Acne: Step Up the Use of Nonantibiotic Systemic Therapy
Linda F. Stein Gold, MD
Despite acne’s high prevalence (~50 million people in the United States1), its physical and psychological morbidity during adolescence, and association with lifelong scarring, dermatologists do not always treat it aggressively. The treatment goal should be to have clear or almost clear skin, although not every patient will reach that goal. Greater use of combination oral contraceptives (COCs), spironolactone, and oral isotretinoin in appropriate patients can improve outcomes, reduce the use and duration of oral antibiotics, and lower the risk of inducing antibiotic resistance, in line with the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) guidelines.1
Off-label use of spironolactone for acne in adolescents and adults ages 12 to 40 years increased substantially from 2004 through 2013, based on a retrospective claims data analysis. Use of oral contraceptives (OCs), isotretinoin, and antibiotics did not change substantially during this time period, however.2 Mean duration of oral antibiotic therapy was about 6 months, double the duration recommended in the AAD guidelines.1,2 Research results discussed below debunk some misconceptions about nonantibiotic systemic agents that may limit their use.
Combination Oral Contraceptives: Risks vs Benefits
Risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
COCs roughly double the risk of VTE in women of reproductive age compared with non-users of the same age range, from 4 to 5 per 10,000 women per year to 8 to 9 per 10,000 women per year. But these risks are still much lower than the VTE risk associated with a third-trimester pregnancy and puerperium (Figure).3 Therefore, preventing pregnancy in sexually active women reduces the risk of VTE more than COCs raise the risk of VTE. The risk-benefit balance is different in someone who is not sexually active.
Participants should read the activity information, review the activity in its entirety, and complete the online post-test and evaluation. Upon completing this activity as designed and achieving a passing score on the post-test, you will be directed to a Web page that will allow you to receive your certificate of credit via e-mail or you may print it out at that time.
The online post-test and evaluation can be accessed at https://tinyurl.com/HDS19Supp.
Inquiries about continuing medical education (CME) accreditation may be directed to the University of Louisville Office of Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development (CME & PD) at [email protected] louisville.edu or 502-852-5329.
CME/CE Accreditation Statements
Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Global Academy for Medical Education, LLC. The University of Louisville School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing education for physicians.
The University of Louisville School of Medicine designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Joint Provider Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Global Academy for Medical Education, LLC. Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the health care team.
Continuing Nursing Education
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 2.5 contact hours. Designated for 2.4 hours of pharmacotherapy credit for advanced practice nurses.
Dermatologists can benefit from education on recent developments in many areas of clinical practice. In psoriasis treatment, nearly all patients are prescribed topical therapies. New medications using improved vehicles and fixed-dose combinations have become available, and more are in development. New research linking psoriasis and risk of cardiovascular disease has provided a better understanding of the underlying pathological mechanism and the potential benefit of anti-inflammatory treatment. Recent epidemiologic data on atopic dermatitis in adults have important implications for diagnosis and treatment. In acne treatment, several efficacious systemic treatments are underutilized, and education on their risks and benefits may improve clinical practice. In the treatment of skin cancer, dermatologists should consider several systemic treatments in addition to surgery. Finally, a new botulinum toxin became available recently, and others are in development.
At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be better able to:
- Describe recent data on psoriasis treatment, including new vehicles for topical treatments, fixed-dose combination therapies, and investigational topical medications
- Review the relationship between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the potential effects of psoriasis treatment on CVD risk
- Describe current research on the temporal patterns of atopic dermatitis onset and resolution and the differences in diagnosis and treatment approach for adult and pediatric patients
- Analyze the efficacy and safety of systemic therapies for acne
- Assess the current nonsurgical treatments for basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and localized melanoma
- Review the options for confirming the diagnosis and data on the use of topical and systemic treatments in the management of onychomycosis
- Assess the advantages and disadvantages of available botulinum toxins used to address patient concerns about facial aging
Individuals in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose: (1) the existence of any relevant financial relationship with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients with the exemption of nonprofit or government organizations and non–health-carerelated companies, within the past 12 months; and (2) the identification of a commercial product/device that is unlabeled for use or an investigational use of a product/device not yet approved.
Nathaniel J. Jellinek, MD, has indicated he has nothing to disclose.
Michael S. Kaminer, MD, has indicated he is a Consultant for Artic Fox, Cutera, Cytrellis, Endo, L’Oréal, Soliton, and Zeltiq.
Alan Menter, MD, has indicated he is on the Speakers Bureau for AbbVie, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Novartis, and OrthoDoc.
Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, has indicated he is on the Speakers Bureau for Regeneron/Sanofi; is a Consultant, and/or Advisory Board member for AbbVie, AnaptysBio, Asana, Dermavant, Eli Lilly, Galderma, GlaxoSmithKline, Glenmark, Kiniksa, LEO, Menlo, Pfizer, Realm, and Regeneron Sanofi; and has received Grant/Contracted Research Support from GlaxoSmithKline.
Linda F. Stein Gold, MD, has indicated she is on the Speakers Bureau for Galderma, LEO, Mayne, Pfizer, Sanofi/Regeneron, Taro, and Valeant; is a Consultant for Foamix, Galderma, LEO, Mayne, Menlo, Pfizer, Sanofi/ Regeneron, Sol-Gel, Taro, and Valeant; and has received Grant/Contracted Research Support from Foamix, Janssen, LEO, Menlo, Pfizer, and Valeant.
Christopher B. Zachary, MBBS, FRCP, has indicated he is a Consultant for Allergan, Candela, Sciton, and Solta.
University of Louisville CME & PD Advisory Board and Staff Disclosures: The University of Louisville CME & PD Advisory Board and office staff have nothing to disclose, with the following Board Member exceptions: Sathya Krishnasamy, MD – Novo Nordisk (Grant Funding); Ashlee Bergin, MD – Merck Pharmaceuticals (Speaking); Michael Sowell, MD – Amgen (Speaking) and Impax Pharmaceuticals (Grant Funding); Rainer Lenhardt, MD – CSL Behring, Mallinckrodt, and Merck (Speaking).
CME/CE Reviewers: Courtney R. Schadt, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Chief of Dermatology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, has nothing to disclose.
Postgraduate Institute of Medicine planners and managers have nothing to disclose.
Global Academy for Medical Education Staff: Shirley V. Jones, MBA; Eileen A. McCaffrey, MA; and Margaret McLaughlin, PhD, have nothing to disclose.
Off-Label/Investigational Use Disclosure
This CME/CE activity discusses the off-label use of certain approved medications as well as data from clinical trials on investigational agents. Such material is identified within the text of the articles.
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- Barbieri JS, James WD, Margolis DJ. Trends in prescribing behavior of systemic agents used in the treatment of acne among dermatologists and nondermatologists: a retrospective analysis, 2004-2013. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;77(3):456-463.e4.
- Reid RL. Oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolism: pill scares and public health. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2011;33(11):1150-1155.
- Gierisch JM, Coeytaux RR, Urrutia RP, et al. Oral contraceptive use and risk of breast, cervical, colorectal, and endometrial cancers: a systematic review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013;22(11):1931-1943.
- Collaborative Group on Epidemiological Studies of Ovarian Cancer, Beral V, Doll R, Hermon C, Peto R, Reeves G. Ovarian cancer and oral contraceptives: collaborative reanalysis of data from 45 epidemiological studies including 23,257 women with ovarian cancer and 87,303 controls. Lancet. 2008;371(9609):303-314.
- Archer JS, Archer DF. Oral contraceptive efficacy and antibiotic interaction: a myth debunked. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46(6):917-923.
- ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins—Gynecology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 73: Use of hormonal contraception in women with coexisting medical conditions. Obstet Gynecol. 2006; 107(6):1453-1472.
- Curtis KM, Tepper NK, Jatlaoui TC, et al. U.S. medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use, 2016. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2016;65(3):1-103.
- Plovanich M, Weng QY, Mostaghimi A. Low usefulness of potassium monitoring among healthy young women taking spironolactone for acne. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(9):941-944.
- Biggar RJ, Andersen EW, Wohlfahrt J, Melbye M. Spironolactone use and the risk of breast and gynecologic cancers. Cancer Epidemiol. 2013;37(6):870-875.
- Mackenzie IS, Macdonald TM, Thompson A, Morant S, Wei L. Spironolactone and risk of incident breast cancer in women older than 55 years: retrospective, matched cohort study. BMJ. 2012;345:e4447.
- Murase JE, Heller MM, Butler DC. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: part I. Pregnancy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;70(3):401.e1-14.
- Lee YH, Scharnitz TP, Muscat J, Chen A, Gupta-Elera G, Kirby JS. Laboratory monitoring during isotretinoin therapy for acne: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(1):35-44.
- Karalis DG. A review of clinical practice guidelines for the management of hypertriglyceridemia: a focus on high dose omega-3 fatty acids. Adv Ther. 2017;34(2):300-323.
- Racine A, Cuerq A, Bijon A, et al. Isotretinoin and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a French nationwide study. Am J Gastroenterol. 2014;109(4):563-569.
- Spring LK, Krakowski AC, Alam M, et al. Isotretinoin and timing of procedural interventions: a systematic review with consensus recommendations. JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(8):802-809.
- Zaleski-Larsen LA, Fabi SG, McGraw T, Taylor M. Acne scar treatment: a multimodality approach tailored to scar type. Dermatol Surg. 2016;42(suppl 2):S139-149.
- Loss MJ, Leung S, Chien A, Kerrouche N, Fischer AH, Kang S. Adapalene 0.3% gel shows efficacy for the treatment of atrophic acne scars. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2018;8(2):245-257.
- Dreno B, Bissonnette R, Gagné-Henley A, et al. Prevention and reduction of atrophic acne scars with adapalene 0.3%/benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel in subjects with moderate or severe facial acne: results of a 6-month randomized, vehicle-controlled trial using intra-individual comparison. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018;19(2):275-286.
- Dreno B, Tan J, Rivier M, Martel P, Bissonnette R. Adapalene 0.1%/benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel reduces the risk of atrophic scar formation in moderate inflammatory acne: a split-face randomized controlled trial. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017;31(4):737-742.
Linda F. Stein Gold, MD, has indicated she is on the Speakers Bureau for Galderma, LEO, Mayne, Pfizer, Sanofi/Regeneron, Taro, and Valeant; is a Consultant for Foamix, Galderma, LEO, Mayne, Menlo, Pfizer, Sanofi/Regeneron, Sol-Gel, Taro, and Valeant; and has received Grant/Contracted Research Support from Foamix, Janssen, LEO, Menlo, Pfizer, and Valeant.