Cardiovascular profile of pharmacological agents used for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome

Huda Alalami, Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Stephen Atkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an adverse metabolic profile with an increased risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (T2DM); however, it is unclear if PCOS is associated with increased cardiovascular events in later years independent of the presence of T2DM. Many therapies have been used to treat the differing facets of PCOS, including those for menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, acne and anovulatory infertility. The aim of this review was to evaluate the cardiovascular profiles associated with the medications used in the management of PCOS and evaluate whether they have cardiovascular benefit, detriment or are neutral. The medications reviewed include oral contraceptive pills, antiandrogens, clomiphene and drugs specifically used in diabetes therapy; metformin, glitazones, dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. This review concludes that therapies that are used to treat these patients appear not to add to the cardiovascular risk and that there is no evidence that any interventional medical therapy may prevent the onset of diabetes in patients with PCOS, though in the case of metformin, this agent may be beneficial in preventing development of gestational diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018



  • androgen
  • cardiovascular risk
  • clomiphene
  • oral contraceptives
  • PCOS
  • Pharmacotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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