A new male non-hormonal contraceptive tablet was shown to be 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy with no side effects in mouse testing, according to research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Wednesday
The ACS noted that the majority of male birth control pills in the works use hormones to target testosterone, which could potentially cause side effects such as weight gain, depression and increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
When given orally to male mice for four weeks, the compound researchers tested was found to be 99 effective in preventing pregnancy in female mice. No observable side effects were detected, and male mice were able to reproduce within four to six weeks after they stopped receiving the compound.
With significantly fewer alternatives available to men, the breakthrough medicine could help to balance the contraceptive burden.
Human studies are in the works, but some experts are concerned that safety problems may prevent the medicine from reaching the market.
“Despite numerous attempts, no effective and safe male contraception has made it through human clinical trials. Most have been based on hormones, but non-hormonal contraceptives,” according to Md Abdullah al Noman of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, have less negative effects.