N-acetylcysteine for polycystic ovary syndrome.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Stein-Leventhal syndrome (Drug therapy)
Stein-Leventhal syndrome (Patient outcomes)
Metformin (Dosage and administration)
Metformin (Patient outcomes)
Author: Gaby, Alan R.
Pub Date: 08/01/2012
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: August-Sept, 2012 Source Issue: 349-350
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 303012892
Full Text: One hundred women with polycystic ovary syndrome (mean age, 23 years; mean body mass index [BMI], 23.5 kg/[m.sub.2]), who had hirsutism and irregular menses, were randomly assigned to receive conventional treatment with metformin (500 mg 3 times per day) or N-acetylcysteine (NAC; 600 mg 3 times per day) for 24 weeks. In both groups there was a small but statistically significant decrease in BMI. Significant improvements were seen in both groups in hirsutism score, insulin resistance (as determined by homeostasis model assessment), and serum testosterone (a decrease). The proportion of patients with regular menses increased in the metformin group from 17% at baseline to 47%, and increased in the NAC group from 29% at baseline to 53[degrees]k. Both treatments had similar efficacy for all of these parameters. NAC significantly decreased both total-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels, whereas metformin significantly decreased only total cholesterol.

Comment: This study suggests that that metformin and NAC have comparable effects on hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and menstrual irregularity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. The mechanism of action of NAC is not known.

Oner C, Muderris II. Clinical, endocrine and metabolic effects of metformin vs N-acetyl-cysteine in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur / Obstet Gynecol Roprod Biol. 2011;159:127-131

by Alan R. Gaby, MD

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