I can’t tell you how many times I have used Aleve because of the occasional gout flare up. Gout is a disease caused when your body processes proteins from meat and sea food into uric acid. Too much uric acid will result in inflammation. As long as the pain is manageable, I pop Naproxen (Aleve) pills to manage it. For me, it is the first line of defense for a minor gout attack. There are three main drugs in this group that basically do the same thing.
There is naproxen, aspirin and ibuprofen which are all available over the counter. All three are a non-steroid anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID). They are used to treat pain, fever, inflammation and stiffness. NSAIDs work by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes in your body. It basically works by stopping the body’s production of a substance that causes pain, fever and inflammation. All three work to ease menstrual pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and acute gout.
Naproxen Side Effects
Naproxen side effects cause gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers and stomach bleeding. It has also been linked to increase of heart attacks and stroke with constant use at high doses. Naproxen may interfere and reduce the efficiency of SSRI antidepressants such as Fluoxetine and Sertraline. This is a negative drug to drug interaction.
Aspirin Side Effects
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is considered the most favorable of the three only because it has an antiplatelet effect. Basically it inhibits an enzyme that joins platelets together and keeps from forming together and creating a clog in your artery which results in heart attack or stroke. That is why doctors recommend aspirin daily for older adults.
The most undesirable side effect for Aspirin is gastrointestinal ulcers and stomach bleeding with comes from constant use at higher doses. You have to find the appropriate balance between preventing heart attacks and ulcers. Aspirin has been found to be ineffective for pain caused by muscle cramps, bloating and acute skin irritation.
Ibuprofen Side Effects
Ibuprofen (Advil) side effects are the worst of the three. They include nausea, upset stomach, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, rash and higher blood pressure. With constant use, it has also been known to increase hearing loss as well as increase skin sensitivity. Ibuprofen also has an antiplatelet effect but it is much milder and shorter lived than Aspirin. In really rare cases, Ibuprofen can cause heart failure and kidney impairment at higher doses.
Ibuprofen does have some positive qualities such as being associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. There is a theory that Ibuprofen may delay or even prevent it. That still has to be tested. The second benefit is as a possible treatment for acne due to its inflammation properties.
All three over the counter drugs have their individual benefits and side effects. Based on this information, you can make an informed judgment on which to use. Which one do you prefer?