Diet Drug May Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Xenical Helps Drop Pounds in Patients With a Condition That Causes Infertility
WebMD News Archive
Drug Comparison continued...
Next, the women started a weight maintenance diet.
Eight weeks later, 11 women were given 500 mg of Metformin three times daily
for three months.
The other 10 women received 120 mg of Xenical three times daily before each
meal, also for three months.
Xenical has not been proven to help PCOS, and it does not affect appetite.
Taken before meals, it blocks dietary fat from being absorbed.
By the study's end, the Xenical group had a 4.7% weight loss, compared with
1.02% for the Metformin group. Both groups had similar reductions in the level
of the male hormone testosterone. Menstrual and ovulation changes weren't
monitored, due to the study's size and short length.
"We know that Metformin is a proven and effective treatment for women
with polycystic ovary syndrome," says Andrea Dunaif, MD, in a news release.
Dunaif is president-elect of The Endocrine Society and is a professor and chair
of the endocrinology division at Northwestern University's medical school in
"This study suggests that weight loss medications may be an effective
treatment option for not only the obesity but also the testosterone excess
associated with PCOS. Further research is clearly warranted to determine where
this class of medications will fit into the treatment of PCOS," says
Neither drug significantly affected insulin levels after fasting nor any
blood fats measured. Larger studies may yield more information on those topics,
say the researchers.
Both drugs had some side effects. Four Metformin patients had mild nausea,
two had heartburn, and one had mild abdominal pain. Those symptoms disappeared
within four weeks, and no doses were reduced. Two women taking Xenical had mild
to moderate flatulence and oily stools occasionally throughout the study.