Clinical and hormonal effects of ethinylestradiol combined with gestodene and desogestrel in young women with acne vulgaris.Contraception. 1996 Mar; 53(3):163-70.C
The effect of gestodene 75 micrograms (GTD) versus desogestrel 150 micrograms (DSG) combined with 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol (EE) on acne lesions and plasma androstenedione (A), total testosterone (T), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and "free androgen index" (FAI) was evaluated in an open study on 19 patients aged 18-35 years affected with postpubertal or persistent non-severe acne vulgaris. The patients were randomly allocated into two groups receiving EE-GTD (n = 8) and EE-DSG (n = 11), 21 tablets per cycle for 9 consecutive cycles. Clinical and hormonal evaluations were made between days 17-21 in the cycle before treatment and between days 17-21 of the cycle 3, 6 and 9 of treatment. During treatment, acne improved in most patients, reaching at cycle 9 a low score (absent or minimal) in 62% of the cases in the GTD group (mean acne score = 1.25) and in 90% of the cases in the DSG group (mean acne score = 0.90). Before treatment, about 75% of the patients showed one or more signs of biochemical hyperandrogenism, including elevated FAI (57%), elevated A (15%), elevated total T (15%) and decreased SHBG (21%), and there was evidence of inverse correlation between SHBG and acne scores (p < 0.05). The echogenic texture of the ovaries was multifollicular in 55% of the cases. By the end of the third cycle of treatment, the hormonal changes observed in both groups included significant decreases, with normalization of individual elevated levels of T, and a 3-fold rise of the initial values of plasma SHBG, which showed a further gradual increase at cycle 9 of EE-DSG administration. At cycle 9, normalization of the echogenic ovarian texture was observed. Acne improvement under treatments with estrogen and progestin (EP) could be significantly correlated with the normalization of biochemical hyperandrogenism. In conclusion, the biochemical and clinical efficacy of EE-GTD and EE-DSG indicate that both these preparations can be a good choice in the therapy of acne vulgaris, with a non-significant better clinical result with EE-DSG.