L-arginine plus drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol in the treatment of patients with PCOS: a prospective, placebo controlled, randomised, pilot study.
Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Dec;26(12):861-8. Epub 2010 Jul 20. PMID: 20642382
Department of Gynecology and Pathophysiology of Human Reproduction, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To verify the effects of a pill containing drospirenone on the surrogate markers of arterial function and to evaluate the possible improvements induced by the addition of L-arginine.
DESIGN: A prospective, placebo controlled, randomised, pilot study.
SETTING: University of Bologna.
POPULATION: Twenty-eight young women with PCOS.
METHODS: Random submission to: drospirenone + ethinylestradiol+ a placebo (Group I; n = 15) or drospirenone + ethinylestradiol + oral L-arginine (4 g × 2/daily) (Group II, n = 13).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Medical examination; blood measurement of nitrites/nitrates, biochemical and hormonal parameters; ultrasonographic analysis and colour Doppler evaluation of uterine, stromal ovarian and ophthalmic arteries; analysis of brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilatation; and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. The above parameters were evaluated before and after 6 months.
RESULTS: The low dose oral contraceptive containing drospirenone favoured a pre-hypertensive state. The L-arginine supplementation increased the circulating levels of nitrites/nitrates and improved the endothelium-dependent vasodilatation counteracting the negative effect of the contraceptive pill.
CONCLUSIONS: Although, the present pilot study was conducted in a limited number of patients, it seems that the L-arginine co-treatment may improve the long-term side effects of the pill reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.