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Experience in the long-term treatment of patients with hirsutism and/or acne with cyproterone acetate-containing preparations: efficacy, metabolic and endocrine effects


The effects and side effects of long-term treatment with cyproterone acetate (CPA) are described. Hammerstein’s reverse sequential regimen (10 days 100 mg CPA, 21 days 50 micrograms ethinylestradiol (EE)) was used in most cases, although postmenopausal and hysterectomized women received 50 mg CPA/day continuously as monotherapy. The degree of androgenization was assessed in 143 of a total group of 188 women treated from 1968 to the present. The results of the treatment were good or very good in about 75% of hirsutism patients and in more than 90% of acne patients. Adverse events were recorded in 23% of cases. Most were mild and transient, and caused discontinuation of the therapy in only 9% of patients. From this population representing all cases treated and analysed retrospectively, a subgroup of patients was selected for a prospective investigation. Thirty-five patients with good response to CPA and longlasting therapy were included into this 2-year follow-up study; of these, 24 had previously received CPA for 5 or more years, 9 for more than 10 years and 2 for more than 15 years. Treatment in these patients consisted of 5 different regimens of various doses of CPA combined with EE and CPA alone in order to evaluate possible effects of concomitant estrogen treatment as well as a possible dose- or time-dependency of potential side effects. Clinicochemical, metabolic and endocrine parameters were determined at the start and end of the study. The hematological and clinicochemical parameters were within the normal ranges. There was a slight decrease of glucose tolerance and a moderate increase of insulin and C peptide after oral glucose loading. The effects of CPA and EE on lipometabolism were slight and apparently dependent on the dose of CPA and the therapeutic regimen. No suppression of adrenal function or of responsiveness to ACTH was seen. Fasting prolactin levels and serum prolactin concentrations after provocation with metoclopramide did not show any gross deviations. Sonography of the breast and liver did not show any abnormalities apart from adenofibrosis or mastopathy in 2 patients. In conclusion, CPA with or without EE was in our hands an effective and safe method of long-term treatment of hirsutism and/or acne in women.



Van Wayjen RG, Van den Ende A



Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes, 103: 4, 1995, 241-51


Department of Internal Medicine, Prinsengracht Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.





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