A recent study doesn’t seem to be good news for fans of ibuprofen, the over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
The study looked at people who take 1200 milligrams of the drug – the maximum recommended daily over-the-counter dosage – per day for extended periods. A lot of people fit that criteria, from young athletes to weekend warriors to people who have nagging aches and pains. In most cases, it equates to six pills per day.
The study found that prolonged use at that level led a small group of young men to develop a hormonal problem – hypogonadism – that has been associated with infertility.
“The implications are based on something that is true, which is that fertility around the world in developing countries has been going down for a period of time,” said Dr. Michael White from the UConn School of Pharmacy.
Dr. White said the study is valid, but should be taken with a grain of salt because it’s only one study, and a limited one at that. In addition, plenty of other valid studies have concluded that such ibuprofen use has no real direct effect on fertility.
And besides, said Dr. White, there are plenty of other valid reasons you shouldn’t be taking 1200 milligrams of ibuprofen per day.
“If you’re taking aspirin [for] cardio protection, and then you take ibuprofen or naproxen, we know that it decreases the effectiveness of aspirin,” said Dr. White, “It raises your blood pressure, and it decreases some of your kidney function.”
In other drug news, Yale University announced that a team of researchers effectively tested a new HIV -fighting drug in mice. It’s another step forward in an area where we’ve made a lot of progress over the years, but Dr. White said we can’t afford to get complacent.
“The drug continues to mutate and continues to evolve, so we need to come up with new ways in order to inhibit the virus,” he said.
Dr. White said the real promise of this drug would be a lot fewer pills for patients who probably already take a lot of them.
“The one interesting thing about this drug in particular is that it seems like you could get a dose and that the dose could cover you for several weeks,” he said.