Millions of Americans suffer from the chronic pain related to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Many take anti-inflammatory medications to help ease the discomfort associated with these diseases. Aleve, also known as Naproxin, is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, that alleviates pain by reducing inflammation causing hormones within the body. Aleve is also used to treat conditions like gout, bursitis, tendonitis, and menstrual cramps. Long-term use of NSAIDs is known to cause certain health risks along with side effects.
Most people who take Aleve will not see serious effects at all. Some less-serious side effects are dizziness, nervousness, and headaches. Some will experience stomach upset, including diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, and gas or bloating. Itchy skin may occur and on some occasions a rash may develop. Some patients may experience blurry vision or tinnitus, or ringing of the ears.
Other Aleve side effects are considered much more serious and demand medical attention. Taking any NSAID medication may elevate the risk of life-threatening heart problems. The longer an NSAID is used, the higher the risk a person takes. Any person experiencing chest pain, labored breathing, slurred speech, weakness or vision or balance issues should seek medical attention immediately; these are common symptoms associated with heart attacks and strokes. Using NSAIDs may also lead to serious problems with the GI tract, including bleeding and perforation in the stomach or intestines. When these types of complications occur, they can be fatal. Bloody, tarry or black bowel movements that may or may not be accompanied by vomit that resembles coffee grounds can indicate a serious digestive problem.
Other symptoms that could indicate medical concerns are swelling or rapid weight gain, urinary infrequency or halting, nausea, lost appetite, white bowel movements, or jaundice. Anyone who experiences a fever, sore throat, and a headache with a peeling, blistery rash should go to the nearest hospital.