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  • Writer's picturePCOS Vitality (c)

Is Licogliflozin showing promise in PCOS... with 70% reduction in insulin resistance?

Reports from a recent trial of the drug Licogliflozin in women with PCOS has shown promising results. The multi-centre 2 week randomised trial involved people with PCOS being given either Licogliflozin 50 mg or a placebo. They measured testosterone, other androgens and insulin resistance levels. While free testosterone levels didn’t change Licogliflozin did reduce the androgens androstenedione and DHEAS. Furthermore, insulin resistance was reduced by a whopping 70%! Unfortunately there were some nasty side effects such as diarrhea and nausea. However, over all it does seem to be a promising drug which obviously needs further research. [1].

So what is this drug Licogliflozin? Licogliflozin is an SGLT1/2 Inhibitor and it works by blocking gut absorption of glucose and the reabsorption of glucose from the kidney. [2] The drug has been considered in the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Studies have revealed the treatment can lead to significant weight loss and improvement in metabolic parameters and incretin hormones while being generally safe and well tolerated. [3]

More clinical trials are ongoing in multi centres into the use of Licogliflozin in combination with another drug Tropifexor for the treatment of NASH or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis which is a form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatic fibrosis. For example, the ELIVATE trial will assess how the body handles the drug ie. How it is distributed, broken down and eliminated by measuring the amount of drug in blood, urine and liver after dosing[4]. This is of interest to those of us with PCOS too as most of us are aware that PCOS increases your risk of NAFLD even if you are of “normal” weight [5]. So, could Licogliflozin be a novel treatment for PCOS? It appears to be just one of many current possibilities so let’s wait and see…


Not medial advice. PCOS Vitality does not recommend any particular course of action in relation to PCOS. For information purposes only. If you need medical advice please speak to your GP or healthcare provider.


[1] S. Tan, S. Ignatenko, F. Wagner, A. Dokras, J. Seufert, D. Zwanziger, K. Dunschen, M. Zakaria, N. Huseinovic, C. Basson, P. Mahling, D. Fuhrer, M. Hinder, Licogliflozin versus placebo in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): a randomised, double-blind, phase 2 trial, Diabetes, Obes. Metab. (2021) dom.14495.

[2] Novartis | Tropifexor and licogliflozin | FierceBiotech, (n.d.). (accessed July 17, 2021).

[3] H. YL, H. W, M. CD, A. A, Z. Y, M. P, M. AE, M. S, C. W, B. E, The effects of licogliflozin, a dual SGLT1/2 inhibitor, on body weight in obese patients with or without diabetes, Diabetes. Obes. Metab. 21 (2019) 1311–1321.

[4] Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of the Combination of Tropifexor & Licogliflozin and Each Monotherapy, Compared With Placebo in Adult Patients With NASH and Liver Fibrosis. - Full Text View -, (n.d.). (accessed July 18, 2021).

[5] B. Kumarendran, M.W. O’Reilly, K.N. Manolopoulos, K.A. Toulis, K.M. Gokhale, A.J. Sitch, C.N. Wijeyaratne, A. Coomarasamy, W. Arlt, K. Nirantharakumar, Polycystic ovary syndrome, androgen excess, and the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in women: A longitudinal study based on a United Kingdom primary care database., PLoS Med. 15 (2018) e1002542.

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