Randomized Double-blind Study on the Benefit of Spironolactone for Treating Acne of Adult Woman. (FASCE)


Nantes University Hospital (NUH)

Status and phase

Phase 3


Acne Vulgaris


Drug: spironolactone
Drug: Doxycycline

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Acne vulgaris of adult woman has increased over the past 10 years; it affects currently 20% to 30% of adult women. The physiopathology of adult woman acne is distinguished from the teenager one by essentially 2 factors: hormonal factor with a peripheral hyperandrogenism coupled with an hypersensibility of cutaneous androgens receptors of these women. But this point is still at the stage of hypothesis. inflammatory factor linked with Propionibacterium Aces ; indeed these women received most of the time many cures of local and systematic antibiotics at the origin of resistant Propionibacterium Aces strains which lead to a chronical activation of cutaneous innate immunity. On a therapeutic plan, four types of systemic treatment, approved in this indication are: Tetracyclines which are problematic for the bacterial resistance and consequently constant relapse when they are stopped. Zinc salts which target only the inflammatory lesions and were shown less effective than cycline Antiandrogens, with acetate of cyproterone associated with risks of phlebitis and pulmonary embolism, and increase risk of triglycerides, cholesterol and hepatic balance. The last alternative is represented by isotretinoin but the use in women of childbearing potential is binding because of the teratogen risks and the hyperandrogenism represents an identified risk of relapse. In this context, the spironolactone could represent an interesting alternative. It blocks the 5-alpha-reductase receptors at sebaceous gland and inhibits Luteinizing hormone (LH) production at the pituitary level. It is not submitted to isotretinoin constraints, does not lead to bacterial resistance and targets the peripheral hyperandrogenism. Currently, very few studies have been performed and on a weak number of patients but they showed that at low doses (lower than 200mg/day), spironolactone can be effective against acne. In that context, it seemed clearly interesting to perform the first double-blind randomized study spironolactone vs cyclines which remains the moderate acne reference treatment and to demonstrate the superiority of spironolactone's efficacy in order to establish it as alternative way to cycline.


158 patients




20+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Patient with acne, with at least 10 inflammatory lesions and no more than 3 nodules
  • Patient who already had one cycline course for her acne treatment with a 3 months* wash out or who never had any cycline
  • Patient having signed an informed consent
  • Absence of use of oral antibiotics and Zinc salts in the last 30 days
  • Absence of use of systemic isotretinoin and antiandrogens in the last 6 months
  • Absence of microphysiotherapy in the last 15 da
  • Women of child-bearing age under contraception since 3 months (oral contraception, implant or IUD).
  • Patients with social security

Exclusion criteria

  • Patient affected by active /progressive diseases, as infections including Hidradenitis suppurativa, cancers, or endocrine syndrome (eg polycystic ovary syndrome), Addison's disease)
  • Patient affected by Rosacea

Patient with contra-indication to the use of one of the investigational products or auxiliary :

  • Patient with intolerance or hypersensitivity to cyclin's, spironolactone or to any ingredient present in associated benzoyl peroxide gel
  • Patient with significant impairment of renal excretory function, acute or chronic renal failure, anuria.
  • Patient with life-threatening or very severe hepatic impairment.(grade III or IV)
  • Patient with hyperkalaemia or strongly requiring potassium-sparing diuretics (eg amiloride, canrenoate, eplerenone, triamterene), or treated continuously with Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II antagonist, NSAIDs, heparin and molecular weight heparin, ciclosporin and tacrolimus.
  • Patient requiring topical isotretinoin or who stopped this drug since less than 2 weeks
  • Patient previously treated with spironolactone
  • Pregnant woman or likely to become pregnant or nursing and refusing to use an effective contraceptive method
  • Patient participating in another interventional clinical trial
  • Patient under guardianship or trusteeship

Trial design

158 participants in 2 patient groups

Experimental group
Spironolactone ARROW ® 75 mg, 150mg, orally, once a day during all the trial (12 months: 6 months on double-blinded spironolactone then 6 months on open-label spironolactone), + topical therapy during all the trial (benzoyl peroxide 5%)
Drug: spironolactone
Active Comparator group
(Doxycycline Sandoz 100 mg), 100mg/day during 3 months followed by placebo during 3 months, on double-blinded + topical therapy during all the trial (benzoyl peroxide 5%
Drug: Doxycycline

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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