Metformin Treatment is Effective in Obese Teenage Girls With PCOS

Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.57). 09/2006; 21(9):2252-6. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/del185
Source: PubMed


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most frequent cause of menstrual disorders in teenage girls. Little information is available about the effects of metformin in adolescent girls with PCOS and its dose and its efficacy in regulating menstrual cyclicity and hyperandrogenic symptoms. We evaluated the effects of metformin treatment on ovulatory function, hirsutism, acne, hormonal patterns and body weight in adolescent girls with PCOS.
Eighteen girls, ranging in age from 15 to 18 years, were enrolled in the study. Clinical diagnosis of PCOS was based on the consensus criteria for PCOS accepted in May 2003 at Rotterdam. All subjects received 1700 mg/day metformin as tablets continuously for 6 months. They were then followed up for 6 months.
Two patients complained of side effects for >2 weeks and interrupted treatment; they were not evaluated. All the others showed an improvement in menstrual cyclicity. Menstrual periods were ovulatory, with progesterone levels up to 6 ng/ml in luteal phase and a significant reduction in testosterone, androstenedione and free testosterone. BMI was restored within normal limits in all girls between 21 and 24 kg/m(2). Six months after the end of metformin treatment, menstrual cycles continued to be regular and ovulatory with normal BMI. Side effects were slight.
The present results confirm the positive effects of metformin on menstrual periods and show that the drug can be administered to young women to improve ovulation and hyperandrogenic symptoms such as hirsutism, acne and weight gain.

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Available from: Felice Petraglia, Dec 21, 2015
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    • "In this context, initiation of insulin sensitizer therapy at such an early age appears to be an appropriate preventive measure [26]. However, the added advantage of correcting serum androgens, suggested by some trials, may be debatable [27] [28] [29]. This goal may be achieved by the adjunctive use of an antiandrogen which, although effective, needs to be justified in the long-term, as the existence of a correlation between hyperandrogenaemia per se and late cardiovascular complications in PCOS women is, so far, contradictory [6] [30]. "
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    • "A third uncontrolled study in 18 adolescent girls 15-18 years old similarly reported a reduction in levels of androgens and resumption of menstrual cyclicity and ovulatory cycles in all 16 girls who tolerated 1700 mg of metformin daily. Girls in this study also had a reduction in BMI that was maintained (along with regular and ovulatory menstrual cycles) six months after the end of metformin treatment [216]. The absence of a control group and significant weight loss in subjects in these studies make these data difficult to interpret in terms of metformin's efficacy independent of weight loss. "
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