Birth Control Drug Promoted as Acne Treatment

Author: Susan Farley

The makers of the oral contraceptive drospirenone/ethinyl (YAZ) will be marketing their drug as a treatment for moderate acne in women. The goal of manufacturers Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc and Intendis Inc is to introduce the product to dermatologists.

Backing up their claim are results from two 6-month, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of 1000 women. According to lead investigator J. Michael Maloney, MD, the results of the trial demonstrated that "the unique anti-androgenic property of drospirenone found in YAZ creates a functional blockage of male sex hormones that can be a cause of acne." He further noted that the continuous presence of the drug would treat the acne that may occur just before or during a woman's menstrual cycle.

Currently, the combination drug is the only oral contraceptive approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The FDA approved the drug as an acne treatment in January 2007.