Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Male contraceptive pill reports successful results from Phase 1 clinical trials

Male contraceptive pill safe to use does not harm sex drive Study Male pill could be on horizon as trials yield positive results
| 20 March, 2018, 04:49

The tests did not show whether taking the male birth control drug actually reduced sperm production to levels that would prevent pregnancy, but contraceptive effectiveness will be tested in another trial beginning in April, Fox News reported.

Like the pill for women, the experimental male oral contraceptive - called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU - combines activity of an androgen (male hormone) like testosterone, and a progestin, said Stephanie Page, a professor at the University of Washington in the US. "Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development". One hundred men were randomized to receive daily oral placebo or DMAU with food in one of three dose groups (100, 200, and 400 mg) and one of two formulations (castor oil/benzyl benzoate [C] or powder in capsule [P]); 83 participants completed the study. "Longer term studies are now underway to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production", Page said.

The quest to develop a male contraceptive pill has been long and fraught. Unlike other forms of oral testosterone, which classically are cleared from the body quickly, this compound contains a specific long-chain fatty acid that slows this clearance making it a ideal "once-a-day" pill.

The drug, yet to be named will block sperms from leaving the penis during ejaculation, researchers at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences have said.

In a nutshell (sorry, couldn't resist), the pill lowers sperm hormones while not altering testosterone levels.


DMAU works by interrupting the signal between the brain and the testicles, Page said.

There was no significant change in mood or sexual function, but a small number of participants experienced decreased libido during the study. And the levels recovered within days of stopping the pills, the team told a meeting in Chicago of the Endocrine Society. According to the Daily Mail, men who took the pill suffered from acne and a slight gain in weight, but with no other physical side effects of note.

The trials showed the pill can be given safely for more than one dose, but did not yet test for its success as contraception. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said.

To test DMAU's safety, researchers developed a double-blind randomized, dose escalation, placebo-controlled study. While women are more likely to trust their partners with contraception than you might think, quite a few men still (archaically, absurdly) believe that contraception is a woman's job.

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