What effects does it have?
What is it?
Medication that temporarily reduces the body's response to testosterone.
It's also known as Androcur.
How long does it last?
Cyproterone is taken as a tablet twice daily and effects last while the tablet is being taken. Prolonged use may have some effects that are permanent and cannot be reversed.
Cyproterone can cause liver malfunction and depression 1 and higher doses have been linked to meningioma 2.
Prolonged treatment can cause infertility, erectile dysfunction and genital shrinkage. Cyproterone does not effectively remove the risk of pregnancy 3 and should not be used as a contraceptive method.
Taking cyproterone without also taking another sex hormone (e.g. oestrogen and/or testosterone can cause osteoporosis.
Cyproterone acetate (Androcur) is a drug that reduces the amount that the body reacts to testosterone. It also reduces levels of the hormones that cause the body to produce testosterone 2.
In the UK GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) agonists are generally prescribed instead, as they cause fewer side effects. These are described in more detail on the GnRH agonists page.
In some cases, a short course of cyproterone is used in patients with testes receiving treatment with GnRH agonists to reduce the effects of the initial spike in testosterone levels caused by these medications 1.
Cyproterone may cause erectile dysfunction. If this is not desired, it can be treated with sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil.
- 1 Seal, Leighton J (2007) “The practical management of hormonal treatment in adults with gender dysphoria,” in Barrett, J. (ed.), Transsexual and other disorders of gender identity: A practical guide to management, Radcliffe Publishing, pp. 157–190.
- 2 Seal, Leighton J (2017) “Hormone Treatment for Transgender Adults,” in Bouman, W. P. and Arcelus, J. (eds.), The Transgender Handbook: A Guide for Transgender People, Their Families and Professionals, Nova Science Publishers Inc, pp. 227–249.
- 3 FSRH Clinical Effectiveness Unit (2017) “Contraceptive Choices and Sexual Health for Transgender and Non-binary People.” [online] Available from: https://www.fsrh.org/documents/fsrh-ceu-statement-contraceptive-choices-and-sexual-health-for/contraceptive-choices-and-sexual-health-for-transgender-non-binary-people-oct-2017.pdf
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Page last updated: December 2017