Pharmacologic treatment of sex offenders with paraphilic disorder

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013 May;15(5):356. doi: 10.1007/s11920-013-0356-5.


Sexual offending is both a social and a public health issue. Evidence demonstrates that a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches may reduce or even eliminate deviant sexual behavior in sex offenders with paraphilic disorders. In this article, we will review pharmacological treatment options for sex offenders with paraphilias. Both serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antiandrogen treatments have been used with reported success in decreasing recidivism. SSRIs have been used in mild types of paraphilias and juvenile paraphilias. Antiandrogen treatments seem to be effective in severe sex offenders with paraphilic disorders in order to reduce victimization. Combined pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment is associated with better efficacy. Imaging studies may improve the knowledge of paraphilic disorders and the mechanisms of action of current treatments. In spite of existing evidence, there is a need for independent, large-scale and good quality studies assessing the long-term efficacy and tolerance of treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Paraphilic Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sex Offenses* / prevention & control


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone