Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is defined as an ovarian dysfunction syndrome which affects the reproductive, endocrine and metabolic functions. Insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism is found to play a key role in the pathogenesis of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Objective: To compare the effects of N-acetyl cysteine with metformin on clinical profile in anovulatory infertile women with PCOS.
Method: Study was performed as a randomized control trial on infertile anovulatory women with PCOS without additional endocrinopathy. Total 60 women were enrolled. In one group, oral NAC 600 mg, three times a day and in the other group, 500 mg oral metformin, three times a day were prescribed for 3 months. Menstrual pattern, ovulation and BMI were noted before and after completion of treatment along with the side effect profile of the drugs.
Results: 28 women in metformin group and 29 in N-acetyl cysteine completed the study. A statistically significant decrease in BMI was noted in both the metformin and NAC groups (25.36±2.15 kg/m2 vs. 24.34±2.14 kg/m2 respectively) with a p value of 0.00 for each group. Both treatments led to significant improvement in menstrual pattern and ovulation. The efficacy of the two drugs was equal. The side effects on NAC was significantly less (p = 0.02) compared to metformin.
Conclusion: Metformin and NAC appear to have equal effects on clinical profile in PCOS women. However NAC has better tolerability with fewer side effects.