Q. Have you ever heard of ibuprofen helping men with prostate problems? I am a runner and frequently use ibuprofen after a long run. I discovered that on the days that I took ibuprofen I didn’t have to get up at night to go the bathroom.

When I have beer with the boys in the evening I take ibuprofen afterwards and don’t have get up to pee. Normally, I would be up and down a couple of times.

A. At first we were skeptical that ibuprofen could have any benefit for benign prostate enlargement. Then we did a little digging. You may be on to something.

A double-blind study published in Urology (Oct., 2008) included 80 men whose prostate problems interfered with nightly sleep. Half got Celebrex before bedtime while the other half received a placebo. After a month, the men on Celebrex had fewer symptoms and half as many nightly trips to the bathroom.

Celebrex and ibuprofen are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They should not be taken after drinking beer or other alcohol since stomach irritation is more likely. We would also advise men to check with their doctors as NSAIDs can raise blood pressure, cause stomach ulcers and interact with prescription drugs.

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  1. Penman (67)
    Georgia, USA

    Yes, ditto on the beneficial effect of ibuprofen (200mg) before sleeping–sometimes now I even manage seven hours. I first noticed this effect over a year ago, and after comparing many nights with and without, conclude that it makes a real difference–though my urologist, like others reported on above, had heard nothing in that regard. Cialis (5mg) daily also started making some improvement after about 10 weeks.

  2. Shahid
    Lahore, Pakistan

    I am 66 years old and usually have to wake up twice every night for passing urine. I have also observed that when I take Advil 400 mg I can sleep without interruption.

  3. David
    West mid uk

    I too have had serious BPH,diagnosed eleven years ago,I manage this condition fairly well,but it is getting worse,urgent daytime frequency and mild incontinance are much more of a problem now.

    I discovered the benefit of Ibuprofen three years when I was laid up with a broken ankle and rampant prostate problem, I discovered then that taking Ibuprofen for my ankle has an amassing effect on my prostrate and urinery problem.

    I told my GP and my urology consultant of my findings,both kinda laughed!
    I now control my BPH with a single 200mg, or two if it’s severe, but only as needed, say once or twice a week, I wait till I get up five times a night, one or two tablets before bed then it’s back to one bathroom visit a night.

    I also, sadly avoid my favourite tipple, whisky which makes me worse as also does caffeine.

    When will the health service wake up to our findings? And work out a safe program of taking this treatment?

  4. Jim R
    Talbotville, ON Canada

    I am 70 years old, and recently, while having a CT scan for a degenerated disc, I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. I had been urinating more frequently during the night for several months, at least 2 to 3 times, which was very disruptive to my quality of sleep. To my surprise I discovered that if I took 200 to 400 mg of Ibuprofen prior to going to bed I did not have to urinate until I got up in the morning. I also find that when I do urinate during the daytime I am expelling much more fluid.

  5. Dom

    I’ve had the same result. The Ibuprofen does “someting” to reduce the need to urinate at night. I don’t know of any “double blind” clinical trial that supports this with a large number of subjects, but anecdotal reports I’ve read about – as well as my personal experience – seems to suggest that NSAIDs may be worth investigating. In addition to BPH, perhaps it may even reduce the likelihood of Prostate Cancer.

  6. John Chartrand

    If they are thinking of sending a man to Mars why can’t they be able to reduce an enlarged prostate without surgery?

    I’m on a vegan diet, no meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy and it has helped. I now eat several anti inflammatory foods such as turmeric, rosemary, and cloves and it’s too early to tell if that’s making a difference.

    • James
      Mt Sinai, NY

      I’m 62. I was getting up once or twice every night to urinate until I started taking 2 Ibuprofen just before going to bed. It allowed me to sleep through the night without getting up. At first I assumed that the anti-inflammatory effect was reducing the size of my prostate and, therefore, not pushing on my bladder. But eventually I noticed that when I did go to the bathroom in the morning, the amount of fluid seemed to be less than the amount I was urinating before I started taking the Ibuprofen.

      This lead me to wonder if the Ibuprofen was actually causing my body to retain water. More water retention… less water in the bladder… less need to urinate. But water retention is not a good thing. I also noticed that my eyes and face were puffier on mornings following Ibuprofen use. This is another possible sign of water retention. So, I may stop taking the Ibuprofen.

  7. Bernie

    I have had the same experience. After taking 400mg at night, before bed, with a little food, I do not usually have to get up to urinate during the night.

  8. John

    Two ibuprofen every night works for me. This, after using saw palmetto for several years with mixed results.

  9. Jim
    So. California

    I too have had the same results. I am a 77 year old very fat guy with BPH for over 20 years. I’ve been prescribed 20 mg of Hytrin (Terazosin the synthetic version) per day. That’s a lot of Terazosin! Hytrin/Terazosin is also used to control blood pressure.

    Many times I’ve come close to fainting when standing up after sitting for an hour or more because of low blood pressure caused by the Terazosin.

    Recently I cut my intake of Terazosin in half to 10 mg at bedtime. I had been taking 10 mg at bedtime plus 10 mg upon awaking. That stopped the fainting episodes. But at night the difficulty to urinate increased. Many nights I got only 3 hours of sleep or less.

    I’ve been going to a chiropractor for back issues. I had surgery on my spine some years back but still need weekly chiropractic help. I started taking 2 Motrin IB at bedtime to mask the pain so I could get to sleep on those days I went to the chiropractor. I noticed that I had NO problem urinating on those nights. The flow was back to normal as if I had never had BPH! Also there was no pain, which could be expected because of the Motrin IB. What I didn’t expect was the full easy flow. And this was at half the Terazosin I had been taking for years! I do not drink (at all) or smoke and never have so I don’t have those complications to worry about.

  10. kay

    I haven’t tried these but just to thank those who are taking the trouble to post their opiniions.. thank you.. helps others consider view points. and thanks to the website

  11. tony
    wales uk

    I may have inadvertently mislead you, I am on medication from the doctor to reduce prostate, but still have difficulty passing, and have to go frequently but these are eliminated with the rub, apologies.


  12. tony

    Had what appears to be tendonitis in the groin and was prescribed a rub that contained Ibuprofen, the result was 90% of my complaints regarding the prostate have disappeared, I assume they will reappear when I no longer need the rub but would this be a better way of “taking” the medication other than internally?

  13. Gman

    I have discovered the same thing. I had a shoulder injury from climbing and took some ibuprofen as an anti inflammatory (600mg) and I found that I didn’t have to get up at night. Tried it on another day and the results were the same (didn’t have to get up). Looks like I’m up for using this as a treatment for now.
    Not sure if it reduces the prostate size or whether it decreases the muscle size that pushes on the prostate. Would love to find a good scientific explanation.

  14. Dave

    I suffer from arthritis, but I don’t usually take an nsaid because of a sensitive stomach. I also have bph, I have to pee about every hour during the night. But last night after dinner (right after), I took 2 ibupropen anyway, hoping to avoid the upset stomach. I slept for 6 straight hours without peeing. That prompted me to search online to see if ibupropen helps bph and I found this forum. In my opinion, the ibupropen did curb my peeing and I got a good night sleep.

  15. Harry H.

    I have had treatment for an over active bladder syndrome (OAB) by two different Urologists and received several different prescription medications with no relief, however I had many side effects taking these medications. I told my Urologists that I have noticed also (like the runner) that if I take 2 Advil at bedtime that I get through the night without going to the bathroom.
    The response I got was that they never heard of it and if it helps me take the Advil and that there is no problem in taking 2 Advil a day.
    However, I do have one question “are there any long term side effects of taking 2 Advil a day”? Thank you for any response.

  16. LRG,11

    After I read this article, took one the first night. Usually go 4-5 times per night. Went just ONCE! Took it two more nights, same results. Stopped taking some two weeks ago, still working, go just once a night. Whenever I go twice, shall start taking one per……
    Now I have a question. Since I was advised to take an 81 mg asprin nightly, will the ibuprofen sub for the aspirin? Will it conflict? Will they cancel each other out?
    Have shared this info with other friends and say they are happy.

  17. Tom W.

    I have found that turmeric does the same thing ……..

  18. RKM

    If one is concerned about prostate disease, they should have their blood level of vitamin D checked, as the British Physician Study revealed that men who had taken supplemental vitamin D for an extended period had a 60% lower incidence of prostate cancer.
    I don’t know that it has an effect on BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), but getting up a few times a night is preferable to the many serious adverse side effects from chronic use of NSAIDs such as serious GI bleeding, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and many others. It has been shown that more people die every year in the US from adverse effects of NSAIDs than died in the World Trade Disaster.
    This is particularly true in the elder population who suffer from BPH. Most of the inserts provided with these drugs do not recommend taking them for more than 2 weeks continuously.

  19. Engineer

    I was interested in the report from the gentleman who found some relief from his BPH (prostate) symptoms when he took ibuprofen at night. I thought I had noticed the same effect when I took aspirin at night but did not want to take too much aspirin for the reasons that the Graedons mentioned.
    I have been taking aspartame for a number of years to help with my arthritis symptoms since it works as an anti-inflammatory (at least for me). I don’t use it at night since it disturbs my sleep. For those who don’t have reasons not to take it at night, it would be interesting to see if aspartame helps their BPH symptoms. Of course, if they drink a 12 oz diet coke to get the aspartame, it might be counter productive.

  20. John M.

    What can be done for Anemia?

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