N-acetyl cysteine in clomiphene citrate resistant polycystic ovary syndrome: A review of reported outcomes

J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2013 Jul;4(3):187-91. doi: 10.4103/0976-500X.114597.


Clomiphene citrate (CC) has been the gold-standard drug for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but still CC resistance is seen in approximately 15-40% in women with PCOS. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a safe and cheap drug available in the market many years ago as mucolytic agent, was found to have a role in infertility management. Recently, some reports discussed the possible beneficial effects of NAC on ovulation. The biological properties of the NAC make this drug a potential candidate for its use in the infertility treatment, especially in the PCOS in inducing or augmenting ovulation. An updated electronic search was performed through PUBMED, MEDLINE, and COCHRANE and focused on peer-reviewed, full text, randomized controlled trials, and observational cohort or case-control studies for role of NAC in CC-resistant PCOS. Thorough search through all the clinical studies showed mixed results. Studies with positive results showed improvement in induction of ovulation as compared to negative studies showing contrary results. More randomized clinical trials are still needed to establish its definitive role in CC-resistant PCOS.

Keywords: Clomiphene citrate resistant; N-acetyl cysteine; polycystic ovary syndrome; review.