Ortho Tri-Cyclen For Acne Control

ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is the #1 prescribed birth control pill and clinically proven to help your skin look better.

Best birth control pills for acne - It's long been recognized that many oral contraceptives help soothe troubled skin, but only Ortho has actually gone to the trouble and expense of documenting the proof and getting FDA approval for it. Ortho Tri-Cyclen is the only pill specifically approved for acne.

ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is the first birth control pill that has been clinically proven to help reduce moderate acne and maintain clearer skin in women 15 or older, with no known medical reasons not to take oral contraceptives, who menstruate, want contraception and are not responsive to topical anti-acne medications.

Studies show that nearly 9 out of 10 women who took ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN saw improvements in their skin.

What makes ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN good for your skin? It lowers the levels of serum free-testosterone, the hormone that contributes to acne breakouts. Therefore, it may help your skin look its best without compromising its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.

You've probably seen the commercials for Ortho Tri-Cyclen, the only brand of birth control pills the FDA has approved to control acne. (There are other brands that have been shown to prevent acne, so you'll need to discuss which one is best for you with your physician.) By lowering the body's level of androgens-hormones that stimulate oil production in the skin-Ortho Tri-Cyclen helps to control breakouts. It takes about 2 to 3 months for your skin to show the effects after you start taking it, and some women may need to use additional acne medication. Conversely, some other birth control pills can make your acne worse because they contain androgenic hormones. Talk to your doctor about it.

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News Articles

Low-Dose Birth Control Pill Provides Effective Treatment for Acne

RARITAN, N.J. - For the first time, an oral contraceptive has been cleared for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an effective treatment for acne in women seeking contraception. ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN(R) Tablets (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) is the first low-dose birth control pill cleared for marketing for a noncontraceptive indication since the Pill was introduced over 35 years ago.

Acne is believed to be caused by a variety of factors, including hormones, stress and heredity. According to an American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) spokesperson, various estimates suggest that up to 40 to 50 percent of adult women suffer from some form of acne breakouts (i.e., pimples, whiteheads, blackheads). Although symptoms may begin in the teenage years, many women experience onset of symptoms in their 20s and 30s.

Varying levels of severity of acne at different points of the menstrual cycle have been reported. Research has demonstrated that ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN decreases the level of hormones which contribute to the development of acne-producing agents, thus attacking the cause of the acne.

In the clinical studies, ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN showed improvement of acne similar to that seen in studies looking at efficacy of benzoyl peroxide and topical or systemic antibiotics. ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN treats acne with a combination of ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic estrogen, and norgestimate, a progestin. Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies demonstrated that improvement of acne was reported during use of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN in more than 80 percent of the studies' participants treated with ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN.

"This is great news for the millions of women with acne who take or want to take birth control pills," said Geoffrey Redmond, M.D., president of the Foundation for Developmental Endocrinology. "These studies suggest that ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN treats acne at its source by decreasing the level of hormones that contribute to the development of acne. ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN can give women a dual advantage -- pregnancy prevention and a proven treatment for acne."


The "Other" Benefits of Oral Contraceptives

by Tracee Cornforth

Excessive androgens have been implicated in the development of acne. Oral contraceptives reduce the amount of androgen that is available. Just how this works depends on the specific hormone combination in a particular oral contraceptive. In a 1997 study (outlined below), 83% of participants who received norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol rated their acne improved after six months.

Redmond Study : Use of Oral Contraceptives in Treatment of Acne Vulgaris

Androgen has been implicated in the etiology of acne vulgaris, presumably by enhancement of follicular hyperkeratosis. Oral contraceptives reduce circulating androgens by several mechanisms, depending on the specific hormones used in each type of contraceptive. Redmond and colleagues evaluated the efficacy of a triphasic oral contraceptive (norgestimate-ethinyl estradiol) in moderate acne vulgaris in women.

The multicenter study enrolled 250 healthy women aged 15 to 49 years with no contraindications to oral contraceptive use and moderate acne vulgaris. The severity of acne was defined as grade II to III (six to 100 comedones, 10 to 50 inflammatory lesions and fewer than five nodules). Patients were instructed to use only mild soap and moisturizer during the trial and were not permitted to use topical or systemic acne treatments. Study subjects were randomly assigned to receive active treatment with oral contraceptives or identical placebo. All patients with childbearing potential were instructed to use alternative forms of birth control. Patients were evaluated over six menstrual cycles. Measures included assessments by patients and examiners regarding the degree of acne, hormone levels, compliance checks and information about adverse effects.

Although 179 women completed the study, protocol violations (mainly use of other acne treatments) reduced the final study group to 164 subjects (80 in the placebo group and 84 in the treated group). The mean decrease in total lesions by the sixth cycle was 46.4 percent in the treated patients, compared with 33.9 percent in the patients receiving placebo. Inflammatory lesions were reduced by 51.4 percent in the treated group, compared with 34.6 in the placebo group, while comedones were reduced by 39.4 percent with treatment, compared with a 33.8 percent reduction with placebo.

From the patients' perspective, 83.3 percent of those receiving oral contraceptives rated acne as improved, compared with only 62.5 percent of those receiving placebo. Conversely, 16.7 percent of the oral contraceptive group and 37.5 percent of the placebo group noted no improvement by the end of the study. Free testosterone levels decreased significantly in women receiving oral contraceptives, and sex-hormone-binding globulin increased significantly in treated women compared with women receiving placebo.

The authors conclude that this formulation of oral contraceptive proved an effective acne treatment for women who had no contraindications to oral contraceptive use.--Anne D. Walling, M.D.


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