Can You Drink Alcohol While on Naproxen?

Alcohol has interactions and potential side effects when it’s combined with many substances. Some of the substances that can interact with alcohol can include prescription drugs, supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines. One such medicine that people wonder about is naproxen. One of the most popular brand names of naproxen is Aleve.

Naproxen is a commonly used over-the-counter medicine, but what should you know about alcohol and naproxen? Can you drink alcohol while on naproxen? Below we explore the relationship between alcohol and Naproxen, and possible side effects and interactions.

Alcohol and Naproxen | Can You Drink Alcohol While on Naproxen
Naproxen is a pain reliever that can treat a variety of conditions. It can be used for arthritis, muscle aches, dental pain, headaches, menstrual cramps and more. Naproxen is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or an NSAID, and it blocks the production of certain substances in your body that lead to inflammation and pain. While Naproxen is seen as a relatively mild pain reliever, there are side effects that can come with its use. Some of the common side effects include nausea and upset stomach, heartburn, headache, drowsiness or dizziness. It can also make blood pressure go up. These are the common side effects, but there are more severe, although rare side effects possible as well. Some of the rare side effects that would require seeking immediate medical attention when taking Naproxen can include mental or mood changes, swelling of the hands or feet, easily bleeding or bruising, stiff neck, ringing in the ears, vision changes or feeling very tired. Naproxen in rare situations can also cause liver damage and disease. Some of the signs of liver disease include dark urine, extreme nausea and vomiting, abdomen pain, and yellowing of the eyes or skin. So what about alcohol and Naproxen? Can you drink alcohol while on Naproxen?
People commonly drink and they also commonly take Naproxen which is why they may wonder if there are interactions between alcohol and Naproxen. It’s difficult to answer the question of can you drink alcohol while on Naproxen, because for some people it may be okay, and for others, it can be dangerous. Regardless, if you do have alcohol and Naproxen at the same time, you should only do so in moderation. Moderation as defined by physicians and medical experts is typically a lot smaller an amount of alcohol than most people realize. For women, it’s usually no more than one drink a day, and two for men. Also, the measurement for one drink would be five ounces of wine, eight ounces of malt liquor, 1.5 ounces of spirits, or 12 ounces of beer. However, if you do drink alcohol particularly if you take Naproxen often or you’re a chronic drinker, it can increase the risk of ulcers and stomach and intestinal bleeding. Even without combining alcohol and Naproxen there is the risk of side effects like gastritis or inflammation of the stomach lining with this medicine, and adding alcohol to the mix just ups this risk. The risk of gastritis is even higher in people who are 60 and older. You should never take alcohol and Naproxen together without first speaking to your doctor, particularly if you have a medical history that includes things like bleeding and ulcers. You should also only use Naproxen as instructed and if you take too much of it or take it too long, you’re putting yourself at risk. Something else to note is the fact that Naproxen has rarely been linked with liver damage and disease, and alcohol can lead to the same thing, so if you combine the two the risk of this may be higher, and this can be deadly. Other substances that may cause interactions with Naproxen can include ACE inhibitors like lisinopril, certain beta blockers, and corticosteroids.
So, can you drink alcohol while on Naproxen? You may be able to drink moderately on Naproxen, but never without speaking to your doctor beforehand. If you drink heavily and use Naproxen, or use Naproxen over the long-term with alcohol, it can increase your risk of severe side effects including stomach bleeding and liver problems.
Can You Drink Alcohol While on Naproxen?
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