Long-term efficacy and tolerability of flutamide combined with oral contraception in moderate to severe hirsutism: a 12-month, double-blind, parallel clinical trial

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Sep;92(9):3446-52. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-2798. Epub 2007 Jun 12.


Objective: Our objective was to test the efficacy and tolerability of three doses of flutamide (125, 250, and 375 mg) combined with a triphasic oral contraceptive (ethynylestradiol/levonorgestrel) during 12 months to treat moderate to severe hirsutism in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome or idiopathic hirsutism.

Design: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel clinical trial.

Patients: A total of 131 premenopausal women, suffering from moderate to severe hirsutism, were randomized to placebo or 125, 250, or 375 mg flutamide daily associated with a triphasic oral contraceptive pill. Hirsutism (Ferriman-Gallwey), acne and seborrhea (Cremoncini), and hormone serum levels were monitored at baseline and at 3 (except hormone serum levels), 6, and 12 months. Side effects and biochemical, hematological, and hepatic parameters were assessed.

Methods: We used three-way ANOVA (subject, dose, and visit) with Scheffé adjustment for multiple comparisons or nonparametrical Friedman test and least-squares mean (paired data) and Kruskall-Wallis test for unpaired data analyses. We used chi(2) or Fisher's test for categorical data.

Results: A total of 119 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. All flutamide doses induced a significant decrease in hirsutism, acne, and seborrhea scores after 12 months compared with placebo without differences among dose levels. Similar related side effects were observed with placebo and 125 mg flutamide (12.5%), and slightly higher with 250 mg (17.3%) and 375 mg (21.2%). No statistically significant differences were observed either among doses or compared with placebo.

Conclusions: Flutamide at 125 mg daily during 12 months was the minimum effective dose to diminish hirsutism in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome or with idiopathic hirsutism.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Androgen Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Androgen Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / adverse effects
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / drug therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Flutamide / administration & dosage*
  • Flutamide / adverse effects
  • Hirsutism / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Placebos
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Placebos
  • Flutamide