Men who take high doses of the common painkiller drug ibuprofen for months are exposed to a higher risk of infertility and other health issues.
According to scientists, these men may also experience erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and muscle wastage, as prolonged ibuprofen usage disrupted testosterone hormones.
High Doses Of Ibuprofen Increases Male Infertility Risk
In a small study involving 31 healthy men with ages ranging from 18 years old to 35 years old, scientists gave some subjects 600 milligrams of ibuprofen twice a day for six weeks. The rest of the subjects, meanwhile, received placebos.
The research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, showed that the men who took the high doses of ibuprofen developed the disorder known as compensated hypogonadism. 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 doctors that led the study claimed that the disorder was temporary and mild among the subjects. However, with the discovery comes the concern that long-term usage of high doses of ibuprofen might make compensated hypogonadism a permanent condition.
The study provides the first evidence that long-term ibuprofen use may lead to health issues among men, and the first time that ibuprofen was shown to affect testicular health in adults.
The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research's Bernard Jegou, a senior author of the study, said that there is no problem in taking ibuprofen for short-term pain relief. Jegou, however, warned against taking the drug for months beyond what it necessary.
"The effects were very mild even after six weeks of regular consumption of ibuprofen, which is longer than is usually recommended in practice, so this data should not concern men who occasionally take ibuprofen for pain relief," added Imperial College London senior clinical lecturer in endocrinology Ali Abbara.
The scientists said that trials with a bigger number of subjects are needed to better understand the effects of long-term ibuprofen usage on male fertility.
Overcoming Male Infertility And Erectile Dysfunction
Scientists have been working on methods to overcome male infertility and erectile dysfunction, including a new technique discovered last year that created healthy, artificial sperm.
A separate study, meanwhile, showed the stem cell therapy may cure erectile dysfunction without the need for additional injections, implants, or medicine.
Of course, there is always the option to live beside a Viagra factory, as residents claimed that the fumes have arousing effects on men.