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Naproxen Naxen Aleve Profile
Pharmaceutical Name: Naproxen
Drug Classification: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Active Life: 8-16 hours
Naproxen belongs to a drug class known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
Primarily these drugs are prescribed and administered to help combat pain
related to inflammation resulting from such ailments as arthritis, tendonitis,
and soft tissue damage or other such injuries of this type. For use by
bodybuilders and strength athletes Naproxen will most often be used to treat
post-workout soreness in muscles and joints as they relate to inflammation.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are some of the most widely available
and most frequently used drugs in the world. This speaks to their
effectiveness but also to their acceptance as a safe drug that is offered as
over-the-counter medication. Naproxen is one of the more popular versions of
this drug class and is commercially available throughout most of North America
Naproxen works by inhibiting the release of inflammatory prostaglandins and
prostaglandins biosynthesis. This inhibition itself will reduce the swelling
of tissues and pain and discomfort that result from these conditions. A
difficulty that arises for bodybuilders, strength athletes and athletes in
general when using Naproxen and other similar drugs is the effect of the drug
on protein synthesis. It has been demonstrated that the use of non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs will partially inhibit protein synthesis that normally
takes place post-exercise (1). This of course will negatively impact
post-workout recovery and muscle growth. This is not to say however that
recovery of the muscles exercised will completely cease. Rather protein
synthesis will simply be less efficient and recovery will be slower to take
place. This will cause potential users to have to weigh the positives and
negatives of administering Naproxen. It will help with delayed onset muscle
soreness, joint pain, and other common maladies of weight trainers but may
also negatively impact recovery post-workout. At the very least the use of
Naproxen should be limited to those instances when a user requires it to
alleviate moderate to severe pain and not just regular soreness that results
from intense weight training or activity.
Naproxen is available in an oral, topical and injectable versions of the drug.
For most users however the oral tablets or capsules will be the most commonly
used and available means of administering the drug. There is little to no
reason why for anyone other then those with serious medical conditions to
administer the drug using the injectable version. The topical version of
Naproxen would be impractical and unnecessary for most users as well.
In terms of dosing for the drug, the low end dose is primarily stated as being
approximately two hundred milligrams per dose. This dose can increase
substantially depending on the tolerance of the user, the condition that is
attempting to be alleviated, and the individual reaction of the user to the
drug, among other variables (2). Due to the active life of the drug being
between eight and sixteen hours in length two or three doses throughout a
twenty-four hour period may be necessary to ensure that the effects of the
drug remain continuous if needed.
As for the duration that one can run Naproxen, this depends on the dosages and
frequency with which the user is administering the drug. As will be discussed
below in the Risks/Side Effects section of this profile, there is some concern
with hepatoxicity when using this drug and if used for an extended amount of
time this should be taken under consideration when deciding the best course of
action to treat inflammation and/or pain. Consultation and monitoring by a
medical doctor may be necessary if extended use of Naproxen is required by the
user to treat his or her condition.
The most widely believed serious side effect of non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naproxen is liver toxicity. This is despite
the majority of the scientific evidence indicating that hepatoxicity related
to Naproxen use is extremely infrequent (3, 4, 5, 6, 7). This is not to say
that there are not risks associated with heavy, long-term use of Naproxen but
rather that in the course of normal directed use of the drug healthy users
should not experience any severe liver disorders.
A more common side effect in healthy users using moderate doses of the drug is
gastric discomfort. This is related to Naproxen causing an increase in the
gastric acid concentration in the stomach of the user (8, 9). Most often a
decrease in the dose used by the user will alleviate any discomfort
experienced, but some users will simply have to discontinue use of the drug
due to this negative side effect. Ingesting the drug with food or fluids may
lessen the severity of such reactions however and will not lessen the effect
or potency of the drug.
Beyond these possible risks most users will tolerate Naproxen extremely well.
Allergic reactions to the drug are extremely rare among North American and
European users. A very small minority of users may experience such side
effects as dizziness, dry mouth and/or muscle cramps when using Naproxen but
these side effects are rare.
1. Trappe, White et al. Effect of ibuprofen and acetaminophen
on post exercise muscle protein synthesis. Endocrinol Metab. 2002
2. Bjornsson GA, Haanaes HR, Skoglund LA. Naproxen 500 mg bid versus
acetaminophen 1000 mg qid: effect on swelling and other acute postoperative
events after bilateral third molar surgery. J Clin Pharmacol. 2003
3. Rostom A, Goldkind L, Laine L. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and
hepatic toxicity: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials in
arthritis patients. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 May;3(5):489-98.
4. Claria J, Kent JD, Lopez-Parra M, Escolar G, Ruiz-Del-Arbol L, Gines P,
Jimenez W, Vucelic B, Arroyo V. Effects of celecoxib and naproxen on renal
function in nonazotemic patients with cirrhosis and ascites. Hepatology. 2005
5. Manoukian AV, Carson JL. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced
hepatic disorders. Incidence and prevention. Drug Saf. 1996 Jul;15(1):64-71.
6. Walker AM, Bortnichak EA, Lanza L, Yood RA. The infrequency of liver
function testing in patients using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Arch
Fam Med. 1995 Jan;4(1):24-9.
7. Jick H, Derby LE, Garcia Rodriguez LA, Jick SS, Dean AD. Liver disease
associated with diclofenac, naproxen, and piroxicam. Pharmacotherapy.
8. Goldstein JL, Aisenberg J, Lanza F, Schwartz H, Sands GH, Berger MF, Pan S.
A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, active-comparator,
placebo-controlled, parallel-group comparison of the incidence of endoscopic
gastric and duodenal ulcer rates with valdecoxib or naproxen in healthy
subjects aged 65 to 75 years. Clin Ther. 2006 Mar;28(3):340-51.
9. Rodriguez-Stanley S, Redinger N, Miner PB Jr. Effect of naproxen on gastric
acid secretion and gastric pH. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jun
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