Shortness of breath: an uncommon side-effect of cyproterone acetate in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia

    December 2002 in “International Journal of Dermatology
    Rica Mallari, Rodney Sinclair
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    TLDR Cyproterone acetate can cause rare shortness of breath in women.
    Cyproterone acetate is a medication used to treat acne, hirsutism, seborrhea, and androgenetic alopecia in females. It is generally well-tolerated, but shortness of breath has been reported in men with prostatic carcinoma receiving high doses of the medication. This paper reports a case of a 66-year-old woman taking 50 mg/day of cyproterone acetate for androgenetic alopecia who developed shortness of breath. The medication was ceased, and the breathlessness resolved within a few days. A rechallenge with the medication led to a re-occurrence of shortness of breath after 7 days. The authors suggest that this complication of cyproterone acetate is rare in the treatment of women with acne, hirsutes, and androgenetic alopecia using conventional doses, but clinicians should be aware of this unusual side-effect.
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