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Treatment of Hypersexual Behavior with Oral Estrogen in an Autistic Male

Melissa C. Jones, PharmD, BCPS, Kennedy Okere, MD
Volume: 101 Issue: 9 September, 2008

Abstract:

Hypersexual behavior can be exhibited by patients with autism. Several medications have been used in hypersexual paraphiliac male and elderly patient populations, including antiandrogens, estrogen, gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Due to limited research in autistic patients exhibiting hypersexuality, physicians must base their medication selection on outcomes seen in patients with other conditions.


Key Points


* There is limited information in regard to the treatment of hypersexual behavior in patients with autism.


* Several drug classes, including the antiandrogens, estrogens, gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, have been used to treat hypersexual behavior in other patient populations.


* Hormonal agents are used in the treatment of hypersexuality based on the premise that lower testosterone levels lead to a decrease in this type of behavior.


* Due to the potential side effects of hormonal agents, therapy with these agents is often debated.

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References:

1. Levitsky AM, Owens NJ. Pharmacologic treatment of hypersexuality and paraphilias in nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc 1999;47:231–234.
 
2. Gagne P. Treatment of sex offenders with medroxyprogesterone acetate. Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:644–646.
 
3. Lacy CF, Armstrong LL, Goldman MP, et al. Lexi-Comp’s Drug Information Handbook. Hudson, OH, Lexicomp Inc, 2004, ed 12, pp 1457–1461.
 
4. Lothstein LM, Fogg-Waberski J, Reynolds P. Risk management and treatment of sexual disinhibition in geriatric patients. Conn Med 1997;61:609–618.
 
5. McElroy SL, Phillips KA, Keck PE Jr. Obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder. J Clin Psychiatry 1994;55(suppl):33–51.

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