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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 7, 2015

Randomized clinical trial evaluating metformin versus oral contraceptive pills in the treatment of adolescents with polycystic ovarian syndrome

Hiba Al-Zubeidi and Karen O. Klein


Background: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by irregular menses, elevated androgens, and insulin resistance. Little information is published about the treatment of adolescent PCOS.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate metformin versus oral contraceptive pills (OCP) in treating adolescent PCOS. Twenty-two girls were randomized to either treatment for 6 months. The outcomes variables included body mass index (BMI) and free testosterone (FT).

Results: BMI decreased in all patients (metformin p=0.004, OCP p=0.045). FT decreased significantly only with OCP. Insulin resistance measures decreased in all patients but did not reach significance. The only significant difference in any of the variables between the two groups was number of menses. BMI and FT remained less than baseline for 3 months off treatment.

Conclusions: Metformin and OCP have a positive effect on BMI, which persists after treatment is discontinued. FT decreased with both treatments, but only reached significance with OCP.

Corresponding author: Karen O. Klein, MD, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA; Department of Pediatrics Endocrinology, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA, Phone: +858-966-4032, Fax: +858-966-6227, E-mail:


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Received: 2014-7-2
Accepted: 2015-1-23
Published Online: 2015-3-7
Published in Print: 2015-7-1

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