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Ibuprofen linked to male infertility in study

12 January 2018

So, for the time being, I would urge men who need to take ibuprofen to continue to do so.

At this moment, Ibuprofen is considered to be the broadest male endocrine-disturbing drug from all chemical classes. Among couples trying to conceive, issues with sperm make up 40% of fertility problems. Those who suffer from chronic pains such as rheumatism also regularly use Ibuprofen.

Within 14 days, the luteinising hormones of men taking Ibuprofen, which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone, became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. Tests showed their testosterone levels hadn't changed, although the testes weren't producing adequate levels.

The study showed that the drug disrupted the production of male sex hormones.

In experiments on testicles from prostate cancer donors and cultured testes cells, the researchers found ibuprofen induced the condition by affecting hormones.

At the end of the study, they compared the health record of the placebo group and ibuprofen group.

'But the effects on the adult man remain largely unknown.

Before now, he says, "most warnings regarding this family of painkillers have focused on limiting long-term use in the elderly to prevent gastrointestinal, renal and cardiac adverse effects". Of these, 14 were given daily doses of ibuprofen 600 milligrams twice a day - a dose commonly taken by athletes and soccer players for injuries and pain and dose that is directed by the labels of the generic version of the drug. The others acted as a control.

Findings appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He said that the safety of Ibuprofen has been proven by decades of study and real-world use.

He said investigating ibuprofen-induced compensatory hypogonadism is crucial as the disorder is "generally associated with smoking and ageing".

Ibuprofen belongs to a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, that work by blocking the production of hormone-like signaling molecules called prostaglandins, which theoretically reduces pain and inflammation.

Compensated hypogonadism is a condition linked to male infertility, the study explains.

As a fun added bonus, previous research has found a link between low testosterone levels and premature death. "The decrease in the free testosterone/LH ratio resulted primarily from the increased LH levels, revealing that testicular responsiveness to gonadotropins likely declined during the ibuprofen exposure", the authors write.

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility in study