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Hormonal Antiandrogen Acne Treatment Examined

Am J Clin Dermatol; ePub 2018 Mar 20; Park, et al

Hormonal antiandrogen acne treatment (HAAT) is not typically used as a first-line systemic therapy in women with acne, according to a recent study. HAAT usage, however, is associated with shorter cumulative antibiotic durations and early HAAT initiation can decrease systemic antibiotic use in acne treatment. Researchers performed a retrospective study at an academic medical center of female patients receiving HAAT for acne (n=672) from January 2005 to October 2015. Data from a control group of female acne patients who never received HAAT were also collected. They found:

  • Out of all systemic medications for acne, antibiotics were used as first-line treatment in 39% of patients, combined oral contraceptives (COCs) in 12%, and spironolactone in 21%.
  • Mean antibiotic durations in patients who initiated HAAT for the first time at the study site (250.4 days) were significantly longer than in patients who received HAAT prior to presentation and continued HAAT at the study site (192.0 days).
  • A statistically significant inverse association was found between HAAT use and mean antibiotic duration.


Park JH, Bienenfeld A, Orlow SJ, Nagler AR. The use of hormonal antiandrogen therapy in female patients with acne: A 10-year retrospective study. [Published online ahead of print March 20, 2018]. Am J Clin Dermatol. doi: 10.1007/s40257-018-0349-6.