Use of metformin in polycystic ovary syndrome

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Dec;199(6):596-609. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.09.010.

Abstract

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a myriad of phenotypic and clinical features that may guide therapeutic options for metabolic protection and ovulation induction. The use of metformin may prove beneficial in a subset of the population of women with PCOS. Hyperinsulinemia, as demonstrated by elevated insulin levels on a 2-hour 75-g load glucose tolerance test, is an important parameter in deciding whether or not to initiate metformin therapy to women with PCOS with the hope of preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Cardiovascular risk factors including markers of subclinical inflammation, and dyslipidemia may also be improved by metformin therapy. For ovulation induction, metformin is not as effective as clomiphene citrate as first-line therapy for women with PCOS. There are no clear data to suggest that metformin reduces pregnancy loss or improves pregnancy outcome in PCOS, and it is currently recommended that metformin be discontinued with the first positive pregnancy test result, unless there are other medical indications (eg, type 2 DM). This review addresses practical management guidelines for the uses of metformin in women with PCOS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clomiphene / adverse effects
  • Clomiphene / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infertility, Female / drug therapy
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Metformin / adverse effects
  • Metformin / therapeutic use*
  • Ovulation / drug effects
  • Ovulation / physiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thiazolidinediones / adverse effects
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Clomiphene
  • Metformin