LivingIbuprofen may impair the health of the testicles

Ibuprofen may impair the health of the testicles

Ibuprofen is a drug that, in a short time, has become an indispensable element in every home medicine cabinet. The properties of this are very varied: it is anti-inflammatory, calms pain and lowers fever (although for cases of flu, paracetamol is always more recommended).

But are they really all advantages? Unfortunately, as in any medicine, there is the possibility of suffering side effects .

In the case of ibuprofen, the most common consequences, which until now were known, were those derived from gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems . However, a new study has found that it can also deteriorate the testicular health of adult men in the long term.

Researchers have examined ibuprofen consumption and hormonal balance in male participants between 18-35 years of age . The authors have approached the problem from three perspectives : First, they obtained regular blood hormones from men who received ibuprofen (or placebo) during the study period. Later, a study of human testes was done in a complementary way in the laboratory. And finally, they analyzed the effects on a population of cultured cells that mimic the way testicular hormones are produced.

The results indicate that the repeated use of this drug affects testicular function , so the body has to work harder in order to maintain the body’s testosterone levels. Although the observed effects may be reversible, experts assure that the product research should not be neglected, as its long-term consequences may be more serious than expected. It is recommended, for the moment, that those who must take it for more than three consecutive days, first consult their family doctor.

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This study does not indicate the need to change the current recommendations on the use of ibuprofen . According to the study authors, these data should not affect those men who occasionally take ibuprofen for any of the symptoms discussed above.

The possible effect of over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, on testicular function has been of increasing interest in recent years. However, to date, most of the research carried out has dealt with how it might affect the developing (male) fetus if the mother takes the pain reliever when she is pregnant. Therefore, this is the first time that ibuprofen has been shown to impact the health of glandular organs in adults.

However, these studies were limited and more work would be needed to determine conclusively whether exposure to ibuprofen can affect germ cells (those that will later become sperm) and therefore affect fertility in humans. Dr Rod Mitchell , research group leader and honorary consultant pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Edinburgh, says that ” large-scale studies would be needed to determine the potential for clinically relevant reproductive effects in adult men .”

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