A new study evaluates spironolactone treatment in women with acne
The drug we’re talking about is called spironolactone, and it’s nothing new. This drug was originally developed to treat hypertension, but was used off-label for decades as a hormonal acne treatment, but is only approved for use by women.
According to a recent randomized and double-blind study published in BMJ1, spironolactone improvement in acne compared to placebo2with a greater difference at week 24 than at week 12 for women aged 18 years and older.
With these findings, researchers consider spironolactone to be a safe and effective alternative to antibiotics for women struggling with acne.
This echoes the findings of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD): “Reviewing the medical records of 85 women taking spironolactone, researchers found that ⅓ of the women had complete clearance and ⅓ had significantly less acne. Only 7% did not see any. improvement”. (However, this was not a randomized controlled trial.)
Why does it matter? Well, for countless reasons, including the fact that many women spend months (and even years) taking antibiotics to fight acne, which can have a negative impact on their gut and overall health.
Rather, this drug is designed for long-term use, but this does not mean that it is free from disadvantages. In particular, the medication can cause irregular menstrual cycles in some and should only be taken when women are not pregnant or trying to conceive, as it can cause birth defects.
So, while it’s not for everyone, spironolactone can be helpful for women who have tried other topical remedies and lifestyle changes without success. Of course, you should always consult a dermatologist if you have any concerns or want to try a treatment.