Last updated on July 2019

Comparing the Effects of Oral Contraceptive Pills Versus Metformin

Brief description of study

To determine the effect of Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP) verses Metformin verses OCP and Metformin on the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and its components in overweight/obese women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

The combination of OCP and metformin (OCP, through lowering androgens, and metformin, through improvement in insulin sensitivity) will affect the prevalence of MetS, thereby altering the risk profile for the development of diabetes and possible cardiovascular disease (CVD) in young women with PCOS.

Detailed Study Description

The intervention will consist of randomizing subjects to one of three arms. Subjects will either be assigned to OCP + Placebo, Metformin + Placebo or OCP + Metformin. Metformin will be initiated in a step-up fashion on cycle day 1-3 of spontaneously or induced menses. Extended release pills will be utilized as they are associated with fewer gastrointestinal side effects. Subjects will begin with one tablet of metformin every night for 5 days, eventually building up to 4 tablets every night, with the maximum dose of metformin being 2000 mg. In regards to OCP, previous randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have shown that 20mcg ethinyl estradiol/norethindrone 1.0 mg was well tolerated. The study will utilize a 20mcg OCP but a less androgenic third generation progestin (desogestrel 0.15mg) with potentially lesser impact on lipids and insulin sensitivity. The OCP will be started on the first Sunday after spontaneous or induced menses. All subjects with no menses the 4 weeks before randomization will be given medroxyprogesterone acetate after a negative pregnancy test (in order to induce menses). Placebo pills will be administered to individuals randomized to OCP or metformin only in order to maintain study blinding. Subjects will undergo 6 in person study visits and life style modification counseling regarding diet and exercise. Phone contact will be made 2 weeks after randomization and at the end of each month when there is no in person visit to ensure study compliance with medications, keeping study logs and to review side effects

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03229057

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University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA United States
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