Ibuprofen Appears To Ease Nightly Trips To Bathroom

People's Pharmacy

People's Pharmacy Joe And Teresa Graedon

December 07, 2009|By Joe and Teresa Graedon

Question:: 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 go. Normally, I would be up and down a couple of times.

Answer:: 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.

Question:: I take hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and lisinopril to control high blood pressure. My doctor says I am pre-diabetic and encouraged me to consult a dietitian for advice on diet to prevent diabetes.

The nutritionist warned me that HCTZ could raise blood sugar levels. If that is true, I'd really prefer some natural approaches to control both blood pressure and blood sugar.

Answer:: The dietitian is correct that HCTZ can raise blood sugar. Don't stop this blood pressure medicine on your own, though. Ask your doctor about another type of blood pressure medication. He has many other options he might prescribe. With careful attention to your diet, you may be able to lower both your blood pressure and your blood sugar.

Question:: Is there anything new on the generic version of Wellbutrin XL? My wife had done well on the brand name and then the Watson generic bupropion for several years. She was abruptly switched to Teva Budeprion last spring. Gradually, her depression returned. Within a month, she was on the brink of suicide.

When I realized how severe her situation was, I ran out and purchased brand-name Wellbutrin. It took less than a week for her to return to her normal cheerful self.

I work for a pharmaceutical company, and I would never have thought there could be such an issue with a generic. I reported her case to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch, but I wonder if there will be any further study of this issue.

Answer:: The FDA and Teva have come up with a plan to compare blood levels achieved with the generic antidepressant with those using the brand-name drug. The study requires volunteers with depression to stay in a clinic for at least 24 days, but travel and a stipend are provided. Anyone who is interested in participating may get more information from California Clinical Trials: 818-254-1600.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site, PeoplesPharmacy.com.

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