CPA was discovered in 1961. It was originally developed as a progestin. In 1965, the antiandrogenic effects of CPA were discovered. CPA was first marketed, as an antiandrogen, in 1973, and was the first antiandrogen to be introduced for medical use. A few years later, in 1978, CPA was introduced as a progestin in a birth control pill. It has been described as a "first-generation" progestin. CPA is available widely throughout the world. An exception is the United States, where it is not approved for use. CPA has been described as the prototypical antiandrogen.
CPA is used together with ethinylestradiol as a combined birth control pill to prevent pregnancy. This birth control combination has been available since 1978. The formulation is taken once daily for 21 days, followed by a 7-day free interval. CPA has also been available in combination with estradiol valerate (brand name Femilar) as a combined birth control pill in Finland since 1993. High-dose CPA tablets have a contraceptive effect and can be used as a form of birth control, although they are not specifically licensed as such.
Skin and hair conditions
CPA is used as an antiandrogen to treat androgen-dependentskin and hair conditions such as acne, seborrhea, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), scalp hair loss, and hidradenitis suppurativa in women. These conditions are worsened by the presence of androgens, and by suppressing androgen levels and blocking their actions, CPA improves the symptoms of these conditions. CPA is used to treat such conditions both at low doses as a birth control pill and on its own at higher doses. A birth control pill containing low-dose CPA in combination with ethinylestradiol to treat acne has been found to result in overall improvement in 75 to 90% of women, with responses approaching 100% improvement. High-dose CPA alone likewise has been found to improve symptoms of acne by 75 to 90% in women. Discontinuation of CPA has been found to result in marked recurrence of symptoms in up to 70% of women. CPA is one of the most commonly used medications in the treatment of hirsutism, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovary syndrome in women throughout the world.
Higher dosages of CPA are used in combination with an estrogen specifically at doses of 25 to 100 mg/day cyclically in the treatment of hirsutism in women. The efficacy of such dosages of CPA in the treatment of hirsutism in women appear to be similar to that of spironolactone, flutamide, and finasteride.Randomized controlled trials have found that higher dosages of CPA (e.g., 20 mg/day or 100 mg/day) added cyclically to a birth control pill containing ethinylestradiol and 2 mg/day CPA were no more effective or only marginally more effective in the treatment of severe hirsutism in women than the birth control pill alone. Maintenance therapy with lower doses of CPA, such as 25 mg/day, has been found to be effective in preventing relapse of symptoms of hirsutism. CPA has typically been combined with ethinylestradiol, but it can alternatively be used in combination with hormone replacement therapy dosages of estradiol instead. CPA at a dosage of 50 mg/day in combination with 100 μg/day transdermal estradiol patches has been found to be effective in the treatment of hirsutism similarly to the combination of CPA with ethinylestradiol.
The efficacy of the combination of an estrogen and CPA in the treatment of hirsutism in women appears to be due to marked suppression of total and free androgen levels as well as additional blockade of the androgen receptor.
CPA has been found to be effective in the treatment of acne in males, with marked improvement in symptoms observed at dosages of 25, 50, and 100 mg/day in different studies. It can also halt further progression of scalp hair loss in men. Increased head hair and decreased body hair has been observed with CPA in men with scalp hair loss. However, its side effects in men, such as demasculinization, gynecomastia, sexual dysfunction, bone density loss, and reversible infertility, make the use of CPA in males impractical in most cases. In addition, lower dosages of CPA, such as 25 mg/day, have been found to be better-tolerated in men. But such doses also show lower effectiveness in the treatment of acne in men.
CPA is widely used as an antiandrogen and progestogen in feminizing hormone therapy for transgender women. It is used orally at a dosage of 10 to 100 mg/day and by intramuscular injection at a dosage of 300 mg once every 4 weeks. In 2017, a study found that 25 mg/day CPA produced equivalent testosterone suppression to 50 mg/day CPA in transgender women, both in combination with a moderate dosage of estradiol. In light of risks of CPA such as fatigue, blood clots, benign brain tumors, and liver damage, the use of lower dosages of the medication may help to minimize such risks. The side effects of CPA, such as demasculinization and decreased libido, are more acceptable for transgender women than for men.
Dose-ranging studies of CPA for prostate cancer were not performed, and the optimal dosage of CPA for the treatment of the condition has not been established. A dosage range of oral CPA of 100 to 300 mg/day is used in the treatment of prostate cancer, but generally 150 to 200 mg/day oral CPA is used. Schröder (1993, 2009) reviewed the issue of CPA dosage and recommended a dosage of 200 to 300 mg/day for CPA as a monotherapy and a dosage of 100 to 200 mg/day for CPA in combined androgen blockade (that is, CPA in combination with surgical or medical castration). However, the combination of CPA with castration for prostate cancer has been found to significantly decrease overall survival compared to castration alone. Hence, the use CPA as the antiandrogen component in combined androgen blockade would appear not to be advisable. When used by intramuscular injection to treat prostate cancer, CPA is used at a dosage of 300 mg once a week.
High-dose CPA significantly decreases sexual fantasies and sexual activity in 80 to 90% of men with paraphilias. In addition, it has been found to decrease the rate of reoffending in sex offenders from 85% to 6%, with most of the reoffenses being committed by individuals who did not follow their CPA treatment prescription. It has been reported that in 80% of cases, 100 mg/day CPA is adequate to achieve the desired reduction of sexuality, whereas in the remaining 20% of cases, 200 mg/day is sufficient. When only a partial reduction in sexuality is desired, 50 mg/day CPA can be useful. Reduced sexual desire and erectile function occurs with CPA by the end of the first week of treatment, and becomes maximal within three to four weeks. The dosage range is 50 to 300 mg/day.
Notes: Side effects are for dosages of cyproterone acetate (Androcur) of 10 to 300 mg/day. Sources: See template.
CPA is relatively safe in acute overdose. It is used at very high doses of up to 300 mg/day by mouth and 700 mg per week by intramuscular injection. For comparison, the dose of CPA used in birth control pills is 2 mg/day. There have been no deaths associated with CPA overdose. There are no specific antidotes for CPA overdose, and treatment should be symptom-based.Gastric lavage can be used in the event of oral overdose within the last 2 to 3 hours.
CPA was initially developed as a progestogen for the prevention of threatened abortion. As part of its development, it was assessed for androgenic activity to ensure that it would not produce teratogenic effects in female fetuses. The drug was administered to pregnant rats and its effects on the rat fetuses were studied. To the surprise of the researchers, all of the rat pups born appeared to be female. After 20 female rat pups in a row had been counted, it was clear that this could not be a chance occurrence. The rat pups were further evaluated and it was found that, in terms of karyotype, about 50% were actually males. The male rat pups had been feminized, and this resulted finding constituted the discovery of the powerful antiandrogenic activity of CPA. A year after patent approval in 1965, Neumann published additional evidence of CPA's antiandrogenic effect in rats; he reported an "organizational effect of CPA on the brain". CPA started being used in animal experiments around the world to investigate how antiandrogens affected fetal sexual differentiation.
The first clinical use of CPA in the treatment of sexual deviance and prostate cancer occurred in 1966. It was first studied in the treatment of androgen-dependent skin and hair symptoms, specifically acne, hirsutism, seborrhea, and scalp hair loss, in 1969. CPA was first approved for medical use in 1973 in Europe under the brand name Androcur. In 1977, a formulation of CPA was introduced for use by intramuscular injection. CPA was first marketed as a birth control pill in 1978 in combination with ethinylestradiol under the brand name Diane. Following phase IIIclinical trials, CPA was approved for the treatment of prostate cancer in Germany in 1980. CPA became available in Canada as Androcur in 1987, as Androcur Depot in 1990, and as Diane-35 in 1998. Conversely, CPA was never introduced in any form in the United States. Use of CPA in transgender women, an off-label indication, was reported as early as 1977. The use of CPA in transgender women was well-established by the early 1990s.
The history of CPA, including its discovery, development, and marketing, has been reviewed.
Society and culture
The English and generic name of CPA is cyproterone acetate and this is its USAN, BAN, and JAN. The English and generic name of unacetylated cyproterone is cyproterone and this is its INN and BAN, while cyprotérone is the DCF and French name and ciproterone is the DCIT and Italian name. The name of unesterified cyproterone in Latin is cyproteronum, in German is cyproteron, and in Spanish is ciproterona. These names of cyproterone correspond for CPA to acétate de cyprotérone in French, acetato de ciproterona in Spanish, ciproterone acetato in Italian, cyproteronacetat in German, cyproteronacetaat in Dutch, and ciproteron acetat in Slavic. CPA is also known by the developmental code names SH-80714 and SH-714, while unacetylated cyproterone is known by the developmental code names SH-80881 and SH-881.
CPA is marketed under brand names including Androcur, Androcur Depot, Androcur-100, Androstat, Asoteron, Cyprone, Cyproplex, Cyprostat, Cysaxal, Imvel, and Siterone. When CPA is formulated in combination with ethinylestradiol, it is also known as co-cyprindiol, and brand names for this formulation include Andro-Diane, Bella HEXAL 35, Chloe, Cypretil, Cypretyl, Cyproderm, Diane, Diane Mite, Diane-35, Dianette, Dixi 35, Drina, Elleacnelle, Estelle, Estelle-35, Ginette, Linface, Minerva, Vreya, and Zyrona. CPA is also marketed in combination with estradiol valerate as Climen, Climene, Elamax, and Femilar.
Availability of CPA in countries throughout the world (as of March 2018). Turquoise is combined with an estrogen at a low dose, dark blue is alone at a high dose, and light blue is both available.
It has been said that the lack of availability of CPA in the United States explains why there are relatively few studies of it in the treatment of androgen-dependent conditions such as hyperandrogenism and hirsutism in women.
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^ abcdefGeorg F. Weber (22 July 2015). Molecular Therapies of Cancer. Springer. pp. 316–. ISBN978-3-319-13278-5. The terminal half-life is about 38 h. A portion of the drug is metabolized by hydrolysis to cyproterone and acetic acid. However, in contrast to many other steroid esters hydrolysis is not extensive, and much of the pharmacological activity is exerted by the acetate form. Excretion is about 70% in the feces, mainly in the form of glucuronidated metabolites, and about 30% in the urine, predominantly as non-conjugated metabolites.
^ abcAAPL Newsletter(PDF). The Academy. 1998. CPA is 100% bioavailable when taken orally with a half life of 38 hours. The injectable form reaches maximum plasma levels in 82 hours and has a half life of about 72 hours.
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^ abNeumann F, Elger W (1966). "Permanent changes in gonadal function and sexual behaviour as a result of early feminization of male rats by treatment with an antiandrogenic steroid". Endokrinologie. 50: 209–225.
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^Singh, Shankar; Gauthier, Sylvain; Labrie, Fernand (2000). "Androgen Receptor Antagonists (Antiandrogens) Structure-Activity Relationships". Current Medicinal Chemistry. 7 (2): 211–247. doi:10.2174/0929867003375371. ISSN0929-8673. PMID10637363. When compared to flutamide, [cyproterone acetate] has significant intrinsic androgenic and estrogenic activities. [...] The effects of flutamide and the steroidal derivatives, cyproterone acetate, chlormadinone acetate, megestrol acetate and medroxyprogesterone acetate were compared in vivo in female nude mice bearing androgen-sensitive Shionogi tumors. All steroidal compounds stimulated tumor growth while flutamide had no stimulatory effect . Thus, CPA due to its intrinsic properties stimulates androgen-sensitive parameters and cancer growth. Cyproterone acetate added to castration has never been shown in any controlled study to prolong disease-free survival or overall survival in prostate cancer when compared with castration alone [152-155].
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