Letrozole May Help Women with PCOS Become Pregnant
Hershey, PA - The drug letrozole results in higher birth rates in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) than the long standing current preferred infertility treatment drug, clomiphene citrate, according to a nationwide study led by Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
“Clomiphene has its drawbacks,” said Dr. Richard Legro, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and lead author on the study. “It’s only 22 percent successful with up to six cycles of treatment in producing a successful birth, it has a high multiple-pregnancy rate in comparison to unassisted conception, and it has side effects including hot flashes and mood changes.”
Letrozole is a class of drug that blocks estrogen production.
To compare the two drugs, researchers studied 750 infertile women with PCOS between 18 and 40 years old who wanted to conceive. Women were randomly assigned to either clomiphene or letrozole and took the medications for up to five cycles, with increasing dosage each cycle. The results are reported in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The group of women who received letrozole had a higher rate of live births – 27.5 percent – than those on clomiphene – 19.1 percent. In addition, ovulation rates were significantly higher with letrozole than with clomiphene at each monthly visit. Continue>
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