Q. I have been treated for an overactive bladder by two urologists. I took several different prescription medications with no relief but many side effects.

I told my doctors that I have noticed (like the runner in your column) that if I take two Advils at bedtime, I get through the night without going to the bathroom.

The urologists had never heard of this, but they said there should be no problem with two Advils daily. Do you agree?

A. A double-blind study in Urology (Oct., 2008) determined that men with enlarged prostates had half as many nighttime bathroom trips when they took Celebrex. Advil and Celebrex are both NSAIDs. They could raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack or cause stomach ulcers if taken long-term.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. cw

    It works for me. Either Advil or Advil PM and I sleep all night. Get up otherwise 6-7 times a night.

  2. Tom

    I have found that with one ibuprofen, I can sleep through the night. Typically, I would get up three times without ibuprofen.

  3. Leonard

    Like many others I was suffering from back pain so acetaminophen is my go to over the counter drug that did not work although in past it has. I have on average been getting up 3 times a night to urinate completing my groggy sleep. So as my back was hurting I decided to try ibuprofen instead which did little for my back but to my surprise I did not get up at all to urinate. Repeating the ibuprofen same joyful results. Of course, I worry about sides, as I avoid taking any kind of drugs and if I do I take less than recommended. Doctor prescribed medicine I take as stated. So, I have the same question about taking 2 ibuprofen a night hopefully without sides. Time, to see a doctor.

  4. tperry

    I have been struggling for over a year with waking up after three hours of sleep and having to run to the bathroom, and usually not making it in time. Last night I took two IBU’s before going to bed, because I had such a bad backache. I woke up this morning, 7 hours later with no urges. I might also add I drank three glasses of water before going to bed, which is very unusual for me. I believe the IBU’s did the trick.

  5. matt

    I am being treated for overactive bladder. I often have periods when I have to urinate as often as every 15 or 20 minutes. I’ve found that taking ibuprofen helps relieve the frequent urges to urinate.
    We have found research to support the use of NSAIDs to reduce nighttime bathroom runs, but we also worry that NSAIDs may have a negative impact on kidney function.
    Here is a link to a prior discussion of this issue:

  6. MJD

    I find that taking one Advil with a small amount of hot milk one hour before bed time stops or helps my nocturia.

  7. Greg Pharmacy Student

    R Fry,
    I’m a big believer in tried and true medication. The medication that is tested and the side-effects are known. Have you considered Proscar or Avodart or surgical treatment for your BPH. Perhaps you owe it to yourself to investigate the options or have a talk with your MD.

  8. sdw

    I have found eliminating wheat and adding vitamin D has greatly improved my overactive bladder. Advil upsets my stomach. I have also heard it is very hard on one’s kidneys and liver.

  9. SAB

    With regard to nocturia and BPH: I have found that at least for myself, although I am taking Proscar and Hytrin (both reasonably effective over the years), the single best way to almost eliminate the nightly trips is to be very tired when I go to bed. I have found that, up to a point, tiredness and nocturia are inversely correlated.

  10. Mat

    I’ve tried advil 1/2 dose & it reduced the over reaction bladder problem but did not eliminate it. Yes, I have the same concern as I have BP also.
    Thank you.

  11. LRG,11

    Showed article to my Dr., she said it would raise bp only 3 to 4 points, so go ahead and take it!
    It works for me!I don’t take it nightly, about twice a week.

  12. hj

    My doctor would like me to take a baby aspirin daily. I read that aspirin should not be taken with Micardis. Would it be safe if I take Amlodopine instead of Micardis? Is it true that daily aspirin is not helpful for women’s hearts as it is for men’s?

  13. R Fry

    I also have used one Advil and have been able to get up to 5 hrs sleep without using the bathroom. I only take one or two them 3 or 4 times a week. What I was looking for is a non drug product that could shrink the Prostate without the side effects from drugs. Found that two pumpkin seed oil soft capsules of 1000mg can reduce the PSA number but does nothing for the frequent trips to the bathroom. R.Fry

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.