Sold under the brand names Advil or Motrin, ibuprofen is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
"Prescribing providers rarely mention these adverse effects with patients when prescribing these medications", she said, according to CNN, noting that the study was "important" and that the use of ibuprofen could have a far greater negative effect on men who already have low fertility.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a continuation of research that began with pregnant women. Before he stepped down in November 2016 he asked players about their use of over-the-counter painkillers and found that almost half of those who played in the past three World Cups took anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, every day.
All 3 drugs are considered anti-androgenic, meaning they disrupt male hormones..
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The study, which took place in Denmark and France, included 31 adult men under the age of 35. The remaining participants were given a placebo.
Results showed that ibuprofen use led to an elevation of luteinizing hormone (LH) and a decreased testosterone/LH ratio, which is routinely used as a marker of testicular Leydig cell function.
Ibuprofen has also been linked to increased risk of heart attacks or stroke in those who take it long term. This is because the pituitary gland at the base of the brain had ramped up levels of another hormone that drives the production of extra testosterone. However, with the discovery comes the concern that long-term usage of high doses of ibuprofen might make compensated hypogonadism a permanent condition.
Researchers told CNN that, while these effects were reversible, they were unsure of whether there were long-term health effects associated with the prolonged use of ibuprofen.
According to Erma Z. Drobnis, an associate professional practice professor of reproductive medicine and fertility at the University of Missouri, Columbia, there is evidence that other drugs like opioids and antidepressants can cause male infertility.