UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Phase II 6-month Cyclic Progesterone/Spironolactone pilot Therapy Trial in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome : pre-post, single-arm feasibility study Prior, Jerilynn C., 1943-; Singer, Joel; Goshtasebi, Azita; Dahl, Marshall; Shirin, Sonia; Kalidasan, Dharani; Murray, Faye; Yip, Johnny; Nelson, Kaitlin


Androgenic Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) creates physical/emotional burdens in 4-20% of premenopausal women living with PCOS (WLWP) including: few menstruations per year, subfertility, hirsutism/acne and low quality of life by validated PCOS Questionnaire (PCOSQ). Combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC), the current standard-of-care, improve PCOSQ only 16%; with stopping CHC, benefits disappear within 6-months. We hypothesize too-fast brain/luteinizing hormone (LH) pulses cause PCOS. Progesterone (P4) slows LH when testosterone (FreeT) is normal. Combining two approved medications, Cyclic P4 with anti-androgen, Spironolactone (Sp), will likely provide effective, durable benefits. WLWP lit-review suggested significant P4 7-14-day benefits. A 6-month prospective feasibility study of CyclicP4/Sp is necessary. Overall purpose: Perform a pilot study in 40 WLWP on Cyclic P4 (300 mg/bedtime, 14 days/month) plus Spironolactone (Sp, 200 mg/d). Feasibility: Assess longitudinal within-WLWP 6-month changes in: 1) PCOSQ; 2) FreeT, HbA1c, and LH; plus 3) WLWP's acceptance of CyclicP4/Sp. Methods: Single-centre, prospective, longitudinal single cohort study. Recruit ~7-8 WLWP/month over 4-6 months; 85% retention. Eligible WLWP have physician-diagnosed PCOS, are 1-month off CHC/metformin, ages 19-35 (avoiding adolescence/perimenopause), HbA1c <6.4% (no diabetes) and commit to non-hormonal contraception, if needed. Recruitment uses online, internet, strategic ads and tear-tab posters. Measures at 0 and 6 months: as above plus K+ (safety assessment). Menstrual Cycle Diary monitoring (flow, adherence), 2 visits, monthly telephone/emails for support and assessment of any adverse effects. Statistical analysis: changes by paired T-test. Summary: A feasibility 6-month study of CyclicP4/Sp will facilitate a CIHR-funded RCT of CHC versus this innovative and likely beneficial treatment for WLWP.

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