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FDA Approves New Indication for Drospirenone to Treat Acne

WAYNE, N.J., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Berlex, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Bayer Schering Pharma, Germany, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new indication for YAZ(R) (3 mg drospirenone/20 mcg ethinyl estradiol) to treat moderate acne vulgaris in women who desire an oral contraceptive for birth control. Acne is one of the most common skin disorders in the United States.

With today's decision, YAZ becomes the first and only oral contraceptive ever approved by the FDA for three distinct indications. YAZ received FDA approval as an oral contraceptive in March 2006, and as a treatment for the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women who desire an oral contraceptive in October 2006. YAZ is the only oral contraceptive that has demonstrated statistical and clinical significance in treating premenstrual irritability, moodiness, feeling anxious, bloating and increased appetite that are severe enough to impact a woman's activities, work or relationships.

"This latest regulatory approval underscores the culmination of years of research that confirms the promise of YAZ and the distinctness of our innovative progestin, drospirenone, in delivering benefits that are beyond reliable birth control," said Reinhard Franzen, President and CEO of Berlex Laboratories.

Unlike other progestins, drospirenone has unique antimineralocorticoid (mild diuretic effect) and antiandrogenic properties. "The antiandrogenic property of drospirenone means that it blocks the male sex hormones that can cause acne," said Ian Thorneycroft, Ph.D., M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Alabama.

"Therefore, it is not surprising that this combination of hormones in a longer active pill regimen treats severe menstrual issues that women experience as well as acne," he added. Studies show that acne tends to flare up in women just prior to or during menstruation.

Data Demonstrate Safety, Efficacy and Tolerability of YAZ for Acne
Two six-month multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials of over 1000 patients revealed the statistically significant efficacy of YAZ in treating moderate acne. In the trials, treatment with YAZ resulted in significant reductions in total, inflammatory and non inflammatory acne lesion counts. Further, investigator ratings of "clear" and "almost clear" skin as rated on the Investigator's Static Global Assessment (ISGA) scale were nearly four times greater in the YAZ treatment group than the ratings of patients in the placebo group.

YAZ was well tolerated by the majority of women in these clinical studies. The most common side effects in the acne clinical trials include upper respiratory infection, irregular bleeding, headache, nausea, sinusitis, and yeast infection.

Source: Berlex

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