Indian scientists have announced that the world’s first male birth control shot could be available to consumers within six months after completion of clinical trials on the drug. It’s news that many will be pleased to hear, especially as it offers long-term efficiency.
The drug is awaiting final approval. Now that trials have finished, the drug has been sent off to the Drug Controller General of India who will give it the final stamp of approval before it’s made available to consumers. “The product is ready, with only regulatory approvals pending with the Drugs Controller,” said Dr. RS Sharma, a senior scientist with Indian Council of Medical Research, in a comment to the Hindustan Times.
The shot is effective for up to 13 years. That’s a long time! Because of this, scientists are marketing it as a vasectomy alternative for men who don’t want to go under the knife. This is in contrast to shorter-term options offered to women such as coils, implants, and birth control pills.
So how does it work? The injection is placed in a sperm-containing tube near the testicles and contains the polymer Steryene Maleic Anhydride that has been known since the 1970s to inhibit sperm production.
The trials showed few to no side effects. After extensive trials with male subjects, a vast majority of participants were completely without side effects.” The trials are over, including extended, phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited with 97.3% success rate and no reported side-effects. The product can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive,” Dr. Sharma said.
More testing needs to be done, but the shot looks headed our way. The drug will likely undergo several more vigorous rounds of testing before it becomes available for use by the average man, but all things are looking good and it’s likely that within the next six months, we could finally have a viable option for long-term male birth control. Pretty exciting!
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