuterol to enhance athletic performance typically take clenbuterol cycles. There isn’t a standard recommended clenbuterol cycle for weight loss. People who take clenbuterol for fitness often take between 0.12–0.16mg every day. This can represent 6–8 clenbuterol pills per day, which is much higher than the dose for asthma.

Often, athletes administer cycles starting at 0.02mg of clenbuterol daily. They slowly increase the dosage every day until they reach their maximum desired dosage.

Cycle lengths can vary a lot. Some athletes take clenbuterol for a month, followed by several months off. Others prefer to follow the 2 days on/2 days off or 2 weeks on/2 weeks off cycles. The positive side effects of clenbuterol decrease after 4–6 weeks. This is why cycles are usually shorter than this.

Women usually have a harder time building muscle and losing weight. Clenbuterol is more popular among female bodybuilders. But although clenbuterol can aid in weight loss, it’s very risky to use it for this purpose.

What Is Clenbuterol?

Clenbuterol, also known as “CLEN,” is a beta2-adrenergic agonist medication. This drug acts as a bronchodilator and decongestant, and this means that it can widen the airways and relax the bronchial muscles. Bronchodilators can treat different health conditions, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Bronchitis

Clenbuterol was initially developed for veterinary use, but it’s also approved for human use in different countries. Clenbuterol itself isn’t a steroid, but it can mimic the effects of anabolic steroids. Steroids are often misused to increase athletic performance, and clenbuterol has also been used for this purpose.

What does clenbuterol do?

Clenbuterol is a treatment for bronchial asthma and COPD in many countries. It’s available as tablets or inhalers. These medications should always be used under strict medical supervision. You should stop using clenbuterol if adverse reactions occur.

As we mentioned above, clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that helps make breathing easier. Clenbuterol works as a long-acting medication, which means that it’s mostly used to manage chronic respiratory conditions. It can help keep respiratory diseases under control and reduce acute attacks.

Clenbuterol is also used by athletes and bodybuilders to aid in weight loss and increase muscle mass. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that a steroid-like chemical such as clenbuterol can be abused.

Sports governing agencies, such as the International Olympic Committee, forbid using clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol for Weight Loss – Is It Safe?

A 2013 study investigated the misuse of clenbuterol to lose weight and build muscle. It found that this practice can lead to health risks. Manifestations include cardiovascular and neurological symptoms.

It’s hard to determine how many people suffer from clenbuterol adverse events. This happens because substance abuse is rarely reported. Most people who use clenbuterol for fitness purposes aren’t taking it legally.

It’s easy to underestimate clenbuterol risks if you’re not under professional medical advice. Athletes using clenbuterol typically take high doses. This makes acute clenbuterol overdose and unpleasant effects more likely. There have also been case reports of sudden death while misusing clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol Dosage for Weight Loss

There isn’t an approved recommended dosage for weight loss. That’s because weight loss isn’t one of the intended uses of this medication. You shouldn’t try to guess or create a clenbuterol dosage for weight loss.

We only know the right dosage of clenbuterol as a treatment for respiratory diseases: the recommended dosage of clenbuterol is 0.02–0.03mg twice daily. You should follow your doctor’s recommendations if you take clenbuterol for a health condition.

People who use clenbuterol to enhance athletic performance use higher doses. It’s also common to combine it with other performance-enhancing drugs.

As mentioned above, many athletes who use clenbuterol take it in cycles with on and off periods. However, clenbuterol can still cause severe side effects after short courses. This is especially true if you take high dosages.

Clenbuterol Side Effects

Clenbuterol has a long half-life in comparison to other medications. A drug’s half-life is the time that the medication stays in the bloodstream once it enters the body. Clenbuterol can stay in your body for approximately 25–39 hours. That means you could still experience side effects for up to 2 days after taking the medication.

According to the National Capital Poison Center, up to 80% of people who develop clenbuterol side effects need to be hospitalized. Unfortunately, clenbuterol has a long list of possible side effects, including:

  • Tachycardia or rapid heartbeat
  • Tachypnea or rapid breathing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hypokalemia or low potassium levels
  • Changes on electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest pain
  • Tremors
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Renal failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac arrest

Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict who will develop serious side effects from using clenbuterol. Some people can tolerate higher dosages and longer cycles, while others develop unpleasant side effects sooner. Many people who develop side effects after using clenbuterol require hospital care.

Benefits of Clenbuterol for Weight Loss

Clenbuterol is often used for weight loss and bodybuilding because it increases lean muscle mass, boosts metabolism, and improves performance. However, it should not be used without medical supervision as it has too many side effects.

Peer-reviewed studies have found that clenbuterol use causes weight loss and induces skeletal muscle growth. Clenbuterol also induces changes in the expression of skeletal muscle genes. These effects stimulate anabolic activity.

It can also help burn body fat since it increases your metabolic rate and helps burn more calories. Some people also experience a decreased appetite while taking clenbuterol, but this is not a rule of thumb. Other people who take clenbuterol report increased energy during their cycles.

Clenbuterol is especially popular among female athletes and bodybuilders because it causes fewer unpleasant side effects for them in comparison to other medications. Some of the side effects of anabolic steroids that can be avoided with clenbuterol are increased facial hair, thicker skin, and a deeper voice.

You can use healthier methods to achieve your fitness goals. A professional trainer or nutritionist can help you find a routine that works for you. Other supplements, such as creatine, can help you lose weight and gain muscle strength.


Is clenbuterol legal?

Clenbuterol is an asthma medication used in different countries, but it isn’t approved for human use in the US. However, some people in the US buy clenbuterol illegally. We discourage buying clenbuterol or other substances illegally.

How much weight can you lose on clenbuterol?

It’s hard to know exactly how much weight you can lose on this medication since clenbuterol is banned for this use. More research is needed on this topic.

Can you take clenbuterol and not exercise?

You should follow your doctor’s recommendations if they prescribe clenbuterol. This can happen if you live in a country where clenbuterol is legal. You shouldn’t use clenbuterol illegally for weight loss or performance enhancement.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

We understand why using clenbuterol for weight loss can be appealing, but you shouldn’t take non-prescribed medications for weight loss.

Clenbuterol misuse has been shown to cause adverse effects, even if you’re only taking a low dosage. It can also remain in your body for up to 39 hours, and this means you could feel side effects for a few days after taking it.

Seek professional advice before taking new medications or supplements. Your doctor or nutritionist is the best person to ask for help when it comes to losing body weight. They will be able to inform you of the side effects that you can expect from the medication.

You should never buy illegal substances to enhance athletic performance. It’s difficult to determine the origin, quality, and components of illegal clenbuterol. Illegal substances can cause significant harm to your health.

Please seek medical help if you have taken clenbuterol and experience side effects. Clenbuterol can lead to life-threatening complications. These complications can develop quickly, even if your side effects seem mild at first.


Using clenbuterol to lose weight can do more harm than good. This medication is approved in different countries to treat asthma symptoms, but it’s not approved for human consumption in the US.

Clenbuterol increases metabolism, fat burning, and muscle growth. Yet, it can also lead to scary and life-threatening side effects. Many people who abuse clenbuterol need hospital care, and some fatal overdose cases have happened.

As a result, we don’t recommend using clenbuterol if you’re interested in weight loss.

There are many healthy options available if you want to lose weight and get stronger. These options include switching up your workout routine and eating a balanced diet. A healthcare professional or trainer can help you boost your physical condition. They can tell you how to achieve your goals without risking your long-term health.

You can find a healthy regimen that allows you to lose weight and gain muscle. It can be tempting to use shortcuts like clenbuterol. But in the long run, using substances that harm your body isn’t worth risking your health.

Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez is a Medical Doctor and writer who is passionate about public health and patient education. She firmly believes in making accurate and science-based medical information accessible to all, which is her main motivation when writing.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 3, 2023
6 min read 1293 Views 0 Comments

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