Dianette, which is a name brand birth control pill designed to prevent pregnancy, is also often prescribed to treat acne. Like other combined oral contraceptives, Dianette contains both an estrogen (ethinylestradiol )and progesterone (cyproterone acetate). The generic form, which contains the same active ingredients, is called Co-cyprindiol.
The progesterone component in Dianette is also an anti-androgen. Typically older generations of birth control pills contained progesterone formulations which were more androgenic in nature. So, in the past women would often experience such side effects when taking birth control pills such as acne, hirsutism, and weight gain. Newer forms of birth control pills, such as Dianette, have the opposite effect and can be potent treatments for the negative effects of excess androgens.
The most common medical condition in women that causes excess androgens is PCOS. PCOS is primarily a hormone imbalance which results in multiple cysts to develop on the ovaries. Symptoms include acne, hirsutism, abdominal weight gain, thinning hair, irregular periods and acne.
The excess androgens cause the over-production of sebum in the skin, which in turn causes blocked pores. The blocked pores often become infected and become inflamed. Androgens are also what stimulate hair growth, and too much will result in a more male pattern to hair growth such as on the upper lip and chin.
Dianette treats the results of excess androgen in a few ways. First, it blocks the receptors in the skin and other parts of the body that are usually sensitive to androgens. Secondly, it actually decreases the overall production of excess male hormones in the ovaries. As a result, there will be fewer androgens circulating in the body.
Generally, it takes weeks of treatment to see any result when taking Dianette. Namely, less oil production in the skin will be noticed. However, dramatic improvement is seen in all symptoms related to excess androgen production within a few months.
Side effects reported by the manufacturer of Dianette are typical for birth control pills in general. Namely, weight changes, menstrual cycle changes, and breast tenderness. Side effects are expected to improve or go away as the body adjusts to the new hormonal balance.
A search for real user reviews on Dianette revealed a high degree of satisfaction with improvement in acne and other high androgen symptoms. Many women have reported that they have gone from being very acne ridden to having glowing healthy skin. Also, this brand of birth control is not known to cause any weight gain, and sometimes even promotes weight loss, which is a big plus to almost all women.
The most talked about side effect among real users of this pill on the internet seemed to be a struggle with mood swings. Some women reported that this symptom improved over time however. Others stated that the clearing of their acne and excess hair was totally worth the extra moodiness.
Overall, it appears that Dianette is a great option for women for treating acne for the vast majority of women.