|Type of medicine||Anti-androgen|
|Used for||To treat prostate cancer in men
To control hypersexuality in men
|Also called||Cyprostat® (used for prostate cancer)
Androcur® (used for hypersexuality)
Cyproterone belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-androgens. This means that it blocks the actions of male sex hormones called androgens, and it also reduces the amount of male hormones your body produces. This anti-androgen action can be helpful in the treatment of two different conditions - in the treatment of prostate cancer, and to control the sex drive in men with hypersexuality (an increased sex drive).
In prostate cancer, cyproterone helps to control the cancer by reducing the rate at which the cancer grows. It also helps to reduce symptom 'flares' and side-effects from other treatments which may be used for the cancer, or following surgery.
In men who have hypersexuality, cyproterone is used to control sexual desire or deviation. If you are prescribed cyproterone for this reason, your doctor is likely to ask you to sign an agreement before you start this treatment.
Before taking cyproterone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking cyproterone it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are under 18 years old.
- If you are depressed.
- If you have liver problems, or if you drink a lot of alcohol.
- If you have diabetes.
- If you have ever had blood vessel problems, such as a blood clot in your leg or lung.
- If you have a type of anaemia known as sickle cell anaemia.
- If you have ever had meningioma (a type of brain tumour), or if you have been diagnosed with another type of cancer.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
How to take cyproterone
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of cyproterone you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take cyproterone exactly as your doctor has told you. Your dose will depend on what you are being treated for, so your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take and when to take them. Your dose will also be on the label of your pack.
- Take each of your doses with a snack, or just after eating a meal.
- Try to take cyproterone at the same times each day. This will help you to remember to take it, and so avoid missing any doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will want to do some blood tests before and during this treatment. The tests will check the levels of your blood cells and that your liver stays healthy. Your doctor will also want to check that your adrenal glands are not being affected by this treatment. Symptoms that may indicate that your adrenal glands have been affected include feeling tired, losing your appetite or weight, having headaches, feeling irritable or depressed, diarrhoea, or feeling sick. Let your doctor know if you experience these symptoms.
- Cyproterone may make you feel tired or weak. If this happens to you, do not drive or use tools or machines, as these symptoms may put yourself and others at risk.
- Your doctor may recommend you do not drink alcohol while you are on cyproterone. This is because regularly drinking alcohol may stop cyproterone from working as well as it should.
- If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as these tablets may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
- When you have been taking cyproterone for some weeks, your sperm count will reduce and you are likely to become unable to father a child. You must not, however, rely on cyproterone as a contraceptive. Although this infertility is likely to reverse when you stop taking cyproterone, you should speak with your doctor if you are thinking of having children.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking cyproterone.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take alongside cyproterone.
Can cyproterone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common cyproterone side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling tired or weary||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Hot flushes and sweating||Try to keep yourself cool|
|Changes in your weight, feeling depressed or restless, breast tenderness, feeling short of breath||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you develop any stomach discomfort or pain that does not go away quickly, you must tell your doctor straightaway.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store cyproterone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Cyprostat®,; Manufacturer's PIL, Cyprostat®, Bayer plc, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2011.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Androcur®,; Manufacturer's PIL, Androcur®, Bayer plc, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr John Cox|
|Last Checked: 13/06/2012||Document ID: 3333 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.