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Medroxyprogesterone treatment for paraphiliacs.

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Department of Psychiatry, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


This study addresses the following questions: (1) what are the essential components of a medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) pretreatment evaluation?; (2) do paraphilic men treated with MPA (Depo-Provera) report a lowering of both deviant and nondeviant sexual drive and activities?; (3) is behavioral improvement associated with testosterone level reductions?; and (4) what significant side effects are associated with MPA treatment? A total of 29 paraphilic men who underwent a comprehensive psychiatric, medical, and legal evaluation and were eligible for treatment with MPA were followed naturalistically while receiving concurrent MPA and group therapy. The principal outcome measures were data obtained from a weekly self-reported psychosexual inventory that quantified five dimensions of deviant and nondeviant sexual activities and testosterone levels that were drawn pretreatment and after three and six months of MPA. Self-reported data were analyzed by nonparametric methods. Because MPA's effectiveness is evident early in treatment, we report on data from the first six months. Subjects reported a differential rate of suppression of sexual activities, a median of up to two weeks for deviant and 2 to 10 weeks for nondeviant behaviors (p < or = .01 for each of the five dimensions). Testosterone levels suppressed to less than 0.5 ng per milliliter for all but two subjects at three months and for all at six months. Recidivism was reported for one subject. Except for one subject who developed pulmonary emboli, no major medical problems were encountered. MPA safely and effectively reduced sex drive, controlled deviant sexual impulses and behavior, and lowered the testosterone levels of these paraphilic men during the first six months of treatment. However, the relative rapidity and completeness of the response raises questions regarding possible distortions in self-reported sexual activities. This should alert the practicing clinician to consider the use of collateral sources of information in interpreting treatment outcome for patients with paraphilic behaviors. Also, longer follow-up periods are required for monitoring treatment efficacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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