Iburprofen for Prostate Issues?

Special to Tribune Newspapers

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 to the bathroom. When I have beer with the boys in the evening, I take ibuprofen afterward and don’t have to 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 (October 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 also would advise men to check with their doctors, as NSAIDs can raise blood pressure, cause stomach ulcers and interact with prescription drugs.