Antihistamines which are drugs used to treat allergic conditions have been linked to cause infertility in men when excess.
Dr. Carolina Mondillo and her team of researchers from the Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has come out with a recent study of the association between antihistamines and fertility.
Histamine is a molecule produced in the body when the immune system is activated by a suspected threat.
Histamines attempt to remove allergens from the body by inducing sneezing, itching, or making the eyes water.
The production of histamine happens to be part of the standard defense system of the body. In people with allergies such as against pollen, animal dander, dust, insecticides sprays and certain smells, the body produces histamines in excess leading to excessive sneezing or eye-watering, as with hay fever causing discomfort.
Antihistamines are the most commonly used drugs for reducing these symptoms. In addition to reducing the action of histamines and make the person better, antihistamines have also been found to affect other areas of health, creating unwanted side effects linked to sleep-wake behavior, sexual function, and fertility.
This research published in the Journal of Reproduction reviewed both small- and large-scale studies that had been carried out on male mice over the past 4 decades. It was discovered that several of the studies reported an association between antihistamine use in male animals and impaired function of the testicles.
The study authors suggest, then, that antihistamines seem to interfere with the production of sex hormones in the testicles, leading to misshapen sperm, poor-swimming sperm, or a low sperm count. This is bound to result to infertility.
The researchers however suggest that further studies probably involving human subjects be carried out with respect to this since subsequent studies have centered on animals subjects.
They also propose that the use of antihistamines be minimized while other more suiting drugs should be made to relieve allergic conditions.
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Dr. Mondillo the research co-author stated this; “More large-scale trials are needed to evaluate the possible negative effects of antihistamine on reproductive and sexual health. This can then lead to developing novel treatments to relieve allergy symptoms without compromising fertility.”
The team has also pledged that they will now begin to evaluate how histamines impact testicular tumors.