Document Detail

Potential of aromatase inhibitors for ovulation and superovulation induction in infertile women.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17137400     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
For almost half a century, the first-line treatment for ovulation induction in cases of anovulation, unexplained infertility, or mild male factor has been clomifene (clomiphene citrate). Clomifene is an effective and safely used oral agent, but is known to have relatively common antiestrogenic endometrial and cervical mucous adverse effects that could prevent pregnancy in the face of successful ovulation. In addition, there is a significant risk of multiple pregnancies with clomifene compared with natural cycles. These drawbacks are mainly a result of the extended antiestrogenic effect of clomifene as a result of its accumulation in the body (clomifene isomers have a half-life of several days up to few weeks). Because of these problems, we proposed the concept of aromatase inhibition as a new method of ovulation induction that could avoid many of the adverse effects of clomifene. Over the last few years several published studies, both controlled and noncontrolled, compared clomifene and treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs), either alone or in combination with gonadotropins, for ovulation induction or augmentation. These studies found AIs as effective as clomifene in inducing ovulation, with the major advantage of absence of any antiestrogenic adverse effects. Several other major advantages of AIs include the lower serum estrogen production per developing follicle resulting in more physiological estrogen levels around the time of ovulation and good pregnancy rates with a lower incidence of multiple pregnancy than with clomifene. When combined with gonadotropins for assisted reproductive technologies, AIs reduce the dose of gonadotropins required for optimal follicle recruitment and improve the response to gonadotropin stimulation in poor responders. Such preliminary evidence suggests that AIs may replace clomifene in the future because of similar efficacy with a reduced adverse-effect profile. However, we believe that definitive studies in the form of randomised controlled trials comparing clomifene with AIs are needed.
Mohamed F M Mitwally; Robert F Casper
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Drugs     Volume:  66     ISSN:  0012-6667     ISO Abbreviation:  Drugs     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-01     Completed Date:  2007-03-01     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7600076     Medline TA:  Drugs     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2149-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anovulation / drug therapy*
Aromatase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
Infertility, Female / drug therapy*
Ovulation / drug effects*
Ovulation Induction*
Superovulation / drug effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Aromatase Inhibitors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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