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Small Study Links Ibuprofen to Testosterone Issues

Thirty-one men between 18 and 35 years old participated in the study. Fourteen of the men took 600 mg of ibuprofen twice a day for six weeks. The rest of the men took a placebo. All the men had their hormone levels checked after two weeks and at the close of the study.

The researchers found that the men’s actual testosterone levels didn’t change significantly. However, levels of luteinizing hormone increased. This result suggests that the men’s testes were not making as much testosterone as the luteinizing hormone ordered.

Why is this a problem? When levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone are out of balance in this way, the result is a condition called compensated hypogonadism. This can eventually lead to primary hypogonadism (low testosterone), heart problems, and infertility.

Compensated hypogonadism can be reversed if men use ibuprofen for a short time, but it is unclear how long the effects could last with long-term use.

The results do not mean that men should stop using ibuprofen or NSAIDs. Because the study was small, more research is needed. However, men who are concerned about these drugs should talk to their doctor.

To learn more about low testosterone, please click here.


Ars Technica

Timmer, John
“Small study suggests ibuprofen alters testosterone metabolism”
(January 9, 2018)

Hormone Health Network

“What is Luteinizing Hormone?”


Duffy, Steve
“Ibuprofen Use Linked to Compensated Hypogonadism in Males”
(January 9, 2018)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Kristensen, David Møbjerg
“Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism”
(January 2018)

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