Delivery of contraceptives to men: Lesson from other therapeutic drugs

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Besides hormonal-based male contraceptives, such as testosterone undecanoate (a long-chain ester of testosterone) which can be administered either orally as contraceptive pill or by injection, some efforts have been made in the field to develop non-hormonal contraceptives to suppress spermatogenesis. One of the major goals for non-hormonal contraceptives is to avoid a disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, without affecting the systemic testosterone, LH and FSH levels, hoping to minimize the side-effects since testosterone has multiple target organs besides the testis. However, these non-hormonal male contraceptives are often met with poor absorption at the gastrointestinal tract and if they are peptide/protein based, they are subjected to proteolytic cleavage following oral administration. Thus, other non-oral routes are being considered. In this short review, we highlighted some of the latest development in the field regarding the administration of other therapeutic drugs via non-parenteral and non-oral routes. This information as briefly reviewed herein should provide some insights for delivery of male coutraceptives in the future.