Endocrine Abstracts (2002) 3 P116

A pilot study of metformin for the treatment of hirsutism in patients without diabetes

GT Moleele & NDC Sturrock


Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.


Aim: To determine whether metformin has beneficial effects on hirsutism in patients

without diabetes mellitus.

Methods: This was a randomised placebo controlled double blind parallel study of six months Metformin (1500milligrams per day)/placebo. The primary outcomes were change in hair growth rate on hirsutography and by Ferriman-Galwey score. Secondary endpoints were changes in biochemical parameters related to androgens and insulin.

Results: Fourteen women completed the study; eight in the metformin group, six placebo. After six months treatment the Ferriman-Galwey scores were 14(11-18) and 14(12-17) for placebo and metformin respectively, p=0.68. Hair growth rate remained at 0.2 (0.15-0.25) for placebo and showed no difference with metformin, 0.19(0.16-0.23) millimeters per day, p=0.89. Testosterone concentration did not reduce after placebo 2.3 (1.7-3.0) nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) and was unchanged at 2.5 (1.8-2.9) nmol/L following metformin. SHBG was unaffected by metformin treatment at 31(20-42)nmol/L compared to a concentration of 24 (21-28) nmol/L for placebo, p=0.89. Measures of insulin resistance, metformin 4.4(1.3-7.7) vs placebo 3.2 (2.3-4.1), p=0.72 and beta cell function, metformin 281(172-391) vs placebo 282 (122-442) , p=0.81 were also statistically similar at six months and no different from baseline.

Conclusion: Metformin is not a beneficial treatment for hirsutism.

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