The Ibuprofen is a drug that, in a short time, has become an indispensable element in any kit home. The properties of this are very varied: it is anti-inflammatory, soothes pain and lowers fever (although for cases of flu, paracetamol is always more advisable).
But are they really all advantages? Unfortunately, as in any medication, it is possible to suffer 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 this can also impair 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 addressed the problem from three perspectives: first, they obtained regular blood hormones from men who received ibuprofen (or placebo) during the study period. Afterwards, a study of human testicles in the laboratory was made in a complementary manner and finally, they analyzed the effects on a population of cultured cells that mimic the way testicular hormones are produced.
The results indicate that repeated use of this medication affects testicular function, so the body has to work more intensively to maintain the body’s testosterone levels. Although the observed effects may be reversible, the experts say that the investigation of the product should not be ignored, since 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 your general practitioner.
This study does not indicate the need to change current recommendations on the use of ibuprofen. According to the authors of the study, 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 analgesics, 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 could affect the developing (male) fetus if the mother takes the analgesic when she is pregnant. Therefore, this is the first time that it has been shown that ibuprofen has an impact on the health of glandular organs in adults.
However, these studies were limited and more work would be needed to conclusively determine whether exposure to ibuprofen can affect germ cells (those that will later develop into sperm) and therefore, affect fertility in humans. Dr. Rod Mitchell, leader of the research group and honorary pediatric endocrinologist consultant 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.”