Information sheet helps educate isotretinoin users about effective contraception

Researchers evaluated the impact of an information sheet on contraceptive knowledge in women taking the acne drug isotretinoin

The acne medication isotretinoin is a known teratogen and it is recommended that women taking the drug use two forms of contraception. Nevertheless, isotretinoin-exposed pregnancies still occur, largely in women using contraceptives with high failure rates.

To educate women about different contraception methods, US researchers developed a one-page information sheet covering eight popular approaches to birth control. They then evaluated the tool through a survey of 100 women aged 18–45 years visiting a dermatology practice.

The women’s contraceptive knowledge – including their awareness of different methods and assessment of each method’s effectiveness – increased significantly after they had viewed the information sheet. The researchers conclude in JAMA Dermatology (online, 4 February 2015)[1]
that the sheet “may be a useful addition to efforts to prevent isotretinoin-induced birth defects”. 


[1] Werner CA, Papic MJ, Ferris LK et al. Promoting safe use of isotretinoin by increasing contraceptive knowledge. JAMA Dermatology 2015. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.4171.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 21 February 2015, Vol 294, No 7850;294(7850):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067828

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