Oral contraceptive earns FDA approval for use in treating acne in women

February 6, 2007

Washington - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that the oral contraceptive YAZ can also be used by women to control moderate acne.

Washington - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that the oral contraceptive YAZ can also be used by women to control moderate acne.

“Perhaps the biggest problem we have with acne treatment is our patients’ poor adherence to the treatments we recommend,” Steven R. Feldman, M.D., professor of dermatology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, tells Dermatology Times. “YAZ being approved for acne in women who want to be on an oral contraceptive means that if these patients are going to take birth control pills in a reliable way, the acne treatment adherence may ride the coattails.”

According to an Associated Press report, the FDA’s ruling makes YAZ, made by Berlin-based Bayer Schering Pharma AG, the first oral contraceptive to gain FDA approval for three distinct uses: It’s also approved for treating the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

“I’m excited to have yet one other option for hormonal control of acne for my patients,” says Joel Schlessinger, M.D., director of Skin Specialists PC, Omaha, Neb., and president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology & Aesthetic Surgery. “Many of my patients are looking for ways to get off of antibiotics after the reports of breast cancer increases in women on long-term antibiotics, so this provides an easy way for those women who are already on contraceptives to address two problems at once.

“Additionally, with YAZ’s indication for premenstrual mood disorders, it seems like it will be popular with many women as well as with OB-GYNs,” he tells Dermatology Times. “We find, however, that county clinics and Planned Parenthood tend to wait a while before they prescribe these newer contraceptives due to cost considerations, so hopefully this won’t limit our patients’ access to it.”