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Side Effects Of Naproxen: What Are The Safety And Potential Risks?

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Side effects of Naproxen may manifest immediately or develop with increasing potential risk over time and depending on the Naproxen sodium dosage used. Though common side effects of Naproxen are transient and light in nature, some users may experience more severe reactions.
What is Naproxen Sodium and how safe Naproxen is? Does Naproxen cause headaches? What are the long term effects of Naproxen?

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Table of Content

Safety of Aleve Use

Naproxen is safe and a popular choice when it comes to pain management. So, Is Naproxen an anti-inflammatory medicine? Yes, it is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is sold over-the-counter or by prescription.
Naproxen used for relieving more severe pain such as osteoarthritis, bursitis, and gout.

When additional pain relief is necessary, Naproxen and Tylenol may be combined.

However, there are some health conditions that can severely worsen Naproxen’s risks. People who have these conditions are not advised to take this drug:

  • History of an allergic reaction to NSAIDs
  • History of intestinal or stomach ulcers or bleeding
  • History of heart attack or stroke
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Lupus
  • Fluid retention
  • Asthma
  • Coagulopathy

Taking Naproxen in pregnancy is highly discouraged. Side effects from Naprosyn during pregnancy may yield from cardiac issues to a miscarriage.

Man Reading Package Insert For The Drug

Short Term Side Effects Of Naproxen

Commonly, not everyone who takes this drug experiences adverse reactions. However, it is not recommended to take Naproxen on an empty stomach to minimize associated risks.

Following are the most common side reactions:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headache or migraine
  • Drowsiness
  • Rashes
  • Breathlessness or difficulty breathing
  • Itching skin
  • Swelling
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • The restlessness of limbs

Since Naproxen causes drowsiness,  it is better to avoid performing activities that require mental acuity and alertness to minimize the risk of getting injured. So, how long does it take for Naproxen to work? It takes just one hour from dosing to experience pain relief.

Dangers Of Long-Term Use

The long term use of Naproxen has an effect on the body and its organs. It is vital to be informed about all the risks and receive medical consultation before using the medication.

Blood Pressure

The study on differential blood pressure effects of different NSAIDs showed that Aleve causes hypertension in patients. There are two ways by which Naprosyn affects the renal system –  1)increase of water retention and 2) slowed down salt elimination through the urine. Both conditions increase a person’s risk of developing hypertension.

Weight Gain

The weight gain on Naproxen is although rare, but it is still possible. The reason for this is the fluid retention caused by the drug. The prolonged use may cause an increase in body mass by a few pounds. In case one experiences an abnormal increase in body mass it is important to consult with the doctor to define the reason behind the abnormal weight gain.

Female Measuring Waist Line

Heart Disease

One of the potential Naproxen dangers is the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. NSAIDs, such as Naproxen or Ibuprofen, were found to increase a person’s risk for a heart attack or a stroke. At the same time, one of the studies found that Aleve poses a lower risk for developing cardiovascular diseases versus other NSAIDs.


Another dangerous side effect is bleeding. People who take anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs which are intended to thin the blood to prevent blood clotting should not take Aleve. The concomitant use of these drugs elevates the possibility of such side effects as internal and external bleeding. Experts warn that taking NSAIDs and blood thinners together may adversely affect the body’s mechanism for forming blood clots. Moreover, abuse of high amounts of the medication may cause intestinal bleeding, most commonly in the digestive tract.

Naprosyn And Menstrual Period

One of the possible Naproxen side effects is delaying the menstrual period. Naprosyn relieves pain by decreasing the amount of prostaglandin to deliver an anti-inflammatory effect. Prostaglandins trigger shedding of the uterine lining. At lower levels, they are also less available to trigger the start of a new menstrual cycle.

Intentional use of the medicine for delaying the period is harmful to one’s health. It may cause undesired effects and negatively affect health.

Taking prescription levels of Naprosyn, for this reason, is discouraged because it increases a person’s risk for Naproxen sodium overdose. Besides, there are no guarantees that the menstrual cycle will be delayed and, if it does, it will likely be delayed for just 2 days max.

Naprosyn Allergy

It is also possible to develop an allergic reaction to Naproxen that is manifested with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness

When allergic reactions show:

  • Immediately stop taking the drug.
  • If symptoms persist, see a doctor. Medical personnel may prescribe an antihistamine.
  • Make sure to discuss alternatives to Naproxen with the healthcare provider.

Avoiding The Side Effects Of Aleve

When Naproxen causes headache which it is intended to relieve, and trigger other adverse outcomes, ask about alternatives. The side effects are not unusual and, like any other drug, Aleve can cause adverse outcomes too.

People who develop a dependence or addiction to Aleve should not attempt to withdraw from the drug without proper medical attention. A rehab facility is the initial step in recovery from the addiction and overcoming the withdrawal symptoms. The specialized addiction treatment programs are aimed at resolving the initial cause of the addiction and fortifying one’s mental strength to prevent possible relapse.

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  1. Frank Ruschitzka, Jeffrey S Borer, Henry Krum, Andreas J Flammer, Neville D Yeomans, Peter Libby, Thomas F Lüscher, Daniel H Solomon, M Elaine Husni, David Y Graham, Deborah A Davey, Lisa M Wisniewski, Venu Menon, Rana Fayyad, Bruce Beckerman, Dinu Iorga, A Michael Lincoff, Steven E Nissen, Differential blood pressure effects of ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib in patients with arthritis: the PRECISION-ABPM (Prospective Randomized Evaluation of Celecoxib Integrated Safety Versus Ibuprofen or Naproxen Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement) Trial, European Heart Journal, Volume 38, Issue 44, November 11 2017, Pages 3282–3292,
  2. Medline Plus Naproxen Informational Page
  3. Angiolillo, D. J., & Weisman, S. M. (2017). Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Safety of Naproxen. American journal of cardiovascular drugs : drugs, devices, and other interventions, 17(2), 97–107.


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