In the fast-paced rhythm of our daily lives, a headache or muscle pain can strike at any moment, demanding swift relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Aleve are very popular. Aleve has carved a niche as a reliable and effective solution to various types of discomfort. From headaches to muscle aches, menstrual cramps to arthritis, Aleve has been a go-to choice for many. However, one question often arises among people who take Aleve: Can you take Aleve on an empty stomach?

This seemingly simple question is layered with complexity. It involves understanding the drug’s composition, its interaction with our bodies’ physiology, and the potential risks and benefits associated with its consumption. In this blog post, we will discuss these aspects in detail. We will provide comprehensive insights to help you make informed health decisions.

While we do our best to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we can’t replace professional medical advice. If you’re starting or changing a medication regimen, always talk to your doctor first. Now, let’s explore the topic at hand.

What Is Aleve?

Inflammatory diseases such as gout, fever, and rheumatoid arthritis are often treated with Aleve, a brand name for Naproxen. As a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it reduces pain and inflammation. There is no need for a prescription to purchase Aleve to ease pain. An FDA-approved medication, it is used in the treatment of specific conditions.

How Does Aleve Work?

Aleve works by inhibiting prostaglandin, which can lead to inflammation. Aleve contains the active ingredient Naproxen sodium. This ingredient prevents the COX1 and COX2 enzymes (a protective layer on gut linings to protect from acid) from producing prostaglandin. This results in a decrease in pain. There is a close connection between an empty stomach and Aleve’s working mechanism.

Can You Take Aleve On an Empty Stomach?

The answer is no if you have stomach or intestinal issues! Aleve stops COX1 and COX2 enzymes from producing pain hormones. These enzymes protect the gut from other substances. While the pain reduces, the stomach becomes exposed without the protective lining. As a result, Aleve on an empty stomach increases the chances of ulcers, stomach discomfort, etc.

Aleve can be taken with a meal and on an empty stomach 30 minutes before a meal. Taking this medicine with food, milk, or an antacid is also suggested to avoid stomach upsets. Let your doctor decide whether this medicine is better for you with food or without food.

The Advantage Of Taking Aleve with Food

Food helps cover the guts’ linings, indirectly acting as mucous (Soft substances in the intestines). There is also a great advantage to consuming Aleve with food. The absorption rate slows down, leading to long-lasting pain relief. Food decreases the acidic value in the stomach. It slows down the time for plasma concentration. This, in turn, helps prevent gastrointestinal issues.

Hence, consuming the food before taking a dose of Aleve is advised. You may be wondering what food you should consume before taking Aleve. Milk is preferred as it helps to increase mucous in the intestines.

Does Aleve Interact With Other Medicines?

Interactions are reactions that occur when another medicine is consumed simultaneously. This can lower drug effectiveness and may lead to other consequences.

Aleve interacts with other medications. This can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, heart stroke, and blood clotting problems. Aleve interacts with the following drugs:

  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Ibuprofen
  • Lisinopril
  • Metformin
  • Aspirin

Kindly note that the above drug interactions are not a complete list. Contact your doctor to find out which interactions harm you.

The Proper Dose Of Aleve

Knowing all medicines’ proper forms and dosages is essential, especially if you consume OTC medication. The dose can vary according to the pain you are experiencing. Here is the general availability of Aleve.

Forms And Strengths

Aleve strengths are given below but should be taken under the doctor’s instruction. Your doctor will determine which strength is right for you.

  • Tablet: 220mg (OTC), 250mg, 275mg, 500mg
  • Capsule: 220mg
  • Oral suspension: 25mg/ml


It is known that Naproxen can be taken without a prescription, but it is advisable to let your doctor know about it. You should also contact your doctor if you have any health conditions.

  • For Adults: One tablet/one capsule every 8 to 12 hours
  • For Paediatrics: Children under 12 years should have a prescription.

Pregnant/breastfeeding women should consume under supervision. Aleve will likely be passed on in milk during lactation.

What If I Missed A Dose Of Aleve?

Missing a dose is a common concern in most people’s lives. There are many reasons and circumstances behind it. It is required to keep track of your dosage.

You could skip and continue with the next dose if you missed a dose. However, don’t take a double dose to cover the previous one. It can lead to an overdose.

Aleve Side Effects

Side effects can vary for everyone. The human body takes time to absorb the medicine. While in this process, the system may experience some changes which may lead to side effects. If you experience any side effects, let your doctor know as soon as possible. Aleve’s side effects include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney problems
  • Gastrointestinal problem
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

Final Words From AzDrug

In conclusion, while it is possible to take Aleve on an empty stomach, it is not generally recommended due to the potential risk of stomach irritation and ulcers. The drug’s active ingredient, naproxen sodium, can harm the stomach lining. Therefore, Aleve is usually taken with food or milk to mitigate these effects. However, everyone’s body reacts differently to medications, so it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before changing your medication routine. They can provide personalized advice based on your health history and current medications. Remember, your health should always be your top priority.

Should I take Aleve before or after eating?

It is advisable to take Aleve with food or milk to minimize the risk of stomach irritation.

Is Aleve hard on the stomach?

While Aleve (naproxen) can be harsh on the stomach, taking it with food or milk may minimize potential irritation.

Can I take 2 Aleves at once?

It's advisable to follow the recommended dosage on the packaging. Taking more than directed can increase side effects risk.

Can you take Aleve every day for back pain?

Regular, long-term Aleve use for chronic back pain should be done under healthcare provider guidance. Prolonged use may increase side effects, so it's essential to discuss a suitable treatment plan for your specific condition.

Disclaimer: Please see your healthcare practitioner for any medical queries or concerns. Peer-reviewed research and information from medical societies and government agencies are used to support the articles in Health Guide. They are not, however, a replacement for expert medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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