Acne drug users need to know birth control options

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women using a popular acne drug that causes birth defects need better information about how to keep from getting pregnant, a small study suggests.

Isotretinoin – first marketed as Accuttane – is one of the most effective treatments for acne. But isotretinoin is known to lead to severe birth defects. A program known as iPledge is aimed at preventing pregnancies among the drug’s users.

The iPledge program hasn’t been very successful, however, and the new study suggests it should focus on highly effective birth control methods.

“What we found is that people need a clear message about what birth control would be most effective, and currently the iPledge materials don’t make it clear to most women who enroll in the program,” Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz said.

See more information about this issue @ and JAMA Dermatology, online November 20, 2013.