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Updated on September 14, 2023
5 min read

Naproxen and Alcohol

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Naproxen?

Drinking alcohol while taking naproxen is fine. However, drinking too much alcohol can irritate and potentially damage your stomach. Because of this, it's best to monitor your naproxen and alcohol use; or avoid drinking altogether.

There's also no attractive reason to take naproxen with alcohol. Unlike with other drug combinations, drinking naproxen alongside alcohol doesn't make you high.

However, taking naproxen or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with alcohol can increase the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) tract problems. Older people also have an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers.


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What Happens If You Drink Alcohol While Taking Naproxen?

Naproxen relieves pain by inhibiting the production of a hormone called prostaglandin, which causes you to experience symptoms such as swelling, fever, and inflammation. However, this means naproxen can lessen the protective effects of prostaglandins, such as repairing and conserving the stomach lining.

Meanwhile, alcohol can increase the volume of acid in your stomach, causing irritation and sorness. Because of this, mixing alcohol with naproxen can increase the risk of GI tract problems, including:

  • Gastritis
  • Ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding 

The GI problems caused by taking naproxen and alcohol can be life-threatening.

Dangers of Mixing Naproxen and Alcohol

Always consider all associated risks when you mix naproxen and alcohol. Both naproxen and alcohol can weaken and irritate your stomach.

However, this combination can have other side effects, including:

  • 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. If you have difficulty stopping alcohol consumption while taking naproxen, it may be a sign of alcohol dependency. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about alcohol and naproxen use. 


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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) pain reliever that treats muscle aches, 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. 

Naproxen's dosage will be different depending a few factors such as:

  • The strengh of the medicine
  • The number of doses you need daily
  • The time allowed between doses
  • The condition the medication is treating

When taking NSAIDs, taking the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time is important. This helps minimize the risk of serious side effects. Don't change your dosage unless your doctor tells you to.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. But, if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed one and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double your dose to compensate for the missed one.

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

Sever Side Effects of Naproxen

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.

Who is At Risk when Taking Naproxen?

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

Because of this, the following people may be at risk of severe side effects:

  • Older people
  • People who've taken NSAIDs for a long time or take higher doses
  • People who recently had a heart attack or stroke
  • People with high cholesterol
  • People with high blood pressure
  • People with diabetes
  • People with poor health
  • People who drink alcohol
  • People who smoke

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 also at greater risk for serious adverse events.

Is Naproxen Addictive?

Naproxen isn't an addictive substance. You can't become dependent on it and it doesn't have a high potential for abuse or addiction. However, alcohol is addictive.

If you're misusing naproxen and alcohol you may be at risk of alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorder. Contact a medical professional or addiction specialist if you're abusing alcohol and naproxen.


Naproxen is a pain reliever used to treat muscle aches, stiffness, and inflammation. It does this by inhibiting a hormone called prostaglandin which is responsible for swelling and inflammatory responses.

However, prostaglandins are also responsible for repairing the stomach lining. Although you can take naproxen with alcohol, drinking too much can irritate and damage your stomach.

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 September 14, 2023
7 sources cited
Updated on September 14, 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, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2020.

  5. Naproxen.” ClinCalc DrugStats Database, 2018.

  6. "About Naxopren." NHS, 2022.

  7. "Naproxen Oral Route" Mayoclinic, 2023.

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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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