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Acne Treatment - Birth Control Pills And Other Hormone Therapy

Birth control pills have been used since the 1960s, and have provided women with a convenient method of contraception. Some birth control pills are a legitimate option for treating acne for women. Many contraceptive pills have the effect of lowering testosterone levels, which have the effect of producing excess oil in acne. In some cases, they may mix poorly with certain classes of antibiotics. If taking birth control pills as a form of acne treatment, patients should consult their doctor.

The following are some of the drugs that are approved for acne treatment:

Alesse® - 0.020mg EE + 0.10mg levonorgestrel

This drug has a relatively low dose of estrogen at 0.02mg compared to most other oral contraceptives, reducing the risk of side-effects. This drug has been shown in clinical trials to be significantly superior to placebo in reducing acne.

Ortho-Tricyclen® - 0.035mg EE + norgestimate

This drug has been shown in clinical trials to be effective in reducing acne over a span of 6 months. It is approved for treatment of acne in Canada and the United States. In a study monitoring 256 women, 53% of women taking Ortho-Tricyclen® cleared their acne compared to 27% from the placebo group.

Diane-35® - 0.035mg ethinyl estradiol (EE) + 2.0mg cyproterone acetate (CPA)

Diane-35® has been approved for treatment of acne in Europe for over 25 years, and is currently approved for use in Canada. It acts as an anti-androgen and has an impressive record both in clinical trials and on the market.


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