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Selective progesterone receptor modulators

Whitaker, Lucy H.R.; Williams, Alistair R.W.; Critchley, Hilary O.D.

Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000082

Purpose of review: Review of recent data from clinical trials and descriptions of endometrial morphology with administration of selective progesterone receptor modulators (SPRMs).

Recent findings: Recent reports concerning administration of SPRMs, specifically the efficacy of ulipristal acetate in reducing fibroid size and rapid control of menstrual blood loss, have renewed clinical interest in this class of compound. Histological data from studies with SPRMs report that this class of drugs is associated with progesterone receptor modulator-associated endometrial changes. Data on mechanisms of action are lacking. The antagonistic progesterone effect of SPRMs has shown promising results in animal studies with endometriosis. Sex steroid receptor effects of PRMs outside the reproductive tract raise the potential for use in neurology and oncology, and although there are several randomized trials in these areas, there are limited small studies published to date.

Summary: The SPRM ulipristal acetate is an effective treatment for preoperative treatment of fibroids and a reliable emergency contraceptive. This class of compounds holds the potential for long-term effective medical management of fibroids and may have utility in the management of other sex steroid-dependent conditions.

Author Information

MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The University of Edinburgh, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK

Correspondence to Professor Hilary O.D. Critchley, Professor of Reproductive Medicine, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The University of Edinburgh, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, UK. Tel: +44 131 242 6858; e-mail:

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