BACKGROUND : Cyproterone acetate (CPA) is a steroidal anti-androgenic medication used in the
field of psychiatry for the treatment of paraphilic disorders, hypersexuality, and inappropriate
sexual behaviour which may be present in patients with disorders such as mild and major
neurocognitive disorders. In the forensic psychiatric population, it is prescribed for these
indications especially for patients with a history of committing a sexual offence or who are at
moderate to high risk of recidivism.
OBJECTIVES : To investigate the use of CPA in a forensic psychiatric cohort of male sex offenders
and its associations with sexual activity and sexual functioning.
METHODS : Seventy-six forensic psychiatric patients from Weskoppies Hospital in Pretoria,
South Africa, participated in the study which measured their sexual functioning. A specifically
designed questionnaire was used to capture relevant background information. The use of
CPA was studied. The Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire, Male Clinical Version
(CSFQ-M-C) was used to measure sexual functioning of participants. The CSFQ-M-C scores,
and those of all its subscales, of participants on CPA were compared to those not on the drug.
Relevant statistical analyses were performed.
RESULTS : Thirteen out of the 76 participants were being treated with CPA (17.11%). In total, 53.85%
of the participants on CPA and 65.08% not on CPA had scores indicating the presence of sexual
dysfunction. The total CSFQ-M-C scores for participants on CPA (mean = 40.54; median = 42)
were not statistically significantly lower than those not on the drug (mean = 41.22; median = 41).
More notable is that the use of CPA in this population was associated with lower levels of desire,
frequency of and pleasure from sexual activity. There was an association between having
intellectual disability and being treated with CPA.
CONCLUSION : That all the participants were being treated with psychotropic medication could account for the high percentage of sexual dysfunction in any or all areas of sexual functioning
and contribute to the small difference in CSFQ-M-C scores between the two groups. Only a
tentative conclusion can be made that CPA may be more effective in decreasing levels of desire,
frequency and pleasure related to sexual activity than other areas of sexual functioning. The
indication for the use of CPA in this population should be assessed clinically according to
patient circumstances and risk assessment.