Understand Your Arthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis can be caused by an injury to the joints, which can break down the cartilage â connective tissue that protects the joints by absorbing stress. What you can do about it:
â¢ OTC pain medications can help ease minor arthritis pain
â¢ Physical therapy and exercises can complement your treatment
â¢ Use hot and cold packs
â¢ Be sure to discuss with your doctor a treatment plan thatâs right for you
Uses For Aleve Arthritis
Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Naproxen also helps relieve symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, which is a type of arthritis that affects the joints in the spine. However, this medicine does not cure arthritis and will help you only as long as you continue to take it.
This medicine may also be used to treat mild to moderate pain, including acute gout and other painful conditions such as bursitis, tendinitis, or menstrual cramps.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Prescription naproxen comes as a regular tablet, a delayed-release tablet, an extended-release tablet, and a suspension to take by mouth. The extended-release tablets are usually taken once a day. The tablets, delayed-release tablets, and suspension are usually taken twice a day for arthritis. The tablets and suspension are usually taken every 8 hours for gout, and every 6 to 8 hours as needed for pain. If you are taking naproxen on a regular basis, you should take it at the same time every day.
Nonprescription naproxen comes as tablet, a capsule, and a gel capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with a full glass of water every 8 to 12 hours as needed. Nonprescription naproxen may be taken with food or milk to prevent nausea.
Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take naproxen exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor or written on the package.
If you are taking the suspension, gently shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use an oral syringe or measuring cup provided by your pharmacist to measure the correct amount of liquid needed for your dose.
Swallow the delayed-release tablets and extended release tablets whole do not split, chew, or crush them.
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Track Your Medications With Arthritispower
Join CreakyJoints patient-centered research registry and log your medications to track side effects and impact on disease activity. Learn more and sign up here.
Al-Waeli H, et al. Chronotherapy of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Enhance Postoperative Recovery. Scientific Reports. January 2020. doi: .
Stott R. Daytime-only NSAID dosing may foster improved healing, recovery. Healio Rheumatology. February 13, 2020. .
How Long Should I Use An Over
Dont use an over-the-counter NSAID continuously for more than three days for fever, and 10 days for pain, unless your doctor says its okay. Over-the-counter NSAIDs work well in relieving pain, but theyre meant for short-term use.
If your doctor clears you to take NSAIDs for a long period of time, you and your doctor should watch for harmful side effects. If you notice bad side effects your treatment may need to be changed.
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Proper Use Of Aleve Arthritis
This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain naproxen. It may not be specific to Aleve Arthritis. Please read with care.
For safe and effective use of this medicine, do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than ordered by your doctor. Taking too much of this medicine may increase the chance of unwanted effects, especially in elderly patients.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
When used for severe or continuing arthritis, this medicine must be taken regularly as ordered by your doctor in order for it to help you. This medicine usually begins to work within one week, but in severe cases up to two weeks or even longer may pass before you begin to feel better. Also, several weeks may pass before you feel the full effects of this medicine.
Check with your doctor first before changing dosage forms . These forms are very different from each other.
Swallow the delayed-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
If you are using the suspension, shake it gently before using it. Use the marked measuring cup included in the package to measure the dose.
If Acetaminophen Isnt Providing Enough Pain Relief
If acetaminophen doesnt provide enough relief for your moms pains, then it may be reasonable to consider over-the-counter NSAIDs, preferably for a limited period of time. But be sure to discuss the risks and alternatives with the doctor first, and be sure to discuss possible non-drug approaches to lessen pain.
You may also want to ask about topical painkillers, such as gels, creams, and patches. These are generally safer than oral medications, because less of the body is exposed to side effects.
Questions? Please post them below.
This article was reviewed & updated in April 2021.
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What Other Drugs Interact With Naproxen
If your doctor has directed you to use this NSAID, your medical doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first for more health information.
Naproxen has no known severe interactions with any drugs.
Serious Interactions of Naproxen include:
Naproxen has moderate interactions with at least 229 different drugs.
Naproxen has mild interactions with at least 80 different drugs.
This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the medications you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions, concerns, or more health information.
What Are Nonsteroidal Anti
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are medications that are widely used to treat conditions like pain, stiffness, swelling, inflammation, and fever. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen , naproxen , diclofenac , indomethacin , and others.
NSAIDs also prevent blood clots from forming. This is useful in some cases, but it can also cause problems. For example, aspirin can protect against heart disease by preventing blood from clotting. On the other hand, NSAIDs can increase the risk of bleeding. They can even cause serious problems like ulcers, stomach bleeding, and intestinal bleeding.
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Whats The Risk Of Nsaids
The link between NSAIDs and heart problems is well established. Weve always counseled our patientsespecially when they have a history of heart diseasethat these medications can increase their risk, Dr. Ruff says. The latest FDA warning comes down to several key points:
- All non-aspirin NSAIDs appear to be associated with higher risk of heart problems. The risk is greatest in those with known heart disease or multiple risk factors for it.
- Its not known for sure yet which, if any, of the various NSAIDs in use are more risky than others. However, in studies to date, naproxen has shown the smallest risk.
- The higher the NSAID dose you take, and the longer you take it, the greater the potential risk.
NSAID safety tips
Side Effects From Long
Long-term use of Aleve can make your heart work harder. Aleve makes you retain water, which increases the load on your heart. This extra work can cause pressure on your cardiovascular system and can sometimes lead to a heart attack or stroke. These risks are even greater at higher dosages, even if you dont have any heart conditions or risk of heart disease. Call 911 or local emergency services if you have:
- weakness in your arms or legs
These are signs of a stroke or heart attack. If you take Aleve and have unexplained weight gain or swelling, especially in your legs and feet, talk to your doctor right away. These may be signs of heart failure. To lower your risk of heart problems, use the lowest dosage for the shortest amount of time.
Prostaglandins maintain the pressure in your kidneys so that these organs can filter the fluids in your body. A decrease in your level of prostaglandins from taking Aleve can cause problems with your kidney function. You may notice fluid retention or changes in how much you urinate. If you notice these changes while taking Aleve, stop taking it and contact your doctor.
People with certain medical conditions may experience more side effects from Aleve than other people. These conditions include:
- history of stomach ulcers or stomach bleeding
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Who Has A Higher Risk Of Complications
Stomach ulcers or bleeding are more likely to occur in people who
- are over 65 years old,
- have other serious diseases, especially gastrointestinal conditions like or ulcerative colitis,
- have already had gastritis , a stomach ulcer or stomach bleeding,
- have an infection with Helicobacter pylori ,
- drink a lot of alcohol,
- take blood-thinning heart medicines, for example anticoagulants like warfarin or acetylsalicylic acid,
- take a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant,
- take corticosteroids , or
- take several anti-inflammatory painkillers at the same time.
NSAIDs can sometimes be a problem for people who have kidney disease too.
Aleve Vs Ibuprofen: Main Differences And Similarities
Aleve and ibuprofen are two over-the-counter medications that can treat mild to moderate pain. Both medications can be used to treat pain from arthritis, headaches, or gout, among other conditions. Ibuprofen and Aleve, also known as naproxen, are classified in a group of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . They work by preventing the release of prostaglandins, which are substances that cause inflammation and pain in the body.
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How Does My Doctor Choose An Nsaid Thats Right For Me
In planning your treatment, your doctor looks at the effectiveness and the risks of these drugs. Your medical history, physical exam, X-rays, blood tests and presence of other medical conditions all play a part in deciding which NSAIDs will work for you.
After you start your NSAID program meet with your doctor regularly to check for any harmful side effects and, if necessary, make any changes. Blood tests or other tests may need to be done for this part of your treatment.
What Are The Common Side Effects Of Aleve
The most common side effects of Aleve include stomach pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, dizziness, drowsiness, itchy skin, and tinnitus . Taking Aleve with food or a full glass of water can help to reduce or avoid gastrointestinal side effects.
Aleve and other NSAIDs can also cause dangerous side effects such as an allergic reaction, shortness of breath, chest pain, pain radiating to your arm, neck, or jaw , severe stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark-colored stools, and blood in the stool or vomit. You should contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care if you experience these potential side effects.
While Aleve is available over-the-counter, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking OTC medications for longer than a few days. This is because there can be dangerous drug interactions between a nonprescription NSAID like Aleve and some of your other medications.
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How To Use Aleve
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking naproxen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times a day with a full glass of water . Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. To prevent stomach upset, take this medication with food, milk, or an antacid.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed by your doctor or the package label. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed by your doctor.
For certain conditions , it may take up to two weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.
If you are taking this drug “as needed” , remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Why Cant You Lay Down For 10 Minutes After Taking Naproxen
Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug to prevent irritation inside your throat . If this medication upsets your stomach, you may take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
Does naproxen affect sleep?
Naproxen may make you feel drowsy, dizzy, or even depressed. Use care when driving or operating machinery after taking naproxen until you know how it affects you. Also let your doctor know if you experience other symptoms related to naproxen, such as: Constipation, diarrhea, or gas.
Can I take naproxen at night?
The usual dose of naproxen sodium diphenhydramine is 2 tablets taken by mouth at bedtime. No more than 2 tablets should be taken in any 24-hour period. This medication may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
Why is naproxen bad for you?
Naproxen can cause an ulcer in your stomach or gut if you take it for a long time or in big doses. Theres also a small risk that people taking very big doses for a long time may get heart failure or kidney failure. Its best to take the lowest dose that works for the shortest possible time.
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What Drugs And Food Should I Avoid While Taking Naproxen
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to naproxen .
Avoid taking aspirin or other NSAIDs unless your doctor tells you to.
Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb naproxen.
Aspirin: A Special Nsaid We No Longer Use For Pain
Aspirin is another analgesic available over-the-counter.
Its technically also a NSAID, but its chemical structure is a bit different from the other NSAIDs. This is what allows it to be effective in reducing strokes and heart attacks. It is also less likely to affect the kidneys than other NSAIDs are.
Aspirin is no longer used as an analgesic by the medical community. But many older adults still reach for aspirin to treat their aches and pains, because they are used to thinking of it as a painkiller. Aspirin is also included in certain over-the-counter medications, such as Excedrin.
Taking a very occasional aspirin for a headache or other pain is not terribly risky for most aging adults. But using aspirin more often increases the risk of internal bleeding. So, I discourage my older patients from using aspirin for pain.
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Drug Interactions And Overdose
Many OTC medications contain NSAIDs. For this reason, it’s crucial to read all medication labels before using them. Also, be sure you’re getting only one dose of an NSAID at a time.
Nutritional supplements, herbs, recreational drugs, and caffeine can interact with naproxen and change the way it works in your body. Speak with your doctor about all medications and supplements you take before taking Aleve.
Medications that may interact with naproxen in a harmful way include:
- Alendronate, taken to prevent bone loss
- Other NSAIDs, including aspirin
- Herbal products that contain feverfew, garlic, ginger, or Ginkgo biloba
- Lithium medication such as Eskalith and Lithobid
If you think you may have overdosed, call 911 or your local poison control center.
Precautions While Using Aleve Arthritis
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
This medicine may raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This is more likely in people who already have heart disease or in people who use this medicine for a longer time.
This medicine may cause bleeding in your stomach or intestines. This problem can happen without warning signs. This is more likely if you have had a stomach ulcer in the past, if you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, if you are over 60 years of age, are in poor health, or are using certain other medicines .
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Check with your doctor right away if you have bloody urine, a decrease in frequency or amount of urine, an increase in blood pressure, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea, swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, or weight gain. These could be symptoms of a serious kidney problem.
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