Possible treatment to prevent or delay PCOS

Posted by Kym Provan on

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I was intrigued to read today in Medical News Todayn the United States looking at the effect of treating potentially vulnerable girls pre-puberty and in mid puberty, with a drug commonly prescribed to treat type II diabetes, known as metformin.

The study found that prevention or delay of the onset of PCOS was more frequent when metformin was prescribed prior to the onset of puberty, and over a prolonged period of time.

What is not clear from the article is the extent to which the lack of development of PCOS can be attributed to the drug. The study's lead author Lourdes Ibáñez puts forward the proposition that:

"In the years ahead, the focus of attention should shift from late treatment of PCOS and its complications, toward the early and large-scale prevention of PCOS, with measures such as diet, exercise and metformin in young girls"

It is also unclear whether this proposition is intended to advocate the routine prescription of metformin to pre-pubescent girls, or whether this should only be considered in relation to girls at a significantly increased risk of developing the syndrome, such as those with a strong family history of the condition. Although I am unaware of the full content or context of the study, as the mother of three daughters, my instinct would be to back away from routinely prescribing any drug for a prolonged period of time unless there was a clear clinical need. However, I am not medically qualified and look forward to learning more about this issue in the future.

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About the Author

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Kym specialises in clinical negligence claims and heads our clinical negligence team in Southampton.

Kym Provan
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