Efficacy and safety of 3 mg drospirenone/20 mcg ethinylestradiol oral contraceptive administered in 24/4 regimen in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

William Koltun, Anne W Lucky, Diane Thiboutot, Minoo Niknian, Carole Sampson-Landers, Paul Korner, Joachim Marr
Contraception 2008, 77 (4): 249-56

BACKGROUND: A randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study to investigate the efficacy and safety of the 3 mg drospirenone (drsp)/20 mcg ethinylestradiol (EE) combined oral contraceptive (COC) administered in a 24/4 regimen (24 active tablets and 4 inert tablets per cycle) for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris.

STUDY DESIGN: Healthy females (aged 14-45 years old) with moderate facial acne were randomized to 3 mg drsp/20 mcg (n=266) or placebo (n=268) for six cycles of 28 days.

RESULTS: Women who received the 3 mg drsp/20 mcg EE 24/4 COC had greater reductions from baseline in inflammatory, noninflammatory and total lesion counts. The odds of women in the 3 mg drsp/20 mcg EE 24/4 regimen COC group having 'clear' or 'almost clear' skin as rated by the investigators at end point was about fourfold greater than that in the placebo group (odds ratio 4.31; 95% CI: 2.11-9.60; p=.001). The 3 mg drsp/20 mcg EE 24/4 regimen COC was well tolerated and had a safety profile consistent with low-dose COC use.

CONCLUSION: The 3 mg drsp/20 mcg EE 24/4 regimen COC was significantly more effective than placebo in treating moderate acne vulgaris.

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