BMI may not have an effect on the effectiveness and safety of acne medications

April 30, 2021

1 min read


Cook-Bolden FE et al. Impact of body mass index (BMI) on the effectiveness of three topical acne treatments in patients with moderate to severe acne. Presented at: AAD VMX; April 23-25, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Cook-Bolden reports that she has been a consultant, speaker or investigator for Galderma, Leo Pharma, Almirall, Cassiopea, Ortho Dermatologics, Investigators Encore, Foamix, Hovione, Aclaris and Cutanea.

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BMI does not affect the effectiveness or safety of three topical acne medications, according to a poster presented at AAD VMX 2021.

Post hoc analysis of five phase 3 studies evaluating three topical acne drugs – clindamycin phosphate 1.2% / benzoyl peroxide 3.75% gel, tretinoin lotion 0.05% and tazarotene lotion 0.045% – included 3752 participants aged 9 years or older with moderate to severe inflammatory acne. Treatment continued for 12 weeks.

“Clinicians should feel very confident using any of these three drugs with all of the different BMIs. If clinicians had questions or hesitation about prescribing different BMIs for them, they can now feel comfortable ”. Fran E. Cook-Bolden, MD, from Mount Sinai Hospital, Healio said.

Cook-Bolden and his colleagues classified the participants into three subgroups by BMI: less than 25 kg / m² (underweight / normal), 25 kg / m² to less than 30 kg / m² (overweight) and 30 kg / m² or more (obese). Inflammatory lesions were comparable between studies and subgroups, although non-inflammatory lesions occurred at a higher rate in participants in the less than 25 kg / m² group.

All patients responded well to all three drugs, with largely mild to moderate treatment-related adverse events. BMI did not affect the efficacy or safety of topical drugs, although reductions in lesion were greater with the polymer emulsion lotion vehicles (tretinoin and tazarotene) compared to the gel vehicle. In addition, the polymer emulsion vehicles showed greater improvements than those with a BMI of 30 kg / m² or more.

“We have data that shows remarkable improvements in the quality of life in patients in the overweight and obese categories, and effective acne treatment in these groups appears to be really important for overall well-being,” said Cook-Bolden.

“We truly believe in meeting the clinical, social and emotional needs of these patients, and we have been very pleased to achieve these quality of life improvement results, especially in these subgroups.” , she said.

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