Medications for Acne
Acne medication is sometimes used off-label to treat women with persistent adult acne due to increased androgen levels, because the drug is able to inhibit the activity of sebaceous glands (small skin glands that releases an oily, lubricating substance called sebum).The development of acne lesions is associated partly with increased sebum secretion, which can be stimulated in women by androgen excess.
Medication for Hair Loss and Hirsutism
Because of its anti-androgen activity, acne medication is also used off-label to treat female-pattern hair loss and hirsutism.
Women with certain endocrine disorders produce more androgens than normal, leading to hair loss on the top or front of the scalp, and increased hair on the face and other (generally hair-free) body areas.
Acne medication helps by slowing down the production, and blocking the action, of androgens.
Pregnancy and Acne medication
Acne medication may pose risks to a developing fetus.
Some research suggests that acne medication has the potential to feminize male fetuses during early pregnancy and cause endocrine problems in late pregnancy by inhibiting the activity of male hormones (androgens).
In general, diuretics such as acne medication aren’t recommended for pregnant women. Unless the drug is absolutely necessary, it’s not recommended for women who are breastfeeding because canrenone, a byproduct of
acne medication, is excreted in breast milk.
Common Side Effects of Acne medication
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain or cramps
- Dry mouth and thirst
- Dizziness, unsteadiness, and headache
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) in men, and breast pain in women
- Irregular menstrual periods and post-menopausal vaginal bleeding
- Erectile dysfunction
- Deepening of the voice and increased hair growth
- Drowsiness, tiredness, and restlessness
Severe Side Effects of acne medication
- Muscle pain or weakness
Common Side Effects of acne medication, cont.
- Numbness or tingling
- Paralysis in the arms or legs
- Confusion, extreme tiredness, and fainting
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Life-threatening skin reactions
- Flu-like symptoms, pain in the upper right abdomen, loss of appetite, vomiting blood, or bloody stools
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Decreased urination
Acne medication, alcohol and sedative/narcotics
While taking acne medication, consumption of alcohol, narcotics, or barbiturates(a sedative) can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting when you get up too quickly from a sitting or lying position.
Therefore, it may be best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking acne medication.