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Endocr Rev. 2009 Feb;30(1):1-50. doi: 10.1210/er.2008-0030. Epub 2008 Dec 4.

Evidence-based and potential benefits of metformin in the polycystic ovary syndrome: a comprehensive review.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Via Pio X, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy.


Metformin is an insulin sensitizer widely used for the treatment of patients affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus. Because many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are insulin resistant, metformin was introduced in clinical practice to treat these patients also. Moreover, metformin's effect has other targets beside its insulin-sensitizing action. The present review was aimed at describing all evidence-based and potential uses of metformin in PCOS patients. In particular, we will analyze the uses of metformin not only for the treatment of all PCOS-related disturbances such as menstrual disorders, anovulatory infertility, increased abortion, or complicated pregnancy risk, hyperandrogenism, endometrial, metabolic and cardiovascular abnormalities, but also for the prevention of the syndrome.

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