Comparison of two insulin sensitizers, metformin and myo-inositol, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2017 Jan;33(1):39-42. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2016.1236078. Epub 2016 Nov 3.


Insulin resistance (IR) plays a pivotal role in PCOS. Insulin-sensitizer agents such as metformin and inositols have been shown to improve the endocrine and metabolic aspects of PCOS. The purpose of this study is to compare their effects on the clinical and metabolic features of the women with PCOS. Fifty PCOS women with IR and/or hyperinsulinemia were randomized to treatment with metformin (1500 mg/day) or myo-inositol (4 g/day). IR was defined as HOMA-IR >2.5, while hyperinsulinemia was defined as a value of AUC for insulin after a glucose load over the cutoff of our laboratory obtained in normal women. The Matsusa Index has been calculated. The women have been evaluated for insulin secretion, BMI, menstrual cycle length, acne and hirsutism, at baseline and after 6 months of therapy. The results obtained in both groups were similar. The insulin sensitivity improved in both treatment groups. The BMI significantly decreased and the menstrual cycle was normalized in about 50% of the women. No significant changes in acne and hirsutism were observed. The two insulin-sensitizers, metformin and myo-inositol, show to be useful in PCOS women in lowering BMI and ameliorating insulin sensitivity, and improving menstrual cycle without significant differences between the two treatments.

Keywords: Androgens; amenorrhea; insulin resistance; insulin sensitizer; polycystic ovary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Inositol / administration & dosage
  • Inositol / pharmacology*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Metformin / administration & dosage
  • Metformin / pharmacology*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin B Complex / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B Complex / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Inositol
  • Metformin