Off-label therapy may delay early puberty in girls

June 18, 2008

At the Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, researchers found positive results for an off-label treatment in a small study of early puberty in girls.

At the Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, researchers found positive results for an off-label treatment in a small study of early puberty in girls.

Investigators randomized 38 prepubertal girls with low birthweight and precocious pubarche to receive 425 mg metformin per day for two years, then 850 mg per day for the next two years, or no treatment.

After four years, girls who received metformin were less likely to have had their first menstrual cycle than girls who received no treatment. Girls who received treatment also had lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 and better lipid profiles.

In addition, metformin was linked to lower rates of insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism at four years, and did not inhibit vertical growth or bone development in treated girls.

However, the researchers noted that a larger study may be needed to confirm these results as metformin is not approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in children younger than 10.