AcneNet Article
Acne Medications Not for Use During Pregnancy

Some potent acne medications must not be used by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant because of the potential harm to a fetus. These medications include:

Women in their child-bearing years need to avoid pregnancy while using these medications.

Here’s the lowdown on why these medications should not be used during pregnancy:

Hormone therapy. The “female” hormone, estrogen, and the anti-androgens, flutamide and spironolactone, are sometimes used to treat acne in women. None should be taken while a woman is pregnant. Flutamide and spironolactone can cause birth defects. It is not known if these medications can be passed along when a woman is breast feeding so the medications must also not be used if a woman chooses to breast feed.

Isotretinoin. Isotretinoin must not be used by a woman who is pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast feeding.

This potent acne medication has revolutionized acne therapy due to its effectiveness in treating severe and therapy-resistant acne. However, isotretinoin also has the potential to cause some serious side effects. The most serious is the potential to cause severe birth defects in a developing fetus. For this reason, it is imperative that women taking isotretinoin follow the pregnancy-prevention program. This requires using 2 forms of birth control continuously beginning 1 month before therapy starts and not ending until 1 month after isotretinoin therapy is complete. A women taking isotretinoin must also be carefully monitored by her dermatologist during therapy. If pregnancy occurs, isotretinoin must be stopped immediately. Women planning a pregnancy should discontinue taking isotretinoin and maintain birth-control methods for at least 1 month before trying to become pregnant.

Oral tetracyclines. Tetracycline as well as doxycycline and minocycline—which are synthetically derived from tetracycline—must not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding because of potential side effects. These broad-spectrum oral antibiotics can inhibit bone growth and discolor permanent teeth in both a fetus and a child being breast fed.

Topical retinoids. The topical (applied to the skin) retinoids adapalene, tazarotene and tretinoin carry warnings stating that it is not known if these medications can adversely affect a developing fetus or child that is being breast fed.


All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

If you are using medication to control acne and are concerned about the potential effects it can have on a developing fetus or nursing child, be sure to contact your dermatologist.

 
 

 

 
 

 

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