The effect of drug consultation center guidance on contraceptive use among women using isotretinoin: a randomized, controlled study

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 May;17(4):579-84. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0623.


Background: Women of reproductive age treated with isotretinoin are required to use two forms of contraceptives, yet adherence to the recommendations is limited. Our objective was to determine if an active intervention by a drug consultation center (DCC) will increase contraceptive use among women taking isotretinoin.

Methods: In a randomized, controlled study, women of reproductive age who called the DCC seeking advice regarding isotretinoin were randomly assigned to an intervention group (information by phone during initial interview, by mailed written form, and by text messages sent to their cellular phones) and a control group (information given once). A follow-up call was made to all women 3 months after the first interview.

Results: One hundred eight women (50 in the intervention group and 58 control) were enrolled. Most women do not adhere to the recommended contraceptive use. After 3 months, 50% of the study group and 40% of the control group were using a contraceptive (p = 0.41), and only 2 women in each group used two methods of contraception.

Conclusions: Strategies to increase adherence to contraceptive use among women treated with isotretinoin are needed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems / organization & administration
  • Contraceptive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Contraindications
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration*
  • Teratogens*


  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Teratogens
  • Isotretinoin