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Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2006 Nov-Dec;30(6):689-94.

Anti-androgenic therapy using oral spironolactone for acne vulgaris in Asians.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Tokyo School of Medicine, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8655, Japan.



Few studies have addressed anti-androgenic therapy using oral spironolactone for acne in Asians. Obtaining this race-specific information is important because Westerners and Asians respond differently to hormone therapy. This study aimed to examine the efficacy and safety of oral spironolactone used to treat acne in Asians.


Spironolactone (initial dose, 200 mg/day) was administered orally to 139 Japanese patients (116 females and 23 males) with acne. Serum laboratory data, including various hormones and electrolytes, were examined for 25 of the subjects.


Most of the female patients who completed the 20-week regimen exhibited excellent improvement (evaluated by a photographic grading scale), although some discontinued treatment because of menstrual disturbances or other reasons. The treatment was less efficacious for the males than for the females, and because gynecomastia developed in three male patients, spironolactone treatment for males was stopped. Examination of the serum of 25 patients did not identify any toxicity associated with the treatment. Drug eruptions and edema in the lower extremities were each seen in three patients.


Oral spironolactone is effective and safe for the treatment of acne in Asian females, and can be a good option for severe, recurring, and widespread types of the condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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