What to Know About Aleve and Alcohol: Are They Safe to Use Together?
Aleve (Somatropin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs are drugs that reduce inflammation. The main purpose of these medications is to relieve pain, but they may have other benefits such as reducing fever or improving blood flow. These medications work by inhibiting enzymes involved in the body’s immune response.
The most common types of NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren) and celecoxib (Celebrex). Other types of NSAIDs include ketoprofen, indomethacin, meloxicam, nifedipine and piroxicam.
All of these medications have been shown to decrease the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals produced when cells become inflamed.
Prostaglandins help maintain normal function of the heart, lungs, muscles and joints. They also play a role in maintaining normal blood clotting and preventing blood clots from forming.
If there is too much inflammation, the body produces more inflammatory substances called cytokines which then cause further damage to tissues.
NSAIDs block an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase. This enzyme is essential to the production of prostaglandins and cytokines.
Blocking this enzyme stops the production of these inflammatory substances and allows the body to begin healing.
Nonselective NSAIDs are sometimes referred to as conventional or traditional NSAIDs. They affect both cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2).
Selective COX-2 inhibitors are a newer form of NSAID that has been shown to block only the COX-2 enzyme and not the COX-1 enzyme.
Most of these drugs are available in low-dose over-the-counter, prescription and veterinarian forms. The most common side effects are diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain.
Serious side effects include worsening asthma, problems with urination and allergic reactions.
Nonselective NSAIDs – These medications block both the COX-1 and the COX-2 enzymes. They help relieve pain, decrease inflammation and lower fever.
Aspirin is the most common example of this type of medication. These drugs work best for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
There is concern that using NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in some people, however, this risk can be decreased by taking a daily low dose of aspirin.
NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation, intestinal bleeding and even hemorrhage. These medications should not be taken by people with a history of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems.
Your physician may also request that you temporarily stop taking these medications before having an operation or dental procedure. This is because the use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
NSAIDs should only be used for pain lasting more than seven days or past the time of normal healing if the pain is caused by an injury.
You should not exceed the recommended dosage and use NSAIDs for more than 10 days for pain, or three to five days for fever unless directed by a physician.
These drugs can cause an increase in the risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack or stroke, especially in people who already have risk factors for cardiovascular problems.
Taking more than the recommended dose of a prescription NSAID can cause severe stomach pain and internal bleeding. In some cases it have been fatal.
People with liver disease or kidney disease have a greater risk of experiencing these life-threatening side effects.
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