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2 Stores128 Reviews
Pros: It helps a bit. I did not find it as good as aspirin.
Cons: If something might cause stroke or heart attack, I will just pass.
No one likes to hurt. I mean, really, do you wake up and say: I want to hurt all day? That is how it goes for many people. It can be the wear and tear of growing older, or it can be a disease that causes pain in various and not-so-pretty ways. When it comes right down to it, pain is just pain. You do not want it. And, if you can take something to get rid of or limit the pain, then that seems to be a good thing.
I have lupus, so pain medications hit my radar. All things being equal, I would love to pop two pills and call the doctor tomorrow morning or just not at all. If I can take over-the-counter, then I would prefer to do that. Visiting the doctor takes a lot of time, and its expensive even with insurance. Heaven help those without insurance.
Since aspirin and tylenol can be hard on the stomach and on the liver, Aleve always sounded like a good alternative. It contains naproxen, which is the same drug in Celebrex and other perscription drugs touted to relieve pain. The pitch has been that Aleve will go easier on the internal organs and also provide longer relief meaning you can take less medicine (good all round and on the pocketbook). This sounds good, of course. Sign me up! Oh yes.
I never really found Aleve to be that effective. When I have pain requiring medicine, it usually involves some sort of inflamation. In other words, I blow up and then feel like cr*p. You cant tell that Im bloated or whatever by looking. I just feel it in my bones (or more likely my joints). Plain old aspirin works better for problems with swelling or with things related to swelling. Think of tension headaches here. You have swelling. The blood slows down. You begin to hurt in your shoulders, down your spin, across your head. Aspirin gets that blood flowing. Instant relief in many cases.
Aspirin is kind of hard on my stomach though. If I take more than a couple in a day or take it for a few days in a row, then my stomach begins to feel acidy, and I start to have heartburn. That is not quite as bad as joint pain, but it ranks close. Though aspirin is my medicine of choice, I do toss others in the mix when feeling rather churny in my stomach. If I can the same or similar results, I would opt for something that does not make me feel like I ate a wild cat.
When considering Tylonol and Aleve, its about a toss up. Neither does the trick like aspirin. Both take the edge off. Sometimes a little relief seems worth it especially if I dont detect any negative side effects. If you want to really feel bad, then read what can happen when taking any given mecicationpain med or not. If you consider all that, then you will never take a thing.
I noticed the news coming out about Celebrex and other perscription drugs containing naproxen. Since I am often offered such drugs given my diagnosis, I keep an eye out for reports. I tend to turn down drugs unless in a real bind, so this is not a real big deal. Still, I have bottles in the cabinet that fall in this high stroke/heart attack category. I do not take these often (thank goodness). I have thrown them out so wont even be tempted in the future. When the choices are hurt or dead, I guess hurt sounds better.
It did catch me a little off guard that Aleve was in the same family with the high risk pain relievers. I dont know why. We have often had drugs go out that are not that safe. There are kids out there now with missing limbs from some medicine that was said to help prevent miscarriage. Now, that is one heck of a trade off. If I could have spoken from the womb, I would have told my mom to wing it. Stacking the deck but bringing me to the world without rather critical pieces would not be something I would say to try. I dont go for aces up the sleeve. They will almost always bite you in the butt.
When drug companies want something out there, and when that something makes money, then the temptation is to throw it out. Do know that there is little data about the long-term effects of naproxen or any other related pain medciation. This stuff is just too new. And, it is not life saving. It is just pain reducing. I can see rushing a cancer drug to market when it might help, but an over-the-counter pain reducer is not or should not be a rush-rush job. Sure. I might feel bad, but I am still kicking. Do not toss me something that might put me in a wheel chair or drooling on myself or might even land me dead.
If you have Aleve in the cabinet, then I would suggest that you throw it out. It may be fine, but it may not be. Do you really want to chance a stroke or a heart attack for a few hours of moderate pain relief? Really now, I doubt it. The whole idea is to have a better life and not to be sitting there not able to speak your mind or to be cold in a coffin.
Oh yeah. Safe is better than sorry or dead. This is why I am super careful on taking drugs whether perscribed by the doctor or on the shelf at CVS. There are times when toughing it out makes more sense.
The study that brought the Aleve problem to the attention of the media is loacted at:
USA Today is mainstream, and you get the nutshell story here:
Here is a well thought out article on pain medications in general including Aleve.