A randomized controlled trial of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive containing 3 mg drospirenone plus 20 microg ethinylestradiol in the treatment of acne vulgaris: lesion counts, investigator ratings and subject self-assessment

J Michael Maloney, Peter Dietze, David Watson, Minoo Niknian, Sooji Lee-Rugh, Carole Sampson-Landers, Paul Korner
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD 2009, 8 (9): 837-44

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of a combined oral contraceptive (COC) containing 3 mg drospirenone (drsp) plus 20 microg ethinylestradiol (EE) administered in 24 days of active treatment followed by a four-day hormone-free interval (24/4 regimen) compared with placebo for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris.

METHODS: Healthy females (14-45 years old) with moderate facial acne were randomized to 3 mg drsp/20 microg EE 24/4 (n = 270) or placebo (n = 268) for six cycles. The secondary efficacy variables measured included change from baseline to endpoint (cycle 6) in individual lesion count for nodules, papules, pustules, open and closed comedones.

RESULTS: There were significantly greater reductions in individual lesion counts from baseline to endpoint in the 3 mg drsp/20 microg EE group than in the placebo group (P < 0.05 from parametric model).

CONCLUSION: The 3 mg drsp/20 microg EE COC administered in a 24/4 regimen significantly reduced acne lesions.

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