The contribution of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of sex addiction Cover Image

Wkład farmakoterapii w proces leczenia uzależnienia od seksu
The contribution of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of sex addiction

Author(s): Wojciech Merk, Robert Kowalczyk, Zbigniew Lew-Starowicz
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Psychology
Published by: Leo Media
Keywords: sexual addiction; pharmacotherapy; antiandrogens; specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors; LHRH agonists

Summary/Abstract: When taking into consideration addiction to sexual activities, modern pharmacotherapy (biological treatment) subordinates it to the number of fluctuations within the neurotransmitter system in various areas of the brain. Not only does the neurobiology of sexual behaviors comprise monoamines, but it is also regulated by the androgens, mainly by their major representative – the testosterone. First attempts of curing sex-addicted patients (especially sex offenders) involved surgical neutering followed by neurosurgical treatment. The research based on the assumption of neuromodulatory influence of monoamines: the dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin on humans” sexual behaviors led to a hypothesis, according to which addiction to sexual behaviors would be an outcome of dysfunctions within the neurotransmitter systems of the aforementioned transmitters. On the basis of such an assumption treatment was introduced concerning sex-addicted patients comprising the use of medications influencing the monoaminergic systems: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Single case analyses also point out the effectiveness of other medications, e.g. the naltrexone, or anti-epilepsy drugs (especially topiramate). Testosterone is a vital androgen determining males” and partially females” sexual behaviors. Numerous tests and researches prove effectiveness of hormonal treatment: anti-androgens (cyproterone acetate, medroxyprogesterone acetate) and the LHRH agonists (leuprolide, triptorelin, goserelin) lowering the level of testosterone within the organism, thus making them useful in a number of more complex clinical cases as reversible pharmacological neutering agents. Creating of one, universal algorithm for treating addicted patients is a complex task, mostly because of the need to treat the co-morbid psychological disorders like anxiety states and mood disorders.

  • Issue Year: 5/2009
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 5-14
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Polish