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How Oral Contraceptives’ Progestins Influence Acne

Another way of looking at contraceptive pills, is to arrange them according to the effects that the progestins that are used will have on acne. This method is not accepted by all as a worthwhile classification for acne treatment, as the effect of estrogen may over ride the progestin effect for most of the pills.

1) The Progestins That Produce Little Or No Androgens:

Those that block the production of androgens are your patient's best choices if they're prone to acne.

These include:

  • Desogestrel - ORTHO-CEPT®
  • Norgestimate - ORTHO-CYCLEN®, ORTHO-TRICYCLEN®

2) Progestins That Produce A Moderate Androgenic Effect:

  • Norethindrone - MICRONOR®, BREVICON®, OVCON-35®
  • MODICON®, ORTHO-NOVUM® 7/7/7, NORINYL®1/35, TRI-NORINYL®1/35
  • Ethynodiol diacetate - OVULEN®, DEMULEN® 1/35

3) Progestins That Have The Strongest Androgen Effect:

  • Levonorgestrel - TRIPHASIL®
  • Norgestrel - OVRAL®
  • Norethindrone - LOESTRIN® 1/20 or 1.5/30
These will have unwanted effects on your patient's acne.

See also: Other Hormone Therapy’s Progestins Influence On Acne