Study finds painkiller ibuprofen affects liver enzymes in male and female mice differently

Latest research published in the University of California marks the notable effects of ibuprofen on laboratory mice. The study further also highlights that the painkiller has differences between male and female mice.

Ibuprofen, belonging to the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, is widely used to cure fever and pain. Previous studies have confirmed that ibuprofen can increase stroke risks and cause heart problems. The effects of the popular drug on the liver were less discovered.

For the study, the team dosed mice with moderate amount of ibuprofen for a week. The amount is equivalent to that of an adult taking about 400 mg of the drug on daily basis. The team further used information on all the metabolic pathways in liver cells through advanced mass spectrometry at UC Davis’ Proteomics Core Facility.

The findings of the study showed that ibuprofen had different effects on the livers of male and female mice. This was especially evident in proteasome, a waste disposal system which removes unwanted proteins. This responded differently in males and females.

Furthermore, Ibuprofen also increased the activity of cytochrome P450. This action was evident among females, however decreased in males.

“The elevation in cytochrome P450 could mean that other drugs taken with ibuprofen could stay in the body for a longer duration in males and this has never been shown before. No drug is perfect, as all drugs have side effects. However, many commonly used drugs such as ibuprofen are being overused and should not be used for certain conditions such as mild pain,” commented Professor Aldrin Gomes, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences.

The study draws attention to the difference between males and females with regards to drug metabolism and its effects.