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Updated on February 23, 2023
4 min read

Naproxen and Alcohol

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Naproxen?

You shouldn't drink alcohol while taking naproxen. This interaction can cause serious health consequences that require immediate medical care. For example, combining the two substances increases the risk of:

  • Gastritis
  • Ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

Naproxen provides pain relief by inhibiting the production of a hormone called prostaglandin. When your body releases prostaglandins, you experience symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and fever. Naproxen helps reduce these effects.

This also means naproxen can lessen the protective effects associated with prostaglandins. This includes repairing and conserving the stomach lining. 

However, the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) tract problems increases when a person consumes alcohol while taking naproxen. Proper adherence to naproxen dosing minimizes the risk of developing gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding. 


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What Happens If You Drink Alcohol While Taking Naproxen?

Taking naproxen with alcohol can produce life-threatening health effects like bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal (GI). Heavy drinking can stress the GI tract and liver and result in organ damage. 

When combined with naproxen or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), the risk of developing a stomach ulcer or gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) that leads to upper GI bleeding increases. Older people also have an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers.

If you have difficulty stopping alcohol consumption while taking naproxen, it may indicate an underlying dependency on alcohol. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about alcohol and naproxen use. 

Dangers of Mixing Naproxen and Alcohol

Always consider all associated risks when combining naproxen and alcohol. 

Naproxen may cause stomach bleeding. Drinking alcohol while taking naproxen can increase the risk of this occurring. Other side effects of mixing naproxen and alcohol include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal ulcers
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Fluid retention
  • Liver damage or liver failure
  • Kidney problems

If you are experiencing these side effects, seek medical help immediately.


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How Long After Taking Naproxen is It Safe to Drink?

Aleve can stay in the system for up to 24 hours. Your safest bet is to avoid drinking alcohol for that time. This will, however, depend on your dose of NSAIDs and the amount of alcohol you plan to consume.


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What is Naproxen (Aleve)?

Naproxen is the generic name for Aleve® or Naprosyn®. It's a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that treats pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

It can also treat:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine)
  • Gout (sudden, severe joint pain prevalent in older men)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of an area in the joints)
  • Tendonitis (tendon inflammation)
  • Primary dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)

NSAIDs work by blocking the body's production of inflammation-causing natural substances. Other Naproxen pain relievers include:

  • EC Naprosyn
  • Anaprox
  • Anaprox DS
  • Naprox Sodium
  • Naproxen EC
  • Naproxen SR
  • Naprelan
  • Menstridol

Naproxen Forms & Dosage

Naproxen is available as a tablet or liquid that is administered orally. Over-the-counter (OTC) naproxen may be taken with food or milk to prevent nausea. 

When taking NSAIDs, taking the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time is important. This helps minimize the risk of serious side effects. 

Common Side Effects of Naproxen

Side effects of naproxen range from mild to serious. The most common adverse reactions to naproxen include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Swelling

Serious side effects include:

  • Vision changes
  • Sore throat 
  • Sudden, unexplained weight gain
  • Confusion
  • Skin reactions (rash, purple blotches, hives, blisters, or reddening)
  • Stomach bleeding or ulcers (bloody or tarry, dark stools, coughing up blood, or vomit resembling coffee grounds)
  • Liver issues (nausea, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, jaundice, or a decrease in appetite)
  • Kidney problems (swelling in feet or ankles, decreased urination, shortness of breath, or lack of energy)

Call 911 and seek medical attention immediately if these side effects occur.

Taking NSAIDs like naproxen can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. This risk may occur early in treatment and increase over time. 

Women trying to become pregnant should not take naproxen. The drug may delay ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg) and affect a woman’s ability to conceive children. 

People with a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding are at greater risk for serious adverse events.


Avoid drinking alcohol while taking naproxen. Combining naproxen and alcohol increases the chances of gastritis, ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

If you experience adverse side effects while taking naproxen, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

Updated on February 23, 2023
6 sources cited
Updated on February 23, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. EC-NAPROSYN~ (Naproxen Delayed-Release Tablets) NAPROSYN~ (Naproxen Tablets) ANAPROX~/ANAPROX~ DS (Naproxen Sodium Tablets) NAPROSYN~ (Naproxen Suspension).” Food and Drug Administration.
  2. Alcohol and NSAIDs Increase Risk for Upper GI Bleeding.American Family Physician, 2000.
  3. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews.National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  4. Brutzkus, JC. “Naproxen.StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2020.
  5. Naproxen.” ClinCalc DrugStats Database, 2018.
  6. "About Naxopren." NHS.
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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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