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Pain medication ibuprofen - research team found previously unknown side effects

Pain medication ibuprofen - research team found previously unknown side effects


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Is ibuprofen more dangerous for men than for women?

Ibuprofen is one of the most popular and widely used pain relievers. It is available without a prescription and is used against numerous complaints. Is the pain reliever too careless? An international research team recently discovered previously unknown side effects from long-term use. Apparently the drug unbalances male hormone production, increasing the risk of impotence and depression.

An international research team recently found out in a study that ibuprofen can have a negative effect on the male hormonal balance if taken over 14 days. According to the researchers, long-term use with high doses boosts the production of the reproductive hormone lutropin. This in turn affects the production of the sex hormone testosterone, which can lead to erectile dysfunction and depression. The study results were recently published in the journal “PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.

Course of the study

In the study, the researchers administered a dose of 600 milligrams of ibuprofen twice daily to 31 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 over a period of six weeks. During this time, the subjects were regularly examined by a doctor and their hormone levels measured.

The harmful effects set in after two weeks

After taking the test subjects biweekly, the researchers found that ibuprofen inhibits testosterone production. The body reacted to this with an increased production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which causes the testosterone level to rise again. After two weeks, the subjects' LH levels rose by 23 percent. After 44 days, the level was increased by 33 percent.

Stressful hormone balancing for the body

The increased LH production puts a strain on the body and is known in medicine as a hormone disorder that often appears in older men. This condition is called hypogonadism and is often associated with erectile dysfunction, physical disorders, and depression.

Short income harmless

The effect could only be determined with long-term, high-dose intake. With occasional use against acute pain, such a side effect is not expected according to the study results. (vb)

Author and source information



Video: Mayo Clinic Minute: What are NSAIDs? (July 2022).


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