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Use of Depo-Provera to control sexual aggression in persons with traumatic brain injury

Emory, Lee E. MD; Cole, Collier M. PhD; Meyer, Walter J. III MD
The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: June 1995
Use of Depo-Provera to control sexual aggression in persons with traumatic brain injury: PDF Only

Objective:

To determine the effectiveness of medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) treatment in conjunction with psychological counseling on the hypersexual behavior seen in individuals with traumatic brain injury.

Design:

A retrospective review of the use of Depo-Provera in adult male patients who sustained a traumatic brain injury from blunt trauma and subsequently exhibited hypersexual behavior. All individuals were treated with a combination of weekly Depo-Provera injections and psychological counseling; the latter was educational/behavioral in nature and took into account such problems as deficits in awareness and empathy, poor memory, concreteness, and rigidity. Follow-up examinations were done every 3 months for at least 2 years and every 6 months thereafter.

Setting:

Individuals were seen in outpatient treatment and reside in community environments.

Patients:

Eight males (average age = 17.5 years at the time of head trauma) who developed problematic hypersexual behavior approximately 3 years later. These individuals were consecutive referrals to a psychiatric practicc with expertise in the treatment of hypersexual behavior.

Intervention:

Weekly intramuscular Depo-Provera injections were used in conjunction with counseling.

Main Outcome Measures:

Incidence of hypersexual behavior; change in testosterone level.

Results:

In all cases, cessation of the unacceptable sexual behavior was noted while the men received treatment (mean duration = 42 months). Three individuals remain on Depo-Provera, and two have successfully discontinued treatment for 2 and 10 years, respectively, with no further problems. The remaining three reoffended when medication was discontinued, a decision made unilaterally by their families.

Conclusions:

The use of Depo-Provera in conjunction with counseling may offer an opportunity to control aberrant sexual behaviors after brain injury. However, only a minority of individuals stay in good control after discontinuing Depo-Provera.

This project was supported partially by Clinical Research Center Program grant MO1-RR00073. The authors wish to thank Ms. Nita Brannon for preparing the manuscript.

© Williams & Wilkins 1995. All Rights Reserved.