Preferential prescribing of type of combined oral contraceptive pill by general practitioners to teenagers with acne

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2001 Mar;6(1):9-13.


Objectives: To determine the oral contraceptive prescribing patterns of general practitioners for teenagers in the UK and any preferential prescribing for those with acne.

Method: The General Practice Research Database was used in a retrospective observational study. Records of females aged 13-19 years were examined for the years 1994 and 1997.

Results: In 1994, third-generation pills were widely prescribed, whereas, in 1997, levonorgestrel pills were most commonly prescribed. In those with a recent history of acne, the most commonly prescribed single product was one containing cyproterone acetate.

Conclusion: General practitioners appear to favor cyproterone acetate-containing pills for those with acne; this proclivity became more pronounced after the pill scare. General practitioners had all but ceased using third-generation pills in 1997, even when there was a therapeutic indication.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prevalence
  • United Kingdom


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined