Long-term weight and metabolic health may not be influenced by metformin use during pregnancy in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology.

Researchers conducted a follow-up study of a randomized controlled trial comparing metformin with placebo in women diagnosed with PCOS. In the original trial, metformin 2000 mg or placebo was initiated during the first trimester of pregnancy and continued to delivery in an effort to determine whether metformin could reduce pregnancy complications.

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A total of 131 women (55%) from the 239 women included in the original study participated in this follow-up study. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and depression were comparable between both groups.

Study results found weight gain to be similar in those treated with metformin and those with placebo at 7.7 years follow-up postpartum. There were also no differences in body mass index, waist/hip ratio, blood pressure, body composition, lipids, glucose and insulin levels, or prevalence of metabolic syndrome at 7.7 years of follow-up in those treated with metformin compared with in women treated with placebo during pregnancy.

Clinicians can take these long-term findings into consideration when prescribing metformin to women during pregnancy who have been diagnosed with PCOS.

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Underdal MO, Stridsklev S, Oppen IH, Høgetveit K, Andersen MS, Vanky E. Does metformin treatment during pregnancy modify future metabolic profile in women with PCOS? [published online April 5, 2018]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-00485