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The University of Southampton
SAFA study

What is this acne research study about?

About this acne research study

Acne is a common condition and it can be very distressing. A range of acne treatments are available but many of the oral medications cannot be used ling term and some have side effects.

We are completing an acne research study to find out whether spironolactone might offer an alternative treatment to help women with acne or spots.

Evaluating spironolactone as acne treatment

Spironolactone is widely used to help with high blood pressure and other conditions. The drug also lowers some of the hormones that cause the skin to make oil. In acne, the skin produces more oil than normal.

Some dermatologists have been using spironolactone 'off licence' to treat acne for many years, particularly in the US, but only small trials have been carried out to test its effectiveness.

Why we need new acne treatments

We think that spironolactone tablets could, for some women, replace antibiotics (taken by mouth) for acne. Currently, patients are often prescribed long courses of antibiotics. But rising rates of antibiotic resistance present a major global health concern. So, there is an urgent need to find alternative treatments.

Although some combined oral contraceptive pills are effective in treating acne, many are not licenced for this use. Some are also not suitable or well tolerated by patients. Dianette (co-cyprindiol) is licenced for use in acne. It can be very effective, but it is not recommened for long term use due to safety concerns.

Many topical acne treatments are available (such as benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and retinoids) but these are not always effective for persistent or more severe cases.

Helping UK acne research

The National Institute for Health Research (Department of Health) commissioned this acne research study (SAFA) to determine whether spironolactone would be a suitable alternative treatment for women with persistent moderate or severe acne.

If you are eligible and you decide to take part, you would be helping to research a potential new acne medication which could benefit many women in the future.

Please click on the Participant Information Leaflet below to read more.

Find out more about acne treatments in general.

Interested in taking part?

Find out what taking part in the study would involve

See if the study is suitable for you

Contact your nearest study centre

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