Cochrane Summaries

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Spironolactone versus placebo or in combination with steroids for hirsutism and/or acne

Brown J, Farquhar C, Lee O, Toomath R, Jepson RG
Published Online: 
13 April 2011

The evidence suggests a lack of evidence to show whether spironolactone can reduce hirsutism and acne. Hirsutism in women (excessive hair growth) is most often caused by an increased production of male hormones. Spironolactone (`Aldactone' or `Spirotone') is an anti-androgen, which can be taken with or without the oral contraceptive pill to try and reduce hirsutism. From the studies included in this review, there is some evidence to show that spironolactone is an effective treatment to decrease the degree of hirsutism, but insufficient evidence for the management of acne vulgaris. It appears to be more effective than finasteride 5mg/day, metformin and low dose cyproterone acetate.

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