Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 1003–1008 | Cite as

The effects of rosiglitazone and metformin on insulin resistance and serum androgen levels in obese and lean patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

  • M. YilmazEmail author
  • A. Biri
  • A. Karakoç
  • F. Törüner
  • B. Bingöl
  • N. Çakir
  • B. Tiras
  • G. Ayvaz
  • M. Arslan
Original Article


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of metformin and rosiglitazone on insulin resistance and serum androgen levelsin both obese and lean patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Materials and methods: Forty lean [body mass index (BMI) <25 kg/m2] and 40 overweight and obese (BMI>²5 kg/m2) patients were included in the study. Waist and hip measurements, serum sex steroid levels, insulin response to 75-g oral glucose tolerance test, fasting insulin, fasting C-peptide levels and homeostasis modelassessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were determined in all patients. The degree of hirsutism was determined by the Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system. Patients were divided into two groups, with 40 (20 overweight and obese; 20 non-obese) patients each. One group was treated with metformin (MET group) 850 mg bid while the other received rosiglitazone (ROSI group) 4 mg/day for 12 weeks. All measurements were repeated at the end of this period. Results: After the 12-week treatment period, HOMA-IR, area under the curve of insulin, fasting insulin and C-peptide levels were observed to have be decreased significantly in all groups. The decrease in the parameters mentioned above was similar in the four groups. The serum levels of free testosterone, androstenedione and DHEA-S decreased in all groups, but the decrease was statistically significant only in the ROSI groups. Within the lean MET group one patient became pregnant and was hence excluded from the final data analysis. Menstruations became regular after metformin therapy in 41.6% of lean and 35.7% of obese patients who had menstrual disturbance prior to the study. Rosiglitazone therapy improved menstrual disturbance in 61.5 % of lean and 53.8% of obese patients. Conclusions: Our data showed that both metformin and rosiglitazone increased insulin sensitivity in obese patients with PCOS as expected, and in lean patients as well. Rosiglitazone seemed to be more effective in decreasing the androgen levels and in achieving slightly greater improvement in menstrual disturbance than metformin.


Androgen insulin resistance metformin PCOS rosiglitazone 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Yilmaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Biri
    • 2
  • A. Karakoç
    • 3
  • F. Törüner
    • 3
  • B. Bingöl
    • 2
  • N. Çakir
    • 3
  • B. Tiras
    • 2
  • G. Ayvaz
    • 3
  • M. Arslan
    • 3
  1. 1.Endocrinology and MetabolismKýrýkkale University Faculty of MedicineKirikkaleTurkey
  2. 2.Obstetrics and GynecologyGazi University Faculty of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Endocrinology and MetabolismGazi University Faculty of MedicineAnkaraTurkey

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