Treatment of compulsive sexual behaviour with naltrexone and serotonin reuptake inhibitors: two case studies

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2002 Jul;17(4):201-5. doi: 10.1097/00004850-200207000-00008.

Abstract

Although there is no universally accepted definition of compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB), the term is generally used to indicate excessive sexual behaviour or sexual cognitions that lead to subjective distress, social or occupational impairment, or legal and financial consequences. Similar to impulse control disorders, CSB is characterized by a failure to resist the impulse for sex. Opioid antagonists have been effective in treating urge-driven disorders, such as pathological gambling disorder, alcoholism, borderline personality disorder with self-injurious behaviour, cocaine abuse, mental retardation with self-injurious behaviour and eating disorders. Based upon the efficacy of opioid antagonists in treating disorders associated with urges, we hypothesized that naltrexone would reduce both the urges associated with CSB and therefore reduce the sexual behaviour. We present two case reports of individuals with CSB treated successfully with naltrexone, a novel treatment for CSB. In both cases, symptoms dramatically decreased and psychosocial functioning improved with the use of naltrexone. Although more research is needed to determine the mechanism that leads to the excessive sexual behaviour in individuals with CSB, the present case reports suggest that naltrexone may be effective in treating some cases of CSB.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naltrexone / metabolism
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology

Substances

  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Naltrexone