Effect of Orlistat Versus Metformin in Various Aspects of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials

  • Soumya Ranjan Panda
  • Madhu Jain
  • Shuchi Jain
  • Riden Saxena
  • Smrutismita Hota
Systematic Review/Meta-analysis



Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a commonly prevalent endocrinopathy among reproductive age group women, is most often associated with obesity. Increased insulin resistance appears to be the central pathophysiologic mechanism responsible for various complications of PCOS. This makes ‘weight loss’ as the first-line treatment approach in PCOS. So various trials have tried to compare metformin (an insulin-sensitizing agent) and orlistat (an anti-obesity drug) aiming to achieve weight loss and hence higher ovulation rate for the group of obese PCOS patients. Keeping an eye on all these background facts, we designed this systematic review and metaanalysis to compare the effects of metformin and orlistat on various aspects of PCOS and to pick the better among the two drugs.

Materials and Methods

This is a systemic review of randomized control trials that studied the effectiveness of orlistat versus metformin in terms of improvement in ovulation rate, weight loss, lipid profile, etc. Systematic literature search over the period January 2000–December 2016 was performed in the following electronic databases: Medline, embase, google scholar, pubmed and The Cochrane Library and only randomized controlled clinical trials were included in our study. All authors carefully went through all sources of information independently.


According to this study, weight loss, testosterone level after 4 weeks of treatment, total serum cholesterol and triglyceride level showed significant fall in orlistat-treated group.


Our review shows that orlistat is a more effective drug than metformin and should be the preferred drug in obese PCOS in combination with weight loss.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome Orlistat Metformin Obesity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Federation of Obstetric & Gynecological Societies of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soumya Ranjan Panda
    • 1
  • Madhu Jain
    • 1
  • Shuchi Jain
    • 1
  • Riden Saxena
    • 1
  • Smrutismita Hota
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IMSBHUVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Radiodiagnosis, IMSBHUVaranasiIndia

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