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A randomized, controlled trial of a low-dose contraceptive containing 20 microg of ethinyl estradiol and 100 microg of levonorgestrel for acne treatment.

Author(s): Thiboutot D, Archer DF, Lemay A, Washenik K, Roberts J, Harrison DD

Affiliation(s): Division of Dermatology, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, USA.

Publication date & source: 2001-09, Fertil Steril., 76(3):461-8.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of a low-dose oral contraceptive (OC) containing 100 microg of levonorgestrel (LNG) and 20 microg of ethinyl estradiol (EE) compared with placebo for the treatment of moderate acne. DESIGN: Multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. SETTING: Outpatient dermatology clinics. PATIENT(S): Women (> or =14 years old; n = 350) with normal menstrual cycles and moderate acne were randomized to receive LNG/EE or placebo for six cycles.Intervention(s): Twenty microg of EE and 100 microg of LNG. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Acne lesion counts and clinician global assessment were performed at baseline and at each cycle. Patient self-assessment was carried out at baseline and at cycles 4 and 6; blood pressure and weight were measured at baseline and at cycles 1, 3, and 6. RESULT(S): Inflammatory, noninflammatory, and total lesion counts at cycle 6 with LNG/EE were significantly lower compared to placebo. Patients in the LNG/EE group also had significantly better clinician global and patient self-assessment scores than those in the placebo group at cycle. Changes in weight from baseline were similar between patients in the LNG/EE and placebo groups at all measured time points. CONCLUSION(S): This double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrates that a low-dose OC containing 20 microg of EE and 100 microg of LNG is an effective and safe treatment for moderate acne.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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