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Treatment of Hyperandrogenism Versus Insulin Resistance in Infertile Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Women

Information source: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Intervention: Orlistat/Meal Replacement/Lifestyle Modification (Drug); Loestrin 1/20 (Drug); Combination of treatments (Drug)

Phase: Phase 2

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Richard S Legro, M.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Christos Coutifaris, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Universtiy of Pennsylvania, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


The goal of this three-armed randomized controlled trial is to establish the relative roles of treatment of hyperandrogenism versus obesity (as the largest modifiable factor contributing to insulin resistance) in treating infertility and improving pregnancy outcomes among obese PCOS women. The investigators hypothesize that the key to restoring ovulation leading to live birth is to correct hyperandrogenism with oral contraceptive pills, but the key to avoiding later pregnancy complications is to improve insulin sensitivity with weight loss.

Clinical Details

Official title: Treatment of Hyperandrogenism vs. Insulin Resistance in Infertile PCOS Women

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Trends in live birth

Secondary outcome: Compare impact of weight loss vs. OCP vs. the combination of both on the live birth rate. The live birth rate will be lowest in the weight loss group, higher in the OCP group and highest in the group treated with both.

Detailed description: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility among women, and women with PCOS are at increased risk for pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Both hyperandrogenism (HA) and obesity exacerbated insulin resistance (IR) are characteristics of the syndrome, and are targets for treatment, but which should be the predominant focus is still unknown. Phase 1 of this study will be a randomized trial of three preconception interventions in infertile women with PCOS. The first arm will be a combined intervention of medication, meal replacements, and lifestyle modification to improve IR. Orlistat is a gastric lipase inhibitor that reduces the absorption of fat contained in a meal by about 30%. The second arm will be the use of a continuous OCP for 4 months to improve HA. Lo-Estrin 1/20 will be used in a continuous method for 4 months to suppress the ovary. The third arm is the combination of both to improve HA an IR. Phase II of this study will involve ovulation induction with clomiphene citrate with hopeful outcome of pregnancy. Finally, Phase III involve following the pregnancies for outcomes and complications.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 40 Years. Gender(s): Female.


Couples Inclusion Criteria:

- Partner with sperm concentration of >=14 million/mL in at least one ejaculate with

motile sperm.

- Ability to have regular intercourse 2-3 times per week during the ovulation induction

phase of study.

- At least one patent tube and normal uterine cavity as determined by sonohysterogram,

hysterosalpingogram, or hysteroscopy/laparoscopy within the last 3 years, or confirmation of a intrauterine pregnancy within the past 2 years.

- No previous sterilization procedures(vasectomy, tubal ligation) that have been


- Wanting to seek pregnancy.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Chronic anovulation or oligomenorrhea defined as intermenstrual periods of >= 45 days

or a total of <=8 periods per year.

- Hyperandrogenism will be an elevated total testosterone >=50 ng/dL.

- Hirsutism determined by a modified Ferriman-Gallwey Score >8.

- PCO on ultrasound (12 or more follicles measuring 2-9 mm in diameter).

- BMI >=27 to <=42.

- Normal EKG to rule out any abnormalities with the heart.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Current pregnancy.

- Patients on oral contraceptives, depo progestins, or hormonal implants.

- Patients with hyperprolactinemia defined as two prolactin levels at least one week

apart >30 ng/mL.

- Patients with known 21-hydroxylase deficiency by a fasting 17-hydroxyprogesterone

(17-OHP) level <2 ng/mL and ACTH stimulation test as needed, or other enzyme deficiency.

- Patients with menopausal FSH levels >20 mIU/mL.

- Patients with uncorrected thyroid disease (TSH <0. 45 mIU/ML or >4. 5 mIU/ML).

- Patients diagnosed with Type1 or Type II diabetes.

- Patients with liver disease defined as AST or ALT >2 times normal or total bilirubin

>2. 5 mg/dL.

- Patients with renal disease defined as BUN >30 mg/dL or serum creatinine >1. 4 mg/dL.

- Patients with significant anemia (Hemoglobin <10 mg/dL).

- Patients with a history of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, or

cerebrovascular accident.

- Patients with known heart disease that is likely to be exacerbated by pregnancy.

- Patients with a history of , or suspected cervical carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma,

or breast carcinoma. A normal PAP smear or reassuring colposcopy based on current ACOG guidelines will be required.

- Patient with current history of alcohol abuse.

- Patients enrolled simultaneously into other investigative studies.

- Patients taking other medications know to affect reproductive function or metabolism.

- Patients with a suspected adrenal or ovarian tumor secreting androgens.

- Patients with suspected Cushing's syndrome.

- Patients who have undergone a bariatric surgery procedure in the recent past (<12


- Patients with untreated poorly controlled hypertension defined as systolic blood

pressure >=150 mm Hg or average diastolic >=100 mm Hg on three measurements obtained 5 minutes apart. If treated, average systolic blood pressure >= 140 mm Hg or average diastolic >= 90 mm Hg.

- Patients with medical conditions that represent contraindications to orlistat, OCP,

clomiphene, and/or pregnancy.

- Patients currently participating in lifestyle intervention program (Weight Watchers,

Atkins Diet, Curves) or lost more than 5% body weight within the last 6 months.

Locations and Contacts

Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, United States

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States

Additional Information

Click here for more information about this study.

Starting date: September 2008
Last updated: October 7, 2014

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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