Use of spironolactone to treat acne in adolescent females

Erin E. Roberts, Somaira Nowsheen, Dawn M.R. Davis, Jennifer L. Hand, Megha M. Tollefson, David A. Wetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/objectives: Studies assessing the utility of spironolactone for treating acne in adolescent females are lacking. Thus, we sought to examine spironolactone's role in treating this patient population. Methods: A retrospective review was performed to determine the efficacy of spironolactone treatment in adolescent females seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, from 2007 to 2017. Results: In a cohort of 80 pediatric patients with a median age of 19 years (range, 14-20 years), 64 patients (80%) experienced improvement of acne on treatment with spironolactone (median dose, 100 mg daily) with a favorable side effect profile. Approximately a quarter of patients (22.5%) had a complete response; more than half (58.8%) had a complete response or a partial response greater than 50%. Initial and maximal responses were observed at a median of 3 months and 5 months, respectively. Patients received treatment with spironolactone for a median duration of 7 months (range, 3-45 months) with limited side effects. Conclusions: Spironolactone demonstrated efficacy in treating acne in adolescent females and is a safe long-term alternative to systemic antibiotics in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • acne
  • adolescent
  • female
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • spironolactone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dermatology


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