Naproxen (G 32 500) and Alcohol: Okay to Mix? – Naproxen sodium (G 32 500 pill) is a pain reliever commonly used for muscle and joint aches. While naproxen is considered relatively safe in small doses, both this medication and alcohol come with their own set of potential health risks. Combining the two substances can induce adverse and potentially dangerous effects.
What Is Naproxen Sodium?
Naproxen is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that can be obtained over-the-counter and, as noted, is commonly used to treat pain and tenderness associated with muscle and joint aches, menstrual periods, and various forms of arthritis. It comes in tablet and liquid form.
Naproxen is commonly sold under the brand name Aleve but is also marketed as Anaprox, Flanax, Naprosyn, and various generic forms. Regardless of the brand name, naproxen has been associated with certain risks, especially if abused.
Combining Naproxen and Alcohol
Because naproxen reduces prostaglandins in the body, responsible for inflammatory reactions, the drug is typically used to reduce pain and swelling. However, the positive parts of prostaglandin thicken to protect the stomach lining, so using excessive amounts of naproxen or taking it with alcohol can damage the stomach lining, possibly resulting in chronic stomach upset or bleeding, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Some risks of consuming alcohol with naproxen sodium include the following:
- Holes in the stomach or intestine
- Heartburn and digestion issues
- Bloody vomit, or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Blood in the stool, or black or tar-like stools
Side Effects of Naproxen
Using naproxen as directed is generally not going to pose a significant health risk. However, taking naproxen more frequently than necessary, in higher doses than directed, or in combination with other NSAIDs or alcohol can significantly increase the risk of these side effects.
Side effects sometimes associated with naproxen use include the following:
- Back pain
- Elevated blood pressure
- Jaundice (yellow eyes/skin)
Potential Long-Term Effects of Combining Naproxen and Alcohol
There is a reason health care providers ask their patients what medications they are taking. Combining certain drugs can cause adverse effects to one’s health and can even be lethal. Even with NSAIDs like naproxen, it’s essential to tell your doctor about all your medications to be transparent regarding any potential hazards.
If a person uses naproxen in conjunction with alcohol, not only do they run a higher risk of developing side effects from the medication, but they also increase their chance of developing alcohol dependence or addiction.
Combining naproxen and alcohol can result in issues such as the following:
- Increased likelihood of experiencing the adverse side effects of naproxen
- Increased risk of becoming physically and emotionally dependent or addicted to alcohol
- Increased risk of overdose related to one or both substances
Medical Detox Programs for Alcoholism
If a person is combining alcohol and naproxen regularly despite knowing the risks, it may signify they are experiencing an alcohol use disorder or addiction. Fortunately, however, if you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, there are effective treatment options available. Although overcoming alcohol addiction can feel overwhelming, it is very treatable through detox services, medication-assisted treatment, and therapeutic rehab facilities.
When individuals use alcohol excessively, their body develops a tolerance to it and becomes dependent on the presence of alcohol to function normally. If an individual quits drinking abruptly or “cold turkey,” they are at a higher likelihood of experiencing dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following:
- Brain fog
- Clammy skin
While most drug withdrawals are unpleasant and sometimes painful, they are not usually considered life-threatening. However, alcohol withdrawal, in particular, can be lethal if not properly supervised. Most hospitals and drug rehab facilities have on-site detox services, including medication, round-the-clock medical monitoring, and emotional support throughout the withdrawal process.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse And Addiction
After a person has undergone detox, they should consider additional treatment options for the next stage of recovery. Residential (inpatient) treatment is the most secure level of care, as individuals stay overnight and are provided with 24/7 supervision. During the day, they are allowed to engage in various therapies to foster their recovery, including psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, recreational activities, support groups, and more.
Partial hospitalization programs offer more flexible scheduling for those unable to participate in residential care for flexibility or insurance reasons. These programs will be less supervised but include most of the same treatment elements as more intensive treatment options.
Most reputable rehab programs, such as those offered by Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery, also provide specialized care for co-existing disorders to serve those who experience both a substance use disorder and additional mental health diagnoses, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.