Motrin and Similar NSAIDs Show No Reduction of Parkinson’s Disease Risk: Study

New research suggests there is no evidence high exposure to popular pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin reduce an individual’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

In a study published this month in the medical journal PLOS One, Norwegian researchers sought to examine whether side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce the Parkinson’s disease risk.

NSAIDs are some of the most common relief medicines in the world, including popular brands like Motrin, Advil, Celebrex, and Aleve, as well as aspirin and other generic medications used to reduce pain associated with inflammation, headaches, sprains, arthritis symptoms, and other daily discomforts.

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The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway, using information from the Norwegian Prescription Database from 2004 to 2017. It had a population of 7,580 Parkinson’s patients who were using dopamine therapy to medicate the disease and increase quality of life.

Although there have been some indications that ibuprofen may work as a prophylactic against Parkinson’s disease, the researchers indicate that their study does not appear to bear that theory out.

All patients were observed over a 12-month period and were divided into four different groups. The tests used defined daily doses (DDD) to measure the amount of drug consumption.

The four groups consisted of a full time NSAID group, a sporadic NSAID group, an NSAID and aspirin group, and an aspirin group. The researchers looked specifically at Motrin (ibuprofen), Advil (naproxen) and diclofenac. Test subjects used NSAIDs for a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 365 days or longer.

According to the findings, there was no decrease in the incidence of Parkinson’s disease when comparing NSAID users to a control group within a follow-up period of five years, regardless of how high the dose and how long women took the NSAIDs.

“In this retrospective study, based on the entire Norwegian population, we found no evidence of an association between NSAID use and a decreased incidence of PD,” the researchers concluded. “Overall we observed no decrease in PD incidence in any of the analyses whether it was for NSAID exposure in general or for diclofenac, ibuprofen or naproxen in particular.”

Previous studies have indicated the long-term use of NSAIDs may carry some health risks, especially for older individuals. Some studies suggest that long-term chronic use of Motrin and other NSAIDs increase the risk of peptic ulcers, renal failures, stroke and heart failure.

Parkinson’s disease affects more than 500,000 Americans, with approximately 50,000 new cases each year. The disease causes the loss of motor functions, causing imbalance and shaking, which gets progressively worse over time. There is no known cure.


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