Author(s): Spellacy WN, Tsibris AM, Tsibris JC, George S, Chez RA,
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Abstract The objective of the study is to evaluate the effects of a gestodene-containing oral contraceptive on carbohydrate metabolism. The design of the study is prospective. The setting is at University of South Florida Outpatient Unit. The patients consisted of twenty-three normal women desiring contraception. Serum glucose and insulin levels were measured during a three-hour glucose tolerance test at control time and after one year of drug use. RESULTS: All of the one-year glucose values were significantly elevated as well as the fasting and three-hour insulin values. These changes were mostly confined to women over 26 years of age and not in the younger 18 to 23 year olds. An oral contraceptive containing 75 micrograms of gestodene and 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol can significantly alter carbohydrate metabolism in older women. PIP: In Tampa over a 1-year period, health workers followed 23 normal 18-34 year old women, who came to the University of South Florida Outpatient Unit for an oral contraceptive (OC) prescription, to examine the carbohydrate metabolic effects of an OC containing 75 mcg gestodene and 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol. No one conceived. All the glucose values increased significantly over the 12-month study period (p = .002). The significant increase was restricted to only women in the 26-34 year old group at fasting and 0.5, 1, and 2 hours (p .05), however. The fasting and 3 hour insulin values were significantly elevated (p .001 and .002, respectively). The elevated insulin values were largely confined to the 26-34 year old group (at 0.5, 1, and 3 hours), but they were also elevated at fasting and 3 hours in the 18-23 year old group. Even though the values of carbohydrate metabolic parameters were significantly elevated, the values were in the normal physiologic range. Since gestodene has little estrogen binding capacity and estrogen improves carbohydrate metabolism, this combined OC tends to have adverse effects on carbohydrate metabolism, particularly in older women. Longer and larger duration studies are needed to examine whether these effects increase or reverse with time.
This article was published in Contraception
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability