RESEARCH CALL OUT: The SAFA (Spironolactone for Adult Female Acne) study


The SAFA study will find out more about a treatment (medicine) that might help women with acne. For some women, we think this treatment could replace using antibiotics (taken by mouth) for treating acne. Reducing antibiotic use is important, because bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.

Spironolactone is a non-antibiotic tablet that is widely used to treat other conditions like high blood pressure. It is sometimes used for acne as it has hormonal effects, which are thought to help. But, there is very little proof it works.

We are looking for women aged 18 or over who have had moderate or severe acne for 6 months or more to take part.

Participants will be asked to attend three clinic visits at their local hospital. At the first visit they will be entered into one of two groups at random. One group will take spironolactone for 6 months and the other group will take placebo or dummy tablets for 6 months. Participants can still use their usual face creams or gels.

Participants will come back to clinic after 6 weeks and again at 12 weeks to see if the treatment is working. At the end of the 6 months, we will post participants a questionnaire to ask what they thought of the treatment.

If you are interested in taking part in the SAFA study, please see our website for more information ( Please read the ‘Taking part’ section to see if the study is suitable for you.