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File:Clenbuterol skeletal.svg
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
  • C
Routes of
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 89-98% orally
Metabolism ?
Biological half-life 36-39 hours
Excretion ?
CAS Number 37148-27-9
ATC code R03AC14 (WHO) R03CC13 QG02CA91
PubChem CID 2783
ChemSpider 2681
Chemical data
Formula C12H18Cl2N2O
Molar mass 277.19[[Script error: No such module "String".]]
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Clenbuterol (Spirovent, Ventipulmin) is a sympathomimetic amine used by sufferers of breathing disorders as a decongestant and bronchodilator. People with chronic breathing disorders such as asthma use this as a bronchodilator to make breathing easier. It is most commonly available as the hydrochloride salt clenbuterol hydrochloride.

Effects and Dosage

Clenbuterol is a non-steroidal β2 adrenergic agonist[1] with some structural and pharmacological similarities to epinephrine and salbutamol, but its effects are more potent and longer-lasting as a stimulant and thermogenic drug. It causes an increase in aerobic capacity, central nervous system stimulation, and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation. It increases the rate at which fats are metabolized, simultaneously increasing the body's BMR. It is commonly used for smooth muscle relaxant properties. This means that it is a bronchodilator and tocolytic. It is usually used in dosages anywhere from 20-60 micrograms a day when prescribed. A dose of about 120 μg should never be exceeded in a day[citation needed]. It is also prescribed for treatment of horses; however, equestrian usage is usually the liquid form of clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is also a sympathomimetic in the peripheral nervous system.

Human use

Clenbuterol is approved for use in some countries (via prescription only) as a bronchodilator for asthma patients.[2] Recently though, the drug has been publicized for its off-label use as a weight loss drug, similar to usage of other sympathomimetic amines such as Ephedrine. It is commonly used as a slimming aid despite lack of sufficient clinical evidence supporting such use.[2]

Contraindications and cautions


Excessive[clarification needed] usage can cause muscle tremor, headache, dizziness and gastric irritation. Persons self-administering the drug for weight loss or to improve athletic performance have experienced nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, palpitations, tachycardia and myocardial infarction. Abuse of the drug may be confirmed by detecting its presence in serum or urine.[3]

Veterinary use

Clenbuterol is used worldwide for the treatment of allergic respiratory disease in horses, as it is a bronchodilator. A common trade name is Ventipulmin. It is also known by it's slang term bute especially in North America. It can be used both orally and intravenously. It is also a non-steroidal anabolic and metabolism accelerator, through a mechanism not well understood. Its ability to increase the muscle-to-fat body ratio makes its illegal use in livestock popular to obtain leaner meats.

Food contamination

In September 2006 over 330 people in Shanghai were reported to have been poisoned by eating pork contaminated by clenbuterol that had been fed to the animals to keep their meat lean. There are also other informal reports on localized food contamination cases by clenbuterol in the U.S., which led to setting rules that limit consumption of this medicine only to horses.[4]

In February, 2009, at least 70 people in one Chinese province (Guangdong) suffered food poisoning after eating pig organs believed to contain clenbuterol residue. The victims complained of stomachaches and diarrhea after eating pig organs bought in local markets.[5][6]

Legal status

As of fall, 2006, clenbuterol is not an ingredient of any therapeutic drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration[2] and is now banned for IOC-tested athletes.[7] See further at List of doping cases in sport. Polish sprint canoer Adam Seroczyński was disqualified for taking this drug after finished fourth in the K-2 1000 m event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and Chinese cyclist Li Fuyu tested positive for it at the Dwars Door Vlaanderen race in Belgium on March 24, 2010.[8]


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External links


es:Clembuterol fr:Clenbuterol hu:Klenbuterol nl:Clenbuterol ja:クレンブテロール no:Clenbuterol pl:Klenbuterol pt:Clenbuterol ru:Кленбутерол sv:Clenbuterol

  1. A UK medical student blog, Clenbuterol is a β2 agonist, retrieved on February 8th, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Clenbuterol", Daily Mail, 2009-10-01, retrieved 2010-04-07 
  3. R. Baselt, Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man, 8th edition, Biomedical Publications, Foster City, CA, 2008, pp. 325-326.
  4. "Pigs fed on bodybuilder steroids cause food poisoning in Shanghai". AFP. 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2006-09-19. 
  5. "China: 70 ill from tainted pig organs -". CNN. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  7. Guest, Katy (2007-04-10). "Clenbuterol: The new weight-loss wonder drug gripping Planet Zero". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  8. Radioshack suspends Li after doping positive