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Ulipristal acetate versus leuprolide acetate for uterine fibroids

Donnez J, Tomaszewski J, Vázquez F, Bouchard P, Lemieszczuk B, Baró F, Nouri K, Selvaggi L, Sodowski K, Bestel E, Terrill P, Osterloh I, Loumaye E; PEARL II Study Group.

 New Engl J Med, 2012, 366(5), Pages 421-32.

Editor’s comment: Prof. Jim Thornton: 
Ulipristol is equally effective as GNRH agonists at shrinking fibroids, and has fewer side effects.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The efficacy and side-effect profile of ulipristal acetate as compared with those of leuprolide acetate for the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids before surgery are unclear.

METHODS:

In this double-blind noninferiority trial, we randomly assigned 307 patients with symptomatic fibroids and excessive uterine bleeding to receive 3 months of daily therapy with oral ulipristal acetate (at a dose of either 5 mg or 10 mg) or once-monthly intramuscular injections of leuprolide acetate (at a dose of 3.75 mg). The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with controlled bleeding at week 13, with a prespecified noninferiority margin of -20%.

RESULTS:

Uterine bleeding was controlled in 90% of patients receiving 5 mg of ulipristal acetate, in 98% of those receiving 10 mg of ulipristal acetate, and in 89% of those receiving leuprolide acetate, for differences (as compared with leuprolide acetate) of 1.2 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI], -9.3 to 11.8) for 5 mg of ulipristal acetate and 8.8 percentage points (95% CI, 0.4 to 18.3) for 10 mg of ulipristal acetate. Median times to amenorrhea were 7 days for patients receiving 5 mg of ulipristal acetate, 5 days for those receiving 10 mg of ulipristal acetate, and 21 days for those receiving leuprolide acetate. Moderate-to-severe hot flashes were reported for 11% of patients receiving 5 mg of ulipristal acetate, for 10% of those receiving 10 mg of ulipristal acetate, and for 40% of those receiving leuprolide acetate (P<0.001 for each dose of ulipristal acetate vs. leuprolide acetate).

CONCLUSIONS:

Both the 5-mg and 10-mg daily doses of ulipristal acetate were noninferior to once-monthly leuprolide acetate in controlling uterine bleeding and were significantly less likely to cause hot flashes. (Funded by PregLem; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00740831.).

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