Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

New male birth control pill a success

Male contraceptive pill safe to use does not harm sex drive Study Male pill could be on horizon as trials yield positive results
Isabel Fisher | 20 March, 2018, 04:45

Nonetheless, it may be the best hope yet for a non-permanent male contraceptive, said Stephanie Page of the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The trials showed the pill can be given safely for more than one dose, but did not yet test for its success as contraception. "Longer term studies are now under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production", Page added in the statement. Five persons in each group received a placebo and 12 to 15 men received the DMAU pills. DMAU is developed by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, that also sponsored this study. Other forms of contraceptive for men are also in development.

Decreased sex drive can also be a side effect of low testosterone levels, but again, only a small number of participants (eight who took the drug) reported this side effect.

'DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily 'male pill, ' Dr Page said. Known as dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, research was presented at Chicago's annual Endocrine Society meeting that a month-long trial was recently completed with positive results.

Arthi Thirumalai, M.B.B.S., from the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of 28 days of daily dosed oral DMAU in healthy men aged 18 to 50 years. The team is starting that trial now that they've shown the drug is safe in the short term.


The last big hope for a male birth control pill fell apart in 2016 when the drug was shown to damage the liver. DMAU must be taken with food to be effective, Page noted.

However, longer studies are needed to confirm that it does indeed block sperm production, the researchers said. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said.

The journey of creating such a pill has not been free of challenges that puzzled the scientists but they have managed to pass over them and to reach the point at which they were able to produce 100% working and safe contraceptive pills for men.

"The things we're going to be looking for in our further studies are changes in sexual desire or sexual activity, changes in mood, and changes in weight or other markers of metabolic health that would be important for people's long-term health", said Page. The pills need to be taken with food to be effective, she said.

"We're often asked if there was a contraceptive if men would be interested in using it", Page said. The researcher added that studies indicate that men prefer taking an oral contraception rather than an injection or implant.

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