Conference Coverage

VIDEO: Spironolactone holds its own for treating women’s acne



– While spironolactone is an old drug, it remains a safe and effective treatment option for acne in women, according to Julie Harper, MD, of the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

In a video interview, Dr. Harper said that she usually does not choose spironolactone as a first-line drug, “but more often than not this is a drug that is an add-on to other therapies” that have been tried. She tends to start with a low dose and titrates up based on side effects. The drug has been tested in men, but Dr. Harper cited a Japanese study that discontinued a male treatment arm because men developed gynecomastia.

In her opinion, it isn’t always necessary to routinely check potassium levels in patients on spironolactone. “In the vast majority of patients, I do not check labs routinely” before starting spironolactone, she said at the meeting, provided by Global Academy for Medical Education/Skin Disease Education Foundation. But she noted that some physicians feel more comfortable checking baseline labs.

Dr. Harper disclosed financial relationships with Allergan, Galderma, BioPharmX, La Roche-Posay, Promius, Valeant, and Bayer.

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