Behavioral and Pharmacological Treatment of Compulsive Sexual Behavior/Problematic Hypersexuality


Purpose of the Review

The present article summarizes the available evidence to date on the pharmacological and behavioral treatment of compulsive sexual behavior/problematic hypersexuality and provides two case vignettes to illustrate potential approaches to treating different presentations of problematic sexual behavior in patients.

Recent Findings

To date, some evidence supports the use of several medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and naltrexone, as well as certain therapy techniques, including marital therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.


Unfortunately, little controlled research has been conducted or reported on optimal treatments for patients struggling to manage their problematic sexual behavior. Limited evidence for some options has been reported, but additional controlled, blinded research will be necessary to improve the specificity and quality of available care.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eric W. Leppink.

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Conflict of Interest

Eric W. Leppink declares no conflict of interest. Jon E. Grant reports grants from Brainsway, grants from Forest, grants from Roche, grants from Trichotillomania Learning Center, and grants from NIMH, outside of the submitted work.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All studies conducted with human or animal subjects by the authors and referenced in this manuscript were completed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and with the approval of the Institutional Review Board of the relevant Institution.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Sex Addiction

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Leppink, E.W., Grant, J.E. Behavioral and Pharmacological Treatment of Compulsive Sexual Behavior/Problematic Hypersexuality. Curr Addict Rep 3, 406–413 (2016).

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  • Compulsive sexual behavior
  • Treatment
  • Hypersexuality
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychotherapy