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Publication Title

International Journal of Women's Dermatology


Background: With the emerging popularity of GLP-1 receptor agonists, patients are noticing acne vulgaris side effects that are seemingly related to the concurrent treatment with the drug. Due to the correspondence between these drugs' relatively recent emergence in the U.S. market and their high demand, it is important to investigate what is currently known in the literature so that patients can be properly informed.

Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship, or lack thereof, between glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist usage and acne-related side effects in patients.

Methods: A web-based analysis of 6 GLP-1 receptor agonists (3 with a once-weekly dosing schedule, and 3 with a once-daily dosing schedule) was conducted on PubMed online database. Boolean criteria were used to narrow the search. Included in the meta-analysis were 45 research articles that fulfilled the search criteria.

Results: The results of the search showed that from the following long-acting GLP-1 receptor agonists, dulaglutide, exenatide extended release, and semaglutide (Wegovy), no conclusive acne side effects were reported. In addition, the results also showed that from the following short-acting GLP-1 receptor agonists, liraglutide, lixisenatide, and semaglutide (Rybelsus), no conclusive acne side effects were reported.

Limitations: Limitations of this study include a limited amount of literature regarding the relationship between GLP-1 agonists and acne vulgaris.

Conclusion: It is unlikely that GLP-1 agonists themselves are directly responsible for the acne that some patients may develop during treatment. Rather, it is more probable that the weight loss yielded by treatment with these drugs may induce intrinsic physiologic and hormonal changes that induce or exacerbate acne vulgaris in such patients.



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GLP-1 agonists, Ozempic, acne vulgaris, glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor agonists, liraglutide, semaglutide