Effect of epimestrol on gonadotropin and prolactin plasma levels and response to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone/thyrotropin-releasing hormone in secondary amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea

Fertil Steril. 1978 Dec;30(6):654-60. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)43692-7.


The effects of epimestrol (5 mg every 6 hours for 5 days) on basal levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin (Prl), estradiol, progesterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and on the response to LH-releasing hormone (LH-RH) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation, were studied in 18 cases of secondary amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea of hypothalamic-pituitary origin, in three cases of anorexia nervosa, in two cases of long-lasting progestin-induced amenorrhea, and in one case of precocious menopause. The results in the first 18 patients indicate that epimestrol treatment induces a significant increase in LH and Prl levels after 24 hours, while the FSH increase becomes significant only after 4 days of therapy. Twelve hours after discontinuation of treatment, all three hormone levels decreased significantly to values similar to the basal levels, while the pituitary response to LH-RH indicated a much more marked LH secretion than before treatment. A second test, performed 36 hours after the last drug administration, again showed a significantly higher LH response than that found under basal conditions. No significant variations were observed in the FSH response to LH-RH, nor in the Prl response to TRH. These data suggest that epimestrol interferes at the level of the centers responsible for Prl and gonadotropin secretion in the manner of a weak estrogen.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / blood*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / blood
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Epimestrol / pharmacology*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrenes / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary / blood*
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Menstruation Disturbances / blood*
  • Oligomenorrhea / blood*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology


  • Estrenes
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Epimestrol
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone