Metformin versus flutamide in the treatment of metabolic consequences of non-obese young women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized prospective study

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2004 Sep;19(3):115-24. doi: 10.1080/09513590400004736.


In addition to the reproductive consequences, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by a metabolic disorder in which hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are central features. The effects and possible benefits from insulin-sensitizing drugs are not well known, especially in non-obese women with PCOS. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of metformin and flutamide on metabolic parameters and insulin resistance in non-obese women with PCOS. Thirty non-obese women newly diagnosed with PCOS and 15 age- and weight-matched healthy volunteers as controls were included in the study. Patients were assigned randomly to receive flutamide 250 mg daily or metformin 850 mg three times daily. Glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, androgen levels and glucose and insulin responses to an oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) were assessed before and after a 4-week therapy period. A positive correlation was found between body mass index and insulin level in patients with PCOS and controls. Follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, free testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels decreased significantly, but insulin resistance levels were not changed after flutamide therapy. Body weight, free testosterone, insulin and insulin resistance levels decreased significantly after metformin therapy. In conclusion, metformin treatment improved insulin sensitivity and decreased androgen levels, and flutamide decreased androgen levels but failed to improve insulin sensitivity in the non-obese women with PCOS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Female
  • Flutamide / therapeutic use*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Metformin / therapeutic use*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Flutamide
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Metformin