Volume 49, Issue 6 (November 2004)
Treatment of Paraphilia in Young Adults with Leuprolide Acetate: A Preliminary Case Report Series
Some juveniles who engage in sexual offenses may have a paraphilia, a psychiatric disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of deviant and impairing sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or behaviors. Though there is no known cure for these conditions, paraphilias can be effectively managed using a multimodal treatment approach. This may include the use of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment interventions, including antiandrogen medications. One such agent, leuprolide acetate (leuprolide), a luteinizing hormone-releasing-hormone agonist, has been shown to be effective in reducing paraphilic symptoms in adult patients. To date, however, there is no published data on its use and effectiveness in adolescent and young adult paraphilic patients. This study consists of a case report series of six young adult patients treated with leuprolide. All subjects had been diagnosed with at least one paraphilia (i.e., Pedophilia, Sexual Sadism, Frotteurism, and Paraphilia Not Otherwise Specified). All subjects had been refractory to treatment in a residential program for adolescent sex offenders prior to initiation of leuprolide. All six subjects reported a reduction in sexually deviant symptoms following treatment with leuprolide. Clinicians rated four as much improved and two as moderately improved. The treatment was well tolerated in all six subjects. This preliminary case series supports the conclusion that leuprolide deserves further examination as a potentially safe and effective component in the treatment of young adult patients with paraphilia.