I understand that the half-life of naproxen in the body is 12-17 hours. My question involves something I haven't found in other forums.
When does it become safe to consume alcohol after taking an NSAID such as naproxen? If I take 1 unit of naproxen at 7:00 PM on Thursday, can I drink at 7:00 PM on Friday even though, according to the half-life, there is still about one-third the amount of naproxen in my system?
And if I took 2 units of naproxen at 7:00 PM, then in the afternoon the next day, I'd still have the equivalent of 1 unit of Naproxen in my system due to half-life metabolization. This would mean that if I drank alcohol that afternoon, it is the same as if I had just taken 1 naproxen on top of whatever I'm drinking. Yes? I would think so because the liver still has that unit to metabolize on top of the alcohol you are now consuming. And I don't think that people taking this kind of medicine realize this, as the warning label just says "don't take with alcohol". Is my analysis correct?
I've always wondered about this scenario since this question also applies to other medicines with a long half-life and alcohol or other drug interactions. Feel free to go into any detail, I have a (rusty) background in pharmacology.
You are right in theory and wrong in practice. The Naproxen can be taken with alcohol. Thats right- the papaer you are reading isnt the final authority on truth, and in fact, VERY far from it.
Truth: Naproxen can hurt your stomach, lead to Ulcers and perforation. The longer you take it, the higher the dose, the higher the risk.
Truth: Many people take Naproxen for YEARS w/o any stomach ills.
Truth: The same exact facts hold for alcohol (Ulcers, etc)
Truth: Adding Naproxen with alcohol raises the risk of side effects.
Truth: If drinking or taking Naproxen or both cause you stomach pain, STOP.
Its that easy. Really.
Hope that helps,
B. Mxxxx. MD, FACEP
The above comment is correct. Everything in moderation. I have never heard of anyone that has had a reaction to naproxen and alcohol so I would think that one or two drinks would not hurt you. Naproxen is not like a narcotic where it would intensify the effect. Taking Naproxen while consuming alcohol will not intensify the effect so you shouldn't have a problem. Take care,
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