Printer Friendly

COMPARISON OF EFFICACY OF SPIRONOLACTONE PLUS ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES WITH METFORMIN IN PATIENTS OF PCOS WITH HIRSUTISM.

Byline: Sadia Malik, Zafar Iqbal Sheikh, Sameena Kausar and Najia Ahmed

ABSTRACT

Objective: To compare the efficacy of spironolactone plus oral contraceptives with metformin in treatment of hirsutism among patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Place and Duration of Study: Dermatology department, Military Hospital Rawalpindi, from Jan 2016 to Jul 2016. Material and Methods: A total of 84 women with PCOS and hirsutism with ages ranging between 16 and 50 years were included in the study. Patients with hirsutism due to etiologies other than PCOS like idiopathic hirsutism, Cushing syndrome or late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia were excluded. Random allocation of treatment was done, those reporting on even dates were enrolled in group A and those reporting on odd dates were placed in group B. Group A received oral tablet spironolactone 50mg twice a day along with combined oral contraceptive pills (cOCPs) containing levonorgestrel 0.15mg / ethinyl estradiol 0.03mg daily as combination therapy for 6 months, while group B received oral metformin 500mg twice daily for 6 months.

Hirsutism scores were determined according to the modified Ferriman-Gallwey (mFG) scoring system (attached as annexure A) and 50% reduction from the baseline was considered effective therapeutic response.

Results: The mean age of patients in group A was 32.83 +- 8.28 years and in group B was 32.57 +- 8.21 years. The mean duration of disease in group A was 18.84 +- 7.26 months and in group B was 18.04 +- 7.11 months. Efficacy in group A was observed in 29 (69.05%) patients while in group B it was observed in 17 (40.48%) patients. Conclusion: The efficacy of spironolactone plus cOCPs combination therapy is better than metformin alone in the treatment of hirsutism among patients of PCOS.

Keywords: Hirsutism, Oral contraceptives, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Spironolactone.

INTRODUCTION

Hirsutism, defined by the presence of excessive terminal (coarse) hair in androgen-sensitive areas of the female body, affects almost 5-10% of women1 during reproductive age in most populations, with the important exception of Far-East Asian women who present with hirsutism less frequently2. It is a cause of psychosocial distress to the patients3. The most common cause of hirsutism is Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)1. Other less common causes include endocrinopathies and neoplasms, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, thyroid dysfunction, cushing syndrome, and androgen-secreting tumors and drugs4.

The modified Ferriman-Gallwey score (mFG) is now considered the gold standard for the evaluation of hirsutism5. Clinical features including hirsutism, acne, obesity, subfertility and androgenic alopecia, are common in PCOS6. In our population as well the commonest cause of hirsutism was found to be PCOS according to a local study7.

Many different treatment modalities are available for the management of hirsutism in PCOS including non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies like eflornithine OCPs, metformin, cyproterone acetate, and spironolactone. Oral contraceptives are the best first-line treatment for mild to moderate hirsutism and can be used in combination with antiandrogens or other therapies8.

Different studies have shown variable effectiveness of these agents individually. A study done in Baghdad showed combination of spironolactone and cOCPs (containing levonor-gestrel 0.15 mg/ ethinyl estradiol 0.03mg) to have a response rate of 60%8 but this study utilized the hair shaft diameter as their response parameter. A beneficial response of 2.3%1 improvement in mFG score was seen in patients using metformin while another study has shown a response as good as 33%9.

This study was designed to compare the therapeutic efficacy of spironolactone plus cOCPs with metformin as no such local or international study was available comparing these two groups of drugs. By making a comparison, we would be able to offer better treatment option which would facilitate more effective medical care for patients with hirsutism.

Table-I: Age distribution for both groups (n=84).

###Group A (n=42)###Group B (n=42)###Total (n=84)

Age (years)

###No. of patients###% age###No. of patients###% age###No. of patients###% age

18-30###19###45.24###21###50.0###40###47.62

31-50###23###54.76###21###50.0###44###52.38

Mean +- SD###32.83 +- 8.28###32.57 +- 8.21###32.70 +- 8.19

Table-II: Percentage of patients according to duration of disease (n=84).

Duration of###Group A (n=42)###Group B (n=42)###Total (n=84)

disease (months)###No. of patients###% age###No. of patients###% age###No. of patients###% age

>6-24 months###25###59.52###26###61.90###51###60.71

>24 months###17###40.48###16###38.10###33###39.29

Mean +- SD###18.84 +- 7.26###18.04 +- 7.11###18.95 +- 7.17

Table-III: Hirsutism score.

###Group A (n=42)###Group B (n=42)

###p-value

###Hirsutism score###Hirsutism score

Baseline###27.98 +- 4.01###28.00 +- 3.38###0.9803

Post-treatment###15.67 +- 5.37###16.76 +- 4.34###0.3094

MATERIAL AND METHODS

This randomized controlled trial was carried out at dermatology outpatient department of Military Hospital Rawalpindi from January 2016 to July 2016. The sample size was calculated by World Health Organisation sample size calculator based on outcome variables with anticipated population proportion P1 of 60.0%8 and anticipated population proportion P2 of 33.0%9. The sampling technique was non probability consecutive sampling. A total of 84 patients were enrolled in the study with 42 patients each in group A and B. Written informed consent from patients and permission from hospital ethical committee was duly sought. Patients with hirsutism due to etiologies other than PCOS like idiopathic hirsutism, Cushing syndrome or late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia, pregnant or nursing women and those with any concomitant illnesses or immunosuppression were excluded.

Random allocation of treatment was done, those reporting on even dates were enrolled in group A and those reporting on odd dates were placed in group B. Group A received tab spironolactone 50mg twice a day plus cOCPs daily as combination therapy for 6 months, and group B received tab metformin 500mg twice daily for 6 months. Each patient underwent a complete medical and gynecological examination and laboratory evaluation with complete blood count, hepatic and renal function tests, Electrocardiography, urine for pregnancy test, serum cortisol levels, serum testosterone, prolactin levels and luteinizing hormone to follicle stimulating hormone ratio along with ultrasound pelvis for polycystic ovaries. Hirsutism scores were determined according to the mFG scoring system (Annexure). These were calculated at baseline and at the end of therapy at 6 months. All patients were counseled to avoid pregnancy during the period of study.

At least 50% or more reduction in the mFG score of each patient from the baseline score was considered effective therapeutic response. SPSS version-17.0 was used for statistical analysis of data. Mean and standard deviations were used to describe numeric variables like age, duration of disease and hirsutim score at baseline and at 6 months after treatment. Frequencies and percentages were used to describe categorical variables like duration of disease and efficacy. Chi square test was applied to compare the efficacy in two groups. Independent sample test was applied for the comparison of quantitative variables Effect modifiers like age and duration of disease were controlled by making stratified tables. Post stratification chi-square test was applied to see its effect on outcome. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered as significant.

RESULTS

The ages of patients enrolled in this study ranged from 18 - 50 years with mean age of 32.70 +- 8.19 years. The mean age of patients in group A was 32.83 +- 8.28 years and in group B was 32.57 +- 8.21 years. The mean duration of disease in group A was 18.84 +- 7.26 months and in group B was 18.04 +- 7.11 months (table-I). The mean baseline hirsutism score in group A was 27.98 +- 4.01 and in group B was 28.00 +- 3.38. At the completion of 6 months treatment, it reduced to 15.67 +- 5.37 in group A and 16.76 +- 4.34 in group B (p-value=0.30; table-II).

Efficacy of treatment in group A (spirono-lactone plus cOCPs) was recorded in 29 (69.05%) patients while in group B (metformin) it was noted in 17 (40.48%) patients (p-value=0.009; figure).

DISCUSSION

PCOS is a common endocrine disorder and the leading cause of infertility in women of reproductive age1. Its prevalence among infertile women is 15%-20%1. The exact etiology of PCOS remains unclear; However, women with PCOS have abnormalities in the metabolism and control of androgen production10. PCOS is also associated with peripheral insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, and obesity amplifies the degree of both abnormalities10. Combination oral contraceptives, especially those with progestins like norgestimate, desogestrel, or drospirenone (because of their low androgenic effects), are among the most commonly used medications for hirsutism in women with PCOS11. Spironolactone, an anti-androgenalso improves the metabolic parameters of PCO sand decreases serum total testosterone levels and insulin resistance parameters10. Combining spironolactone with oral contra-ceptives may be synergistic12.

Spironolactone is FDA pregnancy category C and the risk of feminizing a male fetus, if pregnancy occurs, precludes its use as monotherapy in sexually active women with PCOS13. Insulin-sensitizing agents like metformin may also be used to treat hirsutism in women with PCOS1. This study was conducted to compare the efficacy of combined use of spironolactone and oral contraceptives with metformin monotherapy in the treatment of hirsutism in patients of PCOS. Administration of metformin in the present study improved the hirsutism score although not in proportion to the improvement observed with combination therapy using cOCPs and spironolactone. Metformin treatment targets not only the insulin resistance but also the ovulatory derangements of PCOS. It also improves hyper-androgenemia and hirsutism and reduces the serum lipid levels14. Although potential benefits of metformin appear promising, it still has not been approved by US FDA for use in PCOS14.

Only few studies have assessed the role of metformin in hirsutism in patients of PCOS. A double blind randomized controlled trial in a small PCOS population favoured metformin 500mg thrice daily over placebo with mean FG scores of 17.7 +- 1.4, 15.8 +- 1.4 and 17.5 +- 1.2 respectively in the baseline, metformin and placebo group respectively (p=0.02)15. In a study done by Diri et al, comparative analysis of spironolactone and spironolactone plus metformin was done on hirsutism score with spironolactone alone showing 25.2% reduction while combination therapy resulted in 28.3% reduction16. However the dose of metformin used in this study was higher than our study (2000 mg/ day in that study versus 1000 mg/day in our study). Another prospective randomized trial showed marked improvement in FG score after 6 months of using cOCPs (containing 0.03mg ethinyl estradiol and 3mg drospirenone) from 17.3 +- 5.2 to 8.7 +- 2.5 (p<0.001)17.

Comparison of cOCPs (having ethinyl estradiol 30 mcg/ desogestrel 150 mcg) plus spironolactone with cOCPs (containing ethinyl estradiol 35 mcg/ cyproterone acetate 2 mg) was done by Leelaphiwat et al and it showed improvement in mFG score from 4.27 +- 1.94 to 4.07 +- 1.91 in the combination group after 3 months of treatment18. In addition to the shorter duration of treatment, a 25mg/ day dose was used which was much lower than the dose used in our study (100mg/day of spironolactone).

The combination therapy used in our study (cOCPs and spironolactone) is more acceptable as it did not induce any significant menstrual irregularities seen with spironolactone alone to affect the patient compliance. However the effect may not have been as pronounced as it was in the study done by Maghrabyet al19 due to the short duration of our study (6 months). Maghraby et al followed the patients on treatment for 24 months. Similarly we expect that the efficacy of metformin may have been improved if we had used it beyond 6 months, which is the half-life of the hair follicle1.

In the present study we used the combination therapy with cOCPs and spirono-lactone to avoid pregnancy as well as enhance the antiandrogen effect of spironolactone and regularizing the menstrual cycle. These drugs have a synergistic effect on androgen level and hence provide better control of hirsutism. Limitations of the current study include small sample size and shorter duration. Hence large randomized multicenter trials involving follow up for a longer duration are needed to further confirm the results of this study. The choice of the proper line of therapy should be tailored for every patient, according to her age, stage in life, presenting symptoms, various personal and familial risk indices as well as her choice.

Annexure-A: Modified ferriman galeway score.

Sites###Grade 1###Grade 2###Grade 3###Grade 4

###Moustache###Moustache

Upper Lip###Few hair at the###Small moustache###extending halfway###extending to

###outer margin###at outer margin###from the outer###midline

###margin

Chin###Few scattered hair###Scattered hair with###Complete cover,###Complete cover,

###small###light###heavy

###concentrations

Chest###Circumareolar hair###Circumareolar hair###Fusion of

###with midline hair###circumareolar hair

###with midline hair###Complete cover

###giving three

###quarter cover

Upper Back###Few scattered hair###More than a few###Complete cover,###Complete cover,

###scattered hair but###light###heavy

###still scattered

Lower Back###Sacral tuft of hair###Sacral tuft of hair###Three quarter###Complete cover

###with some lateral###cover

###extension

Upper Abdomen###Few midline hair###Rather more but###Half cover###Complete cover

###still midline

Lower Abdomen###Few midline hair###Midline streak of###Midline band of###An inverted V

###hair###hair###shaped growth

Upper Arm and###Sparse hair growth###More than a###Complete cover,###Complete cover,

Thigh###affecting not more###quarter coverage###light###heavy

###than a quarter of###but still incomplete

###limb surface

Forearm and Legs###-###-###-###Complete cover,

###heavy

CONCLUSION

This study concluded that efficacy of combined therapy with spironolactone and cOCPs is superior to metformin monotherapyin the treatment of hirsutism among patients of polycystic ovarian syndrome.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

This study has no conflict of interest to declare by any author.

REFERENCES

1. Nathan N, Sullivan SD. The utility of metformin therapy in reproductive aged women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Curr Pharm Biotechnol 2014; 15(1): 70-83.

2. Ehrmann DA. Hirsutism and virilization. In: Longo DA, Fauci AS, Kasper D, Larry Jl, editors. Harrisons's Principles of Medicine, 18th Edn. New York: McGraw Hill; 2012. P. 380-4.

3. Rahnama Z, Sohbati S, Safizadeh H. Effect of hirsutism on quality of life: A study in Iranian women. J Pak Assoc Derma 2013; 23(1): 28-33.

4. Sahin SB, Yucel AF, Bedir R, Ogullar S, Ayaz T, Algun E. Testosterone and cortisol-secreting adrenocortical oncocytoma: An unusual cause of hirsutism. Case Rep Endocrinol 2014; 2014: 206890.

5. Ramezani TF, Minooee S, Azizi F. Validation of a simplified method to assess hirsutism in the Iranian population. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2014; 174: 91-5.

6. Esmaeilzadeh S, Andarieh MG, Ghadimi R, Delavar MA. Body Mass Index and Gonadotropin Hormones (LH and FSH) Associate With clinical symptoms among women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Glob J Health Sci 2015; 7(2): 101-106.

7. Franks S. The investigation and management of hirsutism. J Fam Plan Reprod Health Care 2012; 38(3): 182-6.

8. Yacoub SE. Reduction of diameter of hair shaft among women with hirsutism. Global J Health 2011; 3(1): 135-41.

9. Jyoti AB, Bhosle D, Kadam R, Shelke S. Comparison of efficacy and safety of metformin, oral contraceptive combination of ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone alone or in combination in polycystic ovarian syndrome. J Obes Metab Res 2014; 2(1): 112-7.

10. Ganie MA, Khurana ML, Nisar S, Shah PA, Shah ZA, Kulshrestha B et al. Improved efficacy of low-dose spironolactone and metformin combination than either drug alone in the management of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A six-month open-label randomized study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013; 98(9): 3599-607.

11. Ehrmann DA. Polycystic ovary syndrome. N Engl J Med 2005; 352(12): 1223-36.

12. Lobo RA, Shoupe D, Serafini P, Brinton D, Horton R. The effects of two doses of spironolactone on serum androgens and anagen hair in hirsute women. Fertil Steril 1985; 43(2): 200-205.

13. Spritzer PM, Lisboa KO, Mattiello S, Lhullier F. Spironolactone as a single agent for long-term therapy of hirsute patients. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2000; 52(5): 587-94.

14. Legro R, Arslanian SA, Ehrmann DA, Hoeger KM, Murad MH, Pasquali R, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013; 98(12): 4565-92.

15. Kelly CJ, Gordon D. The effect of metformin on hirsutism in polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol 2002; 147(2): 217-21.

16. Diri H, Karaburgu S, Acmaz B, Unluhizarci K, Tanriverdi F, Karaca Z, et al. Comparison of spironolactone and spironolactone plus metformin in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecol Endocrinol 2016; 32(1): 42-5.

17. Oner G, Muderris II. A prospective randomized trial comparing low dose ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone 24/4 combined oral contraceptive vs. ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone 21/7 combined oral contraceptive in the treatment of hirstutism. Contraception 2011; 84(5): 508-11.

18. Leelaphiwat S, Jongwutiwes T, Lertvikool S, Tabcharoen C, Sukprasert M, Rattanasiri S, Weerakiet S. Comparison of desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol plus spironolactone versus cyproterone acetate/ethinyl estradiol in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res 2015; 41(3): 402-10.

19. El Maghraby HA, Nafee T, Guiziry D, Elnashar A. Randomized controlled trial of the effects of metformin versus combined oral contraceptives in adolescent PCOS women through a 24 month follow up period. Middle East Fertil Soc J 2015; 21(3): 131-7.
COPYRIGHT 2018 Asianet-Pakistan
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Jun 30, 2018
Words:3150
Previous Article:CLINICOPATHOLOGICAL SPECTRUM OF SYNOVIAL SARCOMA AT ARMED FORCES INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY, RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN.
Next Article:IMATINIB IN CHRONIC MYELOID LEUKEMIA: PATIENT-REPORTED SIDE EFFECTS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON QUALITY OF LIFE.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |