Can Ibuprofen and Aspirin Affect Your Thyroid?

thyroid pills

When we have an ache or pain, many of us reach for a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like aspirin, or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). But is this safe for your thyroid?

A study was carried out to determine the effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on thyroid tests. The NSAIDs tested were aspirin, salsalate, meclofenamate, ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin. Twenty-five healthy subjects underwent a single-dose study and/or a one week study.

Total and free thyroid hormones and TSH were analyzed over an eight hour period after a single dose and daily in the one week study.

Administration of ibuprofen (i.e., Advil, Motrin), naproxen, or indomethacin of either a single dose or for one week did not change the levels of any of the hormones measured. Various total and free thyroid hormone measurements were decreased by single doses of aspirin and salsalate and increased by meclofenamate.

Treatment for one week with aspirin or salsalate decreased total T4, free T4 (salsalate only), total T3, free T3, and TSH. Thus, this study confirms that aspirin, salsalate, and meclofenamate affect total and free thyroid hormone measurements.

It also demonstrated that three NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin) do not alter thyroid tests. During the acute (one dose) and on week administration of these NSAIDs TSH levels remained with the normal range.

Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Variable Effects of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Agents on Thyroid Test Results, M. H. Samuels, K. Pillote, D. Asher and J. C. Nelson, Vol. 88, No. 12 5710-5716 December, 2003

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