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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The impact of a pure anti-androgen (flutamide) on LH, FSH, androgens and clinical status in idiopathic hirsutism.

OBJECTIVES: We assessed in women the effects of androgen suppression on gonadotrophin secretion and the therapeutic efficacy of the pure anti-androgen flutamide (2-methyl-N-[4-nitro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-propanamide). DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Ten women, aged 28-35 years, using an intrauterine device for contraception, were selected for this study. All women had idiopathic hirsutism with or without acne and seborrhoea. Flutamide was administered orally in a dose of 250 mg twice daily for 1 year. Basal body temperature was recorded and pelvic ultrasonography performed before and every 3 months during treatment. LH pulse frequency and amplitude (Cluster analysis) and basal and GnRH-stimulated plasma LH and FSH levels were determined on day 5 of the cycle prior to flutamide treatment, and after 6 and 12 months of therapy. Plasma total testosterone ( T), non-SHBG bound T, androstenedione (A), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), androstanediol glucuronide (3 alpha-diol G) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels were measured before and every 3 months during therapy, on day 5 of the cycle. Plasma oestradiol and progesterone levels were determined on day 22 of the studied cycles. RESULTS: Disappearance of acne and seborrhoea occurred after 2 months with a marked improvement of hirsutism at 6 months. At 12 months, hirsutism had disappeared with a Ferriman and Gallwey score < 7. No adverse side-effects, apart from transient diarrhoea in two patients, were reported with this flutamide dose. None of the patients had any disturbance of menstrual cycles which remained ovulatory. The pure anti-androgen flutamide induced no significant change in LH pulsatile profile, nor in LH and FSH responsiveness to GnRH. Plasma concentrations of steroids were not altered. Plasma SHBG and 3 alpha-diol G levels did not change during flutamide treatment. CONCLUSION: Flutamide, which interacts only with the androgen receptor, is effective for hirsutism, acne and seborrhoea, and does not disturb menstrual cyclicity or ovulation. It may represent a treatment of choice for essential hirsutism in women using safe contraceptive methods.[1]


  1. The impact of a pure anti-androgen (flutamide) on LH, FSH, androgens and clinical status in idiopathic hirsutism. Couzinet, B., Pholsena, M., Young, J., Schaison, G. Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) (1993) [Pubmed]
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