How Long After Ibuprofen Can I Take Aleve (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 8-12  Hours

It doesn’t matter when you take the ibuprofen, just that you do it before the Aleve. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and a strong medication used to treat pain, fever, inflammation, and swelling. 

Aleve is a naproxen sodium prescription-only medicine that treats pain or inflammation caused by arthritis. The two are commonly taken together for their combined effects on pain relief and reducing inflammation in joints – but they can’t be taken simultaneously because of how they interact with one another, so don’t get them confused. Do you want to know why there should be a gap between its consumption? Let’s dive in

How Long After Ibuprofen Can I Take Aleve?

Drug NameTime Gap to take the Drug
IbuprofenEvery 6-8 hours
AleveEvery 8-12 hours

It is not recommended to take ibuprofen after you have taken an Aleve because Aleve prevents platelets from sticking together. In addition, combining these two medications can cause a severe condition called “thrombus.” 

A thrombus forms when platelets clump together and stick to the inside of someone’s artery or vein. This causes blood to clot where there should be no clotting, which is treatable but very dangerous. 

This is why you need to be careful and wait at least 8-12 hours after ibuprofen to take Aleve. Aleve works well with pain but ibuprofen can delay the pain-relieving effect of Aleve. In addition, Aleve may increase the severity of stomach irritation caused by taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen and can also cause GI bleeding in a small number (1-10) of patients taking NSAIDs every year. 

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Because this combination risk’s a significant deal, it is not recommended that anyone take both in one day. Please see your doctor before taking any drug that does not advise against other drugs in their pamphlet.

Ibuprofen should not be taken together with Aleve 24 hours a day for more than three days in a row or two weeks total duration due to fluid retention, and heart failure risks possible from prolonged use.

Aleve also has other side effects such as irritation, dizziness, and high blood pressure. Therefore you only need to take Aleve after ibuprofen if the previous drug is not giving adequate pain relief within the 8 hours. So, it is better to stay within the recommended dosage if the pain persists.

Why Should I Wait So Long After Ibuprofen to Take Aleve?

There is some evidence that the long-acting NSAID naproxen may inhibit the COX-2 pathway with chronic use, but it’s a relatively weak inhibitor. That means if you take ibuprofen and then Aleve in close succession, there might be a significant amount of COX-2 activity still happening – and COX-2 activity is what causes many of Aleve’s side effects like ulcers.

 But this doesn’t mean you’re doomed to experience side effects just because of naproxen being taken in close proximity to ibuprofen “as soon as” the ibuprofen has had time to leave your system. You would need to take it within about 1 hour to happen. Just make sure to avoid the close gap to stay away from side effects. 

This is why it is recommended that you wait between 8-12 hours after taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs to take Aleve. The acid in many NSAIDs can damage the stomach and lining and interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients from food. Aleve does not cause these problems because it works on your body’s COX-2 enzyme rather than blocking the production of prostaglandins like ibuprofen does.

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Additionally, some studies have linked long-term use of ibuprofen and other pain relievers to kidney disease and heart attacks (although more research needs to be done). However, taken within 12 hours, Aleve is just as effective. People who do take both drugs must also ensure the dosage is correct. For example, adults can take up to 1200 mg of ibuprofen, while 600 mg is suitable for Aleve.

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Conclusion

If you’ve been wondering how long after ibuprofen can I take Aleve, The most common length of time is about 8-12 hours. Many factors could affect this, such as your weight and medication taken before taking Aleve. 

So if you want to know how long after ibuprofen I can take Aleve, make sure to contact your healthcare professional to be on the safe side. Usually, doctors recommend taking NSAIDs with food to reduce the impact of digestive side effects. Remember, do not ever combine these drugs to get relief. This is because taking these two together is not giving you any benefits rather it increases the side effects.

Reference:

  1. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/abs/10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-877

2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002934317307179