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diane35 & estelle35 - exactly the same?

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hey guys, i was prescribed diane 35 ed about 2 years ago, partly for contraceptive purposes and partly for my moderate acne. everything was going quite well on the acne front on diane and my skin was clearing up wonderfully. however, i recently switched to estelle, the generic version of diane, and at around the same time i made the switch i again started developing large stubborn pimples which scarred and leaves my skin looking horrible. i wonder if it's just a coincidence or whether estelle is not as good as diane (altho the pharmacist swore they were exactly the same). i read on a vogue message thread that estelle is "not coated" although i don't know what that means, or if it would have any effect on my acne. does anyone know if diane is better than estelle regarding acne?

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I googled both the names and came across this....

Cyproterone acetate/ethinyleodstradiol

Diane-35 and Estelle 35 are similar medications marketed by different pharmaeutical companies. They contain two hormones, cyproterone acetate 2mg (an anti-androgenic progestogen) and ethinyloestrodiol 35 mcg (an oestrogen). This combination is classified as a low-dose combined oral contraceptive - it suppresses ovulation and changes cervical mucus.

Diane-35 comes as a 21-day pack; start on Day 1 (conventionally, day 1 is the first day of menstruation) and take one a day for 21 days. Then have a 7-day break before starting the cycle again. During the tablet-free interval, you can expect a withdrawal bleed (a period).

Diane-35 ED and Estelle 35 have the same medicine but come as 28-day packs. There are 7 placebo tablets to take - this makes it easier to remember.

Low dose combined oral contraceptives can increase the risk of thromboembolism (blood clots blocking blood vessels), especially in those with an inherited tendency ("thrombophilia"), or who smoke. Please refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health (Medsafe) advice on the use of combined oral contraceptives.

The oral contraceptive may be unsuitable if the patient:

Has had a previous blood clot (thrombosis, embolism or "DVT")

Has high blood pressure (hypertension) or heart disease


Is significantly overweight (obese)

Has recently undergone surgery or trauma or is immobile

Is undertaking long distance air travel (4 hours or more)

Has a family member aged less than 50 years who has had blood clots or high blood pressure

Oral contraceptives can sometimes aggravate migraine and are inadvisable in those with significant liver disease. They may occasionally increase the risk of certain uncommon forms of breast cancer. They must not be taken in pregnancy.

Cyproterone acetate/ethinyleodstradiol should be discontinued in the following circumstances:

Severe migraine (headache, visual disturbance, numb feelings)

Any form of thrombosis (such as heart attack, stroke) or increased blood pressure

In case of immobility (including due to surgery) or trauma (eg bad sprains)

If an increase in number or severity of epileptic seizures occurs, or liver disease arises during treatment


As with other oral contraceptives, minor side effects may arise, especially in the first few weeks. These include:

Breast tenderness (20%) and increase in bra size

"Spotting" (irregular mild bleeding between periods) occurs in 10% of women in the first month, but only affects 3% by the sixth month. Rarely, periods may stop altogether (amenorrhoea).

Nausea and loss of appetite


Increased appetite and weight increase (uncommon)

Mood changes including depression

Melasma (facial pigmentation)

Hair loss (it is more common for hair fall to occur when the medication has been discontinued however)

Other medications can interfere with the contraceptive effectiveness.




Some antibiotics

On the other hand, cyproterone acetate/ethinyloestradiol has advantages:

It regulates the menstrual cycle in the majority of women

Lighter, less painful periods occur in the majority of women

Iron deficiency anaemia is less common because of less bleeding

Increased "good" HDL cholesterol may protect against atherosclerosis (hardened arteries predisposing to heart disease)

A decrease in the number and size of ovarian cysts occurs in polycystic ovarian syndrome

Sebum production is reduced by 30%, resulting in worthwhile improvement in 80% of those with seborrhoea

Acne usually improves by 40-50% by the third cycle and by 80-90% by the ninth cycle.

More than 40% of women with facial hair find it clears within 9 months, and many get worthwhile reduction in hair growth elsewhere.

Studies have demonstrated that the skin condition continues to improve even after the medication has been taken for a year. Cyproterone acetate/ethinyloestradiol can usually be taken safely for many years.

Unfortunately, the skin condition tends to deteriorate again within a few months after the medication has been stopped.

Please refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health (Medsafe) advice on the use of combined oral contraceptives.

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