How does it work?
Androcur tablets contain the active ingredient cyproterone acetate, which is a type of medicine known as an anti-androgen. Cyproterone acetate is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
Androgens are male hormones such as testosterone. Testosterone is produced by the testicles and is the main hormone essential for normal growth and development of the male sex organs and male sexual characteristics. During adult life, testosterone is essential for the production of sperm, the maintenance of sex drive, erectile potency, and the functioning of the prostate gland and other reproductive structures.
Cyproterone acts on an area of the brain called the hypothalamus and causes a reduction in the amount of testosterone produced by the body. It also prevents testosterone from binding to androgen receptors in other areas of the body. The result of this is a decrease in the amount of testosterone circulating in the body, which can help control sexual desire.
Androcur tablets are used to control sex drive in men with severe hypersexuality and or sexual deviation. Sexual deviation refers to men who prefer sexual practices that are biologically abnormal or considered morally wrong or illegal, for example paedophilia or bestiality.
What is it used for?
- Controlling sex drive in men with severely increased sex drive (hypersexuality) and/or deviant antisocial sexual behaviour such as bestiality or paedophilia.
- Your doctor may ask you to sign a witnessed agreement to treatment before prescribing this medicine for you.
- This medicine can make you feel tired or weak and so may reduce your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure it won't affect your performance.
- This medicine may sometimes cause liver problems. For this reason, your doctor will want to monitor your liver function before you start treatment and regularly during treatment. This will usually require a blood test. You should let your doctor know if you experience any symptoms that could indicate a problem with your liver during treatment, so that your liver function can be checked. Symptoms that could indicate liver problems include unexplained itching, nausea and vomiting, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite or flu-like symptoms; yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice); or unusually dark urine.
- On rare occasions this medicine may cause a type of anaemia. For this reason, your doctor will want to do a blood test to check your blood cells before you start treatment and regularly during treatment.
- The functioning of your adrenal glands should also be monitored regularly while you are taking this medicine.
- Your doctor may want to measure your sperm count before you start treatment with this medicine. This medicine will decrease your sperm count, but this change is reversible on stopping treatment. This medicine can also cause more of your sperms than usual to be abnormal in shape. It is possible that these abnormal sperms could produce birth defects. You should discuss this with your doctor before you start treatment with this medicine. The decrease in your sperm count will not happen at immediately and you should not rely on this medicine for contraception at any time.
Use with caution in
- Diabetes (particularly diabetes with complications, eg affecting the eyes, kidneys or blood circulation).
Not to be used in
- Children or adolescents under 18 years of age.
- Men whose bones or testicles have not fully matured.
- People who have had a meningioma (a tumour in the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord).
- Liver disease.
- Malignant or cancerous disease (except prostate cancer).
- Men who have ever had a blood clot in a vein (venous thromboembolism), eg in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
- Men who have ever had a blood clot in an artery, eg a stroke or mini-stroke (TIA) caused by a blood clot, or a heart attack.
- Hereditary blood disorder called sickle cell anaemia.
- Diabetes with complications affecting the blood circulation, eyes or kidneys.
- Long-term severe depression.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
- Take this medication with or after food.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Very common (affect more than 1 in 10 people)
- Decreased sperm count (reversible on stopping treatment).
- Reduced volume of ejaculation (reversible on stopping treatment).
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Weight changes.
- Depressive moods.
- Enlargement and tenderness of breasts (gynaecomastia).
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 people and 1 in 1000 people)
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Shortness of breath.
- Liver disorders.
- Dryness of skin.
- Abnormal blood clots in the blood vessels (thromboembolism).
- Reduced growth of body hair and increased growth of scalp hair.
- Abnormal production of breast milk (galactorrhoea).
- Lightening of hair colour.
- Severe allergic reaction.
Very rare (affect less than 1 in 10,000 people)
- Liver cancer.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
There are no significant interactions reported with this medicine.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
Cyproterone acetate tablets are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.