Medroxyprogesterone and paraphiles: do testosterone levels matter?

H. M. Kravitz, T. W. Haywood, J. Kelly, S. Liles and J. L. Cavanaugh, Jr.,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 24(1): 73-83, 1996.
We examine the associations between pretreatment testosterone (TTS) levels and sociodemographic, clinical, and sexual behavioral characteristics. Two groups, low and normal pretreatment TTS, were treated with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and compared on clinical response (deviant and nondeviant sexual behaviors; recidivism) and length of time to return to pretreatment TTS after discontinuing MPA. Thirteen paraphilic men who were treated with MPA and had TTS levels monitored at approximately three-month intervals during and after MPA were followed naturalistically. The principal outcome measures pertained to TTS levels and data from a self-report psychosexual inventory, which quantified deviant and nondeviant sexual activities. Time to return to baseline TTS levels were analyzed with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Nonparametric methods were used to compare the two groups on other variables. Multiple regression was used to examine the contribution of combinations of variables to TTS outcome. Subjects with low pretreatment TTS received MPA for longer periods of time, and older subjects took longer to return to pretreatment TTS levels despite being treated for shorter periods of time. Although subjects with lower pretreatment TTS levels may be more sensitive to MPA's TTS-suppressive effects, the multiple regression analysis showed that age may be an important determinant of the time it take for TTS levels to return to pretreatment baseline. Sociodemographic, clinical, and self-reported measures of sexual behavior did not distinguish between low and normal TTS level groups. Only one relapse was detected. Further studies with larger samples are required to better understand the role of TTS monitoring of sex offenders treated with MPA, in order to justify its continued use as a measurement of treatment adequacy and to study its potential role as a predictor of treatment outcome.