Bleeding pattern with drospirenone 3 mg+ethinyl estradiol 20 mcg 24/4 combined oral contraceptive compared with desogestrel 150 mcg+ethinyl estradiol 20 mcg 21/7 combined oral contraceptive

Leena Anttila, Michael Kunz, Joachim Marr
Contraception 2009, 80 (5): 445-51

BACKGROUND: The study was conducted to compare cycle control, bleeding pattern and efficacy of two low-dose combined oral contraceptives.

STUDY DESIGN: Four hundred fifty-three women were randomized to receive a 24/4 regimen of drospirenone 3 mg/ethinyl estradiol 20 mcg (drsp 3 mg/EE 20 mcg; n=230) or a 21/7 regimen of desogestrel 150 mcg/EE 20 mcg (DSG 150 mcg/EE 20 mcg; n=223), and recorded bleeding daily over 7 treatment cycles.

RESULTS: The duration [mean 4.7 (SD 1.5)-5.2 (SD 2.2) days in the drsp 3 mg/EE 20 mcg 24/4 group and 5.1 (SD 1.5)-5.4 (SD 2.1) days in the DSG 150 mcg/ EE 20 mcg group] and maximum intensity ("normal bleeding" for >50% of all subjects) of scheduled bleeding in Cycles 1-6 was comparable between treatment groups. The incidence of unscheduled bleeding during Cycles 2-6 was also similar between the two groups (drsp 3 mg/EE 20 mcg, 8.8-17.3%; DSG 150 mcg/ EE 20 mcg, 9.4-16.3%).

CONCLUSION: Drsp 3 mg/EE 20 mcg 24/4 achieved an acceptable bleeding profile with reliable cycle control, comparable with an established formulation.

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