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Are fertyl, glycored and letoval advisable for pregnancy?

Wednesday, 20 October 2004
Answered by: Chandra M. Gulhati
Editor,
MIMS,
New Delhi
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Q. I am 27 years old. I got married 3 years ago and I don't have any children. We have been trying for a child for the past 5 months. The doctor gave me fertyl. As it didn't work, the doctor suggested me to have the following medicine: Glycored 3 tablets in a day for 30 days; Letoval 2 tablets in a day for 5 days from the second day of mensus. Please advice me on these medicines.

A.  I cannot understand the reasons for your seeking medical advice for not conceiving for 5 months. There is no need to seek advice unless 12 clear months have passed since more than 85% women conceive in this period. Fertyl is the brand name of a medicine called clomiphene citrate. It is to be given only if infertility is due to ovulatory failure. In other words, first the reason should be established before medication. Glycored is a combination of two medicines called glibenclamide and metformin. Glibenclamide is given only in diabetes to stimulate the production of more insulin and no other disorder. Metformin is used in certain carefully selected cases of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) where excessive male hormones are produced by ovaries due to high blood levels of insulin. It is believed that metformin reduces the levels of insulin in the blood. Thus, it will be seen that giving glibenclamide will be counterproductive because instead of decreasing insulin in the blood, it will increase. If, at all, PCOS is diagnosed, only metformin alone (such as Glyciphage) is used. Letoval is the brand name of a medicine called letrozole. It is an anti-cancer medicine and is indicated, approved and internationally used for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Using it for any other purpose is not only unethical but illegal. The manufacturer of this brand was illegally promoting its use in young women. The company was warned by drugs controller general of India (DCGI) to desist from such activities. The company apologised and promised not to do it again but the damage had been done. The side effects of Letoval include: heart attack, hot flushes, vaginal bleeding, weight gain, ovarian tumours, sexual inactivity, angina, brain stroke, paralysis, life-threatening blood clots in lungs, etc, as reported by the innovator company (Novartis) to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

A.  I cannot understand the reasons for your seeking medical advice for not conceiving for 5 months. There is no need to seek advice unless 12 clear months have passed since more than 85% women conceive in this period. Fertyl is the brand name of a medicine called clomiphene citrate. It is to be given only if infertility is due to ovulatory failure. In other words, first the reason should be established before medication. Glycored is a combination of two medicines called glibenclamide and metformin. Glibenclamide is given only in diabetes to stimulate the production of more insulin and no other disorder. Metformin is used in certain carefully selected cases of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) where excessive male hormones are produced by ovaries due to high blood levels of insulin. It is believed that metformin reduces the levels of insulin in the blood. Thus, it will be seen that giving glibenclamide will be counterproductive because instead of decreasing insulin in the blood, it will increase. If, at all, PCOS is diagnosed, only metformin alone (such as Glyciphage) is used. Letoval is the brand name of a medicine called letrozole. It is an anti-cancer medicine and is indicated, approved and internationally used for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Using it for any other purpose is not only unethical but illegal. The manufacturer of this brand was illegally promoting its use in young women. The company was warned by drugs controller general of India (DCGI) to desist from such activities. The company apologised and promised not to do it again but the damage had been done. The side effects of Letoval include: heart attack, hot flushes, vaginal bleeding, weight gain, ovarian tumours, sexual inactivity, angina, brain stroke, paralysis, life-threatening blood clots in lungs, etc, as reported by the innovator company (Novartis) to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

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