Use of spironolactone to treat acne in adolescent females

Pediatr Dermatol. 2021 Jan;38(1):72-76. doi: 10.1111/pde.14391. Epub 2020 Oct 3.


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.

Keywords: acne; adolescent; female; polycystic ovary syndrome; spironolactone.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Minnesota
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spironolactone* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Spironolactone