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Cutis. 2002 Apr;69(4 Suppl):2-15.

The effect of 2 combined oral Contraceptives containing either drospirenone or cyproterone acetate on acne and seborrhea.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands.


A new oral contraceptive has been developed that contains a unique progestogen, drospirenone (DRSP), and that has both antiandrogenic and antimineralocorticoid activity. Our objective was to compare the effect of 30 microg ethinyl estradiol (EE)/3 mg DRSP (EE/DRSP; Yasmin, Schering AG, Berlin, Germany) with that of 35 microg EE/2 mg cyproterone acetate (EE/CPA; Diane-35, Schering AG, Berlin, Germany) on mild-to-moderate cases of acne. Diane-35 is used worldwide (it is not on the market in the United States and Japan) as a hormone treatment for acne, with additional contraceptive benefits. This multicenter, double-blind, randomized study was completed over 9 treatment cycles. A total of 128 women with mild-to-moderate facial acne, with or without seborrhea and/or hirsutism, were randomized. Treatment with either EE/DRSP or EE/CPA was assigned in a 2:1 ratio. Acne lesions, sebum production, and hair growth on the upper lip, chin, and chest were assessed, as well as levels of total and free testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and luteinizing hormone (LH). At study completion, dermatologists, gynecologists, and subjects gave their overall assessment of the effect of treatment on acne. After 9 treatment cycles, the median total acne lesion count was reduced markedly by 62.5% in the EE/DRSP group and 58.8% in the EE/CPA group. A comparison of the 2 groups revealed that EE/DRSP was at least as effective as EE/CPA. Both preparations also reduced sebum production and hair growth on the upper lip and chin. A 3-fold increase in the levels of SHBG was observed in both treatment groups, and levels of androgens and LH decreased. Treatment differences were not seen. Subjective evaluation of the effect of treatment on facial acne by dermatologists, gynecologists, and the subjects themselves indicated an excellent or good improvement for most subjects in both groups. EE/DRSP has been shown to be as effective for treating mild-to-moderate acne as a preparation containing EE/CPA. This new preparation may provide useful hormone therapy for women with androgen-dependent disorders who also require contraception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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