Aleve belongs to the drug class nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is used to relieve symptoms of arthritis and other painful conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, Aleve can be used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis and menstrual cramps. This medication works by blocking chemical signals that cause inflammation and are related to pain. Aleve is available over the counter, while stronger forms can be prescribed. As with all medications, you should be aware of the possible side effects of Aleve and what to do if you experience them.
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Gastrointestinal System Side Effects
Aleve may cause serious side effects on your gastrointestinal system, according to Drugs.com. This occurs because Aleve reduces substances in your digestive tract that prevent your stomach acid from damaging stomach tissue. This can result in coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, black, bloody or tarry stools, dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice. These are serious symptoms and you should immediately stop taking Aleve and call your doctor if you are experiencing them. Less serious effects will likely improve as your body adjusts to taking Aleve, but include nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas. Take Aleve with food if you begin to experience these effects. You may also take over-the-counter stomach relief medications if these less serious side effects become bothersome.
Nervous System Side Effects
According to Drugs.com, you may experience unwanted side effects to your nervous system. This occurs because Aleve blocks chemical signals that are active in your nervous system. Disruption in these chemical signals may cause weakness, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, urinating less than usual or not at all, headache, tingling, numbness, pain, neck stiffness or muscle weakness. You should immediately stop taking Aleve and call your doctor if you are experiencing these serious nervous system side effects. Upon taking Aleve, you may experience blurry vision or ringing in your ears, which are less serious side effects and should improve over time. Always let your doctor know of any side effects that you may be experiencing.
Skin Side Effects
Aleve may cause unwanted side effects to your skin. Serious side effects include severe blistering with a headache, peeling, red skin rash or purple spots on the skin, according to Drugs.com. These effects are serious and you should immediately stop taking Aleve and call your doctor. Do not apply any skin creams to these rashes until you speak with your doctor. You may also experience slight skin itching or rash. If you do not see sign of a more serious skin rash, you may apply non-medicated lotion to these areas to ease your discomfort.