ECE 2019: long-term efficacy of metformin in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New research suggests women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and a BMI of ≥25 kg/m2 may benefit from treatment with metformin for up to 10 years. 

Researchers analysed data for 800 women with PCOS, defined by Rotterdam criteria, including 180 patients with PCOS and BMI ≥25 kg/m2 receiving uniform monotherapy with metformin 1000 mg BID to determine the efficacy of metformin on body mass (BM), menstrual frequencies (MF) and metabolic and hormonal outcomes. Some 18 per cent of participants continued with metformin for 10 years. 

The study identified improvements in body mass and androgen profile. MF increased from 7.5±3.8 to 10.7±2.9 bleeds/year (P<.001 after the first year to over bleeds in following years.>

While 10 per cent of participants had pre-diabetes initially and 1.7 per cent had diabetes, after the first year, 5.7 per cent had pre-diabetes and 1.9 per cent diabetes. After year three, 2.2 per cent of women that continued with metformin had pre-diabetes and none had diabetes. 

The authors noted that in women that subsequently remained on therapy, an overall beneficial steady state was observed up to the tenth year. 

The research is being presented this week at the 21st European Congress of Endocrinology