Popular pain-relieving medicines linked to hearing loss in women

If you take ibuprofen or acetaminophen more than once a week, you're damaging your ears. A 14 year study showed 24% hearing loss for women using ibuprofen six or more times a week.

According to a study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), women who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen two or more days per week had an increased risk of hearing loss. The more often a woman took either of these medications, the higher her risk for hearing loss. Also, the link between these medicines and hearing loss tended to be greater in women younger than 50 years old, especially for those who took ibuprofen six or more days per week.

Compared with women who used ibuprofen less than once per week, those who used ibuprofen 2 to 3 days per week had a 13 percent increased risk for hearing loss, while women who used the medication 4 to 5 days per week had a 21 percent increased risk. For those who used ibuprofen six or more days per week, the increased risk was 24 percent.

Compared with women who used acetaminophen less than once per week, women who used acetaminophen 2 to 3 days per week had an 11 percent increased risk for hearing loss, while women taking the medicine 4 to 5 days per week had a 21 percent increased risk. [emphasis mine]

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Something suspect in here... from what the article offers up in reading, this could just as well be a reverse causal relationship... I could be those women already more prone to hearing loss are more likely to perceive symptoms requiring such over the counter medications.

Also the entire study is based on self reporting by the people involved... that's usually a sure sign of poor result profiles. Self reporting is notoriously inadequate.

I had my hearing tested 2 years ago, it was way better than what I "perceived" was the state of my hearing.

I'd really like to see most research based on 'self-reporting' banned reputable journals. This is the kind of research that's even able to validate homeopathics. :(

That they found no hearing loss with aspirin use does sound like it's not totally placebo effect. Also the large group and 14 year study make it seem like it's not a pharma funded quick trick.

It wasn't clear to me exactly what their operation definition for "self reported" was. Audiology tests depend on self report too. Perhaps the journal article will be clearer.

I did not know this. Thanks.


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