Medications for PCOS

PCOS medications
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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex and under-recognized condition affecting at least 10% of women of childbearing ages. Women with PCOS present with a variety of symptoms, including dermatological concerns, mood changes, reproductive, and metabolic conditions. If not managed, PCOS can lead to chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes. 

Treatment of PCOS is usually directed to what a woman is most concerned about.

There are a wide variety of options out of there, from pills to over the counter options to alternative treatments. Which one you use depends on what your goal is.For example, if you are trying to conceive, medications to improve ovulation may be needed. If you're insulin resistant, insulin-sensitizing medications can reduce your risk for diabetes. Acne medications can be used to reduce the visibility of acne. 

Here are the different types of medications typically used in women with PCOS.

Medications to Regulate the Menstrual Cycle

These medications can be used to regulate hormone levels and restore a normal menstrual cycle in women with PCOS.

  • The birth control pill
  • Provera
  • Myo and d-chiro Inositol

Medications to Improve Insulin Resistance

Typically known as diabetes medications, insulin-sensitizers can reduce blood glucose and insulin levels in people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, or those at risk for insulin resistance.

While metformin is the most common insulin sensitizer used in women with PCOS, there are alternative options also available. 

Weight Loss Medications

  • Meridia
  • Orlistat
  • Phentramine 

Infertility Medications

A variety of medications can be used to improve egg quality, ovulation, and fertility.

 

Anti-Androgens

Anti-androgens work by blocking testosterone levels to lower androgens in women with PCOS. These medications have the potential to cause birth defects and should be used with a form of contraceptive if sexually active while taking them. 

Acne Medications

A variety of different types of medications and lotions to reduce the appearance of acne in women with PCOS. 

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Topical retinoids
  • Topical antibiotics

Medications for Hirsutism

These medications work to reduce the levels of androgens or male hormones in women with PCOS to reduce the appearance of hair loss and excessive hair growth. 

  • Vaniqa
  • Spironolactone
  • The birth control pill

A variety of prescribed medications and alternative supplements are available to women with PCOS. It is important to remember that whichever medication you choose, you should speak with your doctor about any concerns that you may have, potential side effects, and interactions with other medications or supplements.

And of course, if you start something that doesn't work for you, don't hesitate to try a different medication or treatment regimen. Some medications can take months of regular use in order to see an improvement in symptoms. 

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