Selecting an oral contraceptive agent for the treatment of acne in women.

In women, acne can be successfully treated with oral contraceptives. This article focuses on the results of clinical studies on the treatment of acne with oral contraceptives. From the literature, 12 such studies could be traced over the last 10 years. Most of the studies were multicenter, randomized, and double blind. Five studies were placebo controlled. All of these studies were analyzed and compared with each other. Statistically, all placebo-controlled studies showed a better result with the active treatment, than with the placebo. However, the placebo groups also showed an improvement in the acne lesions. In seven studies, two oral contraceptives were compared for their effect on acne vulgaris. All oral contraceptives studied showed a beneficial effect on the severity of acne. It can be concluded, based on these studies, that all oral contraceptives have a more or less beneficial effect on mild to moderate acne in women. Comparing the various clinical trials, ethinylestradiol/drospirenone is as good as ethinylestradiol/cyproterone, which is slightly better than ethinylestradiol/desogestrel and ethinylestradiol/gestodene. Ethinylestradiol/chlormadinone is slightly better than ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrel, which is as effective as ethinylestradiol/norethindrone, which is far better than the placebo. Ethinylestradiol/norgestimate is better than placebo.
AuthorsWillem A van Vloten, Vigfus Sigurdsson
JournalAmerican journal of clinical dermatology (Am J Clin Dermatol) Vol. 5 Issue 6 Pg. 435-41 ( 2004) ISSN: 1175-0561 [Print] New Zealand
PMID15663340 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Acne Vulgaris (drug therapy, pathology)
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome

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