Bernard Jégou, a senior author on the study at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, said that he believes that there is no problem in people taking ibuprofen to alleviate pain in the short term but he warns against taking the drug for months on end if it was not absolutely necessary. The bad news is the ibuprofen is one of a large class of related drugs that includes aspirin, and the likelihood that other drugs will have similar effects is high.
The other 17 men were administered a placebo and, within 14 days, those taking ibuprofen had developed the hormonal condition.
Aspirin, the best-selling NSAID on the US market, was initially linked to stomach problems but was thought to be otherwise safe. The condition has been associated with an increased probability of reproductive, cognitive, and physical problems, as well as general mortality. Under the condition, which is normally seen in smokers and older men, the body needs to boost testosterone production because normal production inside the testes has declined.
The study shows that it has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, altering their sex hormone production and affecting their reproductive health.
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The research focused on men given 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day, which isn't the norm for the average bloke. It's an important finding to keep in mind-but also comes with some caveats, and isn't exactly a clarion call to ditch painkillers like ibuprofen (sold under brand names like Advil and Motrin) altogether.
The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use.
Professor Allan Pacey from the University of Sheffield, cautions: "The results suggest that long-term use (several weeks) of ibuprofen can affect the production of the male hormone by the testicles".
But long-distance runners and athletes who regularly take ibuprofen during training or sports matches in order to ward off inflammation may want to keep an eye on the research.
Thankfully, the 31 volunteers recovered after they stopped taking the pills. This condition, CNN explains, can lead not only to fertility issues - it can also be linked to depression, fatigue, and possibly even a higher risk of heart problems. The effect was apparent at two weeks and became more pronounced after six weeks of ibuprofen use.