SARMs Side Effects 2024: Are SARMs Safe to Use for Bodybuilding?

SARMs, or selective androgen receptor modulators, have recently gained popularity among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. SARMs have selective anabolic effects on muscle and bone and were initially developed to treat muscle wasting, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, and breast cancer patients.

Key Takeaway

  • In bodybuilding, SARMs can be used for different things, like bulking or cutting cycles. For each type of cycle, there are certain SARMs that are recommended.
  • SARMs have specific anabolic effects on muscle and bone, which could be good for people who want to build strength or get in shape.
  • Compared to anabolic steroids, SARMs are usually thought to be safer because they target specific tissues instead of the whole body.

However, their safety remains a subject of concern. The CFIA has warned about potential side effects, including liver and heart issues, even with short-term use. 

Long-term effects are still unclear. And some products labelled as SARMs don’t even contain them. His analysis includes data from 2,000 patients’ lab results and a decade of anecdotal evidence. 

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the various side effects of SARMs to help you make an informed decision about their use

Six Side Effects of SARMs

Six Side Effects of SARMs

Here are six common side effects of selective androgen receptor modulator:

1. Mood Swings

According to “Adverse effects and potential benefits among selective androgen receptor modulators users: a cross-sectional survey by IV Efimenko” SARMs can affect your mood, leading to mood swings and irritability. It’s imperative to stay attuned to these shifts and skillfully navigate them.

2. Liver Issues

According to “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)-Induced Liver Injury: A Case Report and Review of Literature” Some SARMs can put extra stress on your liver. Liver problems can result in fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and abdominal discomfort.

3. Hormonal Imbalance

According to “Metabolic and hormonal dysfunction in asymptomatic patients using selective androgen receptor modulators: a case report by Brian Malave” SARMs can disrupt your hormonal balance, leading to problems like changes in sex drive and fertility.

4. Vision changes

Vision changes can manifest in various ways, including blurred vision, altered colour perception, and difficulty focusing. Vision changes are often temporary and can be attributed to the impact of SARMs on hormone levels.

5. Headaches

According to “Recreational Use of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators by Melissa A. Burmeister” Users may experience mild to moderate headaches during or after a cycle. These headaches can vary in intensity and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as dizziness or light sensitivity.

6. Heart Problems

According to “Acute Myocarditis From the Use of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) RAD-140 (Testolone) by Rana Prathap Padappayil, Arundhati Chandini Arjun, Jonathan Vivar Acosta, Wael Ghali, and Mohsin Sheraz Mughal” In some cases, SARMs have been associated with heart-related issues such as high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks.

5 SARMs Side Effects on Men

5 SARMs Side Effects on Men

There are six common SARMs side effects on Men are given below:

1. Testosterone Suppression

According to “The Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Effects of LGD-4033, a Novel Nonsteroidal Oral, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, in Healthy Young Men by S Basaria” SARMs can reduce the body’s natural testosterone production. It may lead to low energy, mood swings, and decreased libido. To keep the testosterone levels and keep the increased muscle mass sarms usage should be accompanied by PCT.

2. Hair Loss

Some men may experience hair loss when using SARMs, especially if prone to male pattern baldness. Thinning hair is a side effect.

3. Mood Swings and Aggression

SARMs can impact mood, leading to mood swings or increased aggression, often called “roid rage.”

4. Acne

SARMs can trigger acne breakouts, which is bothersome. You might notice more pimples on your face, chest, or back.

5. Headaches

The exact cause of these headaches has yet to be fully understood. They may be related to hormonal fluctuations and other physiological changes SARMs induce.

Five SARMs Side Effects on Women

Five SARMs Side Effects on Women

Here are five common side effects of selective androgen receptor modulator in women:

1. Virilization

Virilization is a term used to describe the development of male-like characteristics in women, such as facial hair growth, deepening of the voice, and enlargement of the clitoris. Some SARMs can increase the risk of virilization when taken in high doses or for extended periods.

2. Acne Breakouts

Some women may experience increased acne due to the androgenic effects of SARMs, which stimulate oil production in the skin.

3. Hair Thinning

SARMs can cause hair thinning or even hair loss in some women, similar to the effects seen in men with male pattern baldness.

4. Voice Deepening

While rare, there have been reports of women experiencing a deepening of their voices when using SARMs, which is distressing.

5. Clitoral Enlargement

SARMs may lead to clitoral enlargement, a side effect associated with increased androgen levels, though it’s not a guaranteed outcome.

Five SARMs Side Effects on Teen

Five SARMs Side Effects on Teen

Here are five essential things every teen should know about SARM side effects:

1. Testicular Shrinkage

SARMs can cause your testicles to get smaller. It happens because SARMs disrupt the natural balance of hormones in your body, affecting the size and function of your testes. It is embarrassing and uncomfortable.

2. Sexual Dysfunction

Teenagers using SARMs may experience sexual problems. These include difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, reduced sexual desire, and overall sexual performance issues. It can impact your self-esteem and relationships.

3. Bone Growth Concerns

SARMs can disrupt the natural growth of bones in teenagers. If you’re still growing, using SARMs can stunt your height and bone development.

4. Heart Risks

SARMs might harm your heart health. They can affect your cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart-related problems.

5. Acne and Skin Problems

Teens are no strangers to acne, and SARMs can make it worse. These supplements can cause more pimples, frustrating and affecting your self-esteem.

How to Avoid Side Effects of SARMs

How to Avoid Side Effects of SARMs

To stay safe while using selective androgen receptor modulator, follow these five tips to avoid side effects: 

1. Choose High-Quality Products

Always choose high-quality products from reputable sources. It means thoroughly researching the manufacturer, checking for third-party testing, and reading user reviews. Opting for a trusted source ensures a product meets safety and quality standards.

2. Begin with a Low Dose

Starting with a lower dose allows your body to acclimate to the compound gradually. It also helps you gauge your body’s response and tolerance to the SARM. Slowly increase the dose only if necessary, ensuring you balance benefits and potential risks.

To avoid side effects, adhering to these recommended cycle lengths is essential. Prolonged use of SARMs can increase the likelihood of side effects and may lead to long-term health issues.

4. Avoid Stacking Multiple SARMs

Stacking increases the complexity of your regimen and can amplify the risk of side effects. Focusing on a single SARM per cycle is best to understand its effects on your body better and mitigate potential complications.

Learn more about SARMs stack here: Ultimate guide to stacking SARMs

5. Implement Post-Cycle Therapy (PCT)

PCT helps restore your hormonal balance, improves lean body mass, reducing the risk of side effects and ensuring a smoother transition to your natural hormone levels. Common PCT strategies for SARMs may include using substances like SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) and aromatase inhibitors.

What Are the Safest SARMs for Bodybuilding?

There are three safest SARMs for Bodybuilding given below:

  1. RAD 140 (Testolone)
  2. MK-677 (Ibutamoren)
  3. LGD 4033 (Ligandrol)



Are SARMs as Harmful as Anabolic Steroids?

SARMs are generally safer than anabolic steroids because of their selective action. Unlike steroids, which affect the whole body, SARMs target specific muscles and tissues, reducing the risk of harmful side effects. While both SARMs and steroids can enhance muscle mass, SARMs do it with some risks to your heart, liver, and hormonal balance.

Is It Safe to Take SARMs Every day?

No, it’s not safe to take SARMS every day for bodybuilding. SARMS are not meant for long-term use because they can lead to serious health problems. Use them as directed for brief periods to reduce health risks.

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of SARMs?

SARMs could cause cholestatic liver injury in humans, leading to medical conditions like jaundice or increased liver enzymes. Rarely do these side effects occur, mainly with prolonged SARM use. So, while there is a risk, it’s not common unless someone continues to use SARMs over an extended period.

Is there a risk of liver injury associated with the use of selective androgen receptor modulators?

Recent reviews have shed light on cases of unapproved drug-induced liver injury (DILI) associated with unapproved drugs, specifically Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), emphasizing concerns regarding their human consumption. These incidents primarily affected males aged 19 to 40 who were users of SARMs, substances that interact with androgen receptors.

Among the implicated SARMs were ligandrol (LGD-4033), Ostarine (MK-2866), and RAD-140. Despite variations in symptom onset and liver enzyme patterns, jaundice emerged as a common symptom of liver damage. It’s important to note that SARMs are often marketed as dietary supplements or labeled for “clinical trials or research use only,” prompting warnings from the FDA about potential health risks associated with SARMs.

Why has SARMs’ popularity surged?

Despite stern warnings from the world anti doping agency and Health Canada, the number of SARMs users on the rise among both recreational and professional athletes. Social media videos aimed at teenagers and young adults are promoting SARMs as a quick and straightforward method to boost physical appearance, muscle growth , or improve athletic prowess.

What Are the Safest SARMs for Bulking Cycles?

There are three safest SARMs for bulking cycles include:

  1. Ibutamoren MK 677
  2. Ostarine MK 2866
  3. Ligandrol LGD 4033

What Are the Safest SARMs for Cutting Cycles?

There are three safest SARMs for cutting cycles include:

  1. Testolone RAD 140
  2. Ibutamoren MK 677
  3. Ligandrol LGD 4033

How Long Do SARMs Stay in Your System?

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators can stay in your system anywhere from two to three days to one or two weeks. This duration can vary based on factors like the specific SARM used, dosage, and individual metabolism. Some SARMs may clear out relatively quickly, while others might linger in your body for an extended period.

Final Thoughts

The side effects of selective androgen receptor modulator is significant and should not be taken lightly. Mood swings, liver issues, hormonal imbalances, hair loss, and heart problems are potential risks associated with their use. Men, women, and teens should be cautious and aware of these negative effects.

To minimize these risks, always opt for high-quality SARMs from reputable sources. Start with low doses, adhere to recommended cycles, avoid stacking multiple SARMs, and prioritize post-cycle therapy. SARMs may offer benefits for bodybuilding, but their safety should remain a top priority.


  • Iakov V Efimenko, David Valancy, Justin M Dubin, Ranjith Ramasamy (December 8, 2022) Adverse effects and potential benefits among selective androgen receptor modulators users: a cross-sectional survey
  • Amy Norton (May 2, 2023) Young Men Are Using Banned ‘SARM’ Supplements to Bulk Up, With Harmful Results
  • Xuqing Zhang, Zhihua Sui (December 12, 2012) Deciphering the selective androgen receptor modulators paradigm
  • Jiyun Chen, Juhyun Kim, and James T. Dalton (November 9, 2007) Discovery AND Therapeutic Promise OF Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators
  • Ebner, Nicole (27 April 2023) SARMS: What’s the harm?
  • Kintz, Pascal; Ameline, Alice; Gheddar, Laurie; Raul, Jean-Sébastien (March 1, 2019) LGD-4033, S-4 and MK-2866 – Testing for SARMs in hair: About 2 doping cases
  • Hahamyan, Henrik A.; Vasireddi, Nikhil; Voos, James E.; Calcei, Jacob G. (16 May 2022) Social media’s impact on widespread SARMs abuse
  • Xie, Youquan; Tian, Yucheng; Zhang, Yuming; Zhang, Zhisheng; Chen, Rui; Li, Mian; Tang, Jiawei; Bian, Jinlei; Li, Zhiyu; Xu, Xi (15 February 2022) Overview of the development of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) as pharmacological treatment for osteoporosis (1998–2021)

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