Can you take 3 Aleve at once? When you have a headache or other pain, it is tempting to take Aleve or similar medication more than advised. In this article, I will describe the recommended dosage of Aleve, particularly whether you can take 3 at once.
Is it okay to take 3 Aleve at once? It is not advised to take 3 Aleve at once as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. For Aleve, the manufacturer’s instructions state not to take more than two tablets or liquid gels in 12 hours, and not more than three tablets or liquid gels in 24 hours.
Some people might be able to take 3 Aleve at once; however, some might experience side effects if they take more than the proper dosage. So, it is best to only take 2 Aleve at once.
Read on to learn more about taking 3 Aleve at once and the side effects that can come from doing so.
Can You Take 3 Aleve at Once?
Aleve is an analgesic and antipyretic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that you can buy over the counter. It eases minor pains and aches (analgesic) caused by various conditions. It also reduces fever (antipyretic) that may be a symptom of certain underlying diseases. Aleve is the brand name of the drug naproxen.
Formulation of Aleve
Aleve can come in the form of 200 milligrams (mg) of liquid gels, caplets, tablets, and gel caps. Each formulation can last for 12 hours. You only need 2, which will last for 24 hours.
- 1 caplet or tablet every 8 to 12 hours for adults and children 12 years and older
- For the initial dose, you may take 2 caplets/tablets but don’t exceed 2 caplets/tablets within 12 hours or 3 caplets/tables within 24 hours
How many Aleve can you take at once? Like most medications, you should follow the proper dosage of Aleve. There’s a reason why it is recommended to only 2 Aleve tablets at once. If you’re a healthy person, your 3-tablet intake would not probably affect you significantly–that is, if it happens only once. However, it’s different for other people.
What Happens When You Take More than the Recommended Aleve Dosage?
The effect of taking too much Aleve differs for each individual. Here are the possible effects on various individuals.
Effects on People with Liver and Kidney Impairment
For susceptible individuals, such as people who have liver and kidney dysfunction, certain Aleve dosages can cause problems. Health problems often arise when they take this medication regularly.
With liver and kidney impairment, the body won’t be able to eliminate the drug effectively. This organ impairment will cause the accumulation of the drug and its metabolites in your body, causing toxicity.
This condition is harmful to your health, especially if you have cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ailments. Reportedly, naproxen brands, such as Aleve, increase your risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cerebrovascular attack (stroke). They also increase the risk of adverse gastrointestinal effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers.
Effects on the Elderly
The elderly are also susceptible individuals to the possible side effects of naproxen drugs. Why? Because the organs of most elderly individuals are no longer fully functional, so they tend to get affected more easily.
Effects on Healthy Individuals
On the other hand, individuals with normally functioning kidneys and liver could eliminate the excess drug through their urine and its metabolism in their liver. Nevertheless, the continuous misuse of Aleve can eventually damage your kidneys, heart, and gastrointestinal tract.
If you’re allergic to aspirin, you could suffer from severe allergic reactions, such as hives, facial swelling, and asthma. So, it’s always wise to follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. This action is to ensure that you stay healthy while alleviating your fever and pain.
If you have any signs or symptoms, as mentioned above, you have to consult a doctor immediately.
How Many Days Can You Take Aleve?
For pain, you should not take Aleve for more than 10 consecutive days. For fever, you should not take it for more than 3 days. If your pain doesn’t subside before 10 days, this symptom indicates that you may have a severe underlying condition. Pain is only a symptom. You have to consult your doctor for some diagnostic tests to determine the disease.
If your fever remains intermittent after three days, consult your doctor because the primary cause may not be physiologic but pathological. So, if your fever is physiologic (not caused by sickness), it would go away in less than three days. The doctor may request some laboratory diagnostic tests to find out what has caused your feverish state.
What Are the Uses of Aleve?
You can use Aleve for pain, fever, and inflammatory conditions, which include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Joint stiffness and pain caused by bursitis, gout attacks, and arthritis
- Muscle aches
- Pain after dental procedures
- Shoulder pains
- Back pains
- Sinus pressure and nasal congestion (Aleve-D)
What Are the Side Effects of Aleve?
Aleve’s active component is 200 mg naproxen sodium. Belonging to this type of NSAID, Aleve has the following side effects:
Common Side Effects
- Abdominal pain
- Gastric (stomach) ulcers
- Hearing disturbances
- Muscle tremors
- Elevation of cardiac and liver enzymes in the blood
Serious Side Effects
- Gastrointestinal tract bleeding
- Cardiac conditions (heart attack, stroke)
- Anaphylactic reactions due to aspirin allergy
If any of these negative side effects persist, consult your doctor immediately. You may be one of those individuals under the contraindicated list. Follow your doctor‘s order because he knows what is best for your existing condition. He knows whether the benefits of the drug are more significant than the risks.
There may be other symptoms not found on the list. When you experience unpleasant side effects not found in this list, report them to your doctor anyhow. Each individual responds to treatment differently.
Contraindications to the Use of Aleve – Who Should Not Take Aleve?
1. Allergy to Aspirin
People who are allergic to aspirin will have severe or fatal allergic reactions to Aleve. The symptoms are skin reddening, swollen face, hives, and asthma, including anaphylactic shock.
2. Gastrointestinal Disorders
Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders cannot take the drug because it will exacerbate their condition.
3. Cardiac Problems
If you have cardiac problems, you have to take precautions when taking Aleve. Aleve increases your risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.
Aleve may increase the risk of hypertension. Hence, people with hypertension should be cautious in taking the medication. If you’re hypertensive, consult your doctor first before taking Aleve.
5. Liver Dysfunction
The liver is the body’s main metabolic organ. It’s responsible for the proper breakdown and elimination of any substance that enters your body, including medications. People with liver problems will have trouble metabolizing the drug in their systems. This effect will allow Aleve to accumulate in the body, causing untoward results.
6. Kidney Dysfunction
The kidneys excrete waste products from your body through your urine. An impaired kidney would not be able to eliminate the drug and its metabolites. Thus, it will accumulate in your system. This accumulation would negatively affect your kidneys and heart.
7. Pregnant and Lactating Women
As a precautionary measure, pregnant and lactating women are prohibited from taking the drug. No extensive studies are done on the effects of Aleve on pregnant and lactating women. But, to play safe, experts don’t recommend its intake.
8. Diuretic Intake
Don’t take Aleve with diuretics at once. They don’t go well together. The action of the diuretics could increase when they chemically react to naproxen.
9. Intake of Other Drugs
Naproxen has severe interactions with certain drugs. Here are some of them:
10. Intake of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
Don’t drink alcohol and take illegal drugs while on Aleve medication. Aleve may cause dizziness and headache, which could worsen with alcohol and illicit drug intake. Not only that, but the other symptoms could also aggravate Aleve’s other side effects. Examples of illicit drugs are cocaine, barbiturates, heroin, and morphine.
These are some of the medications that could interact with Aleve. But there are still a number of them out there. Before taking any medication together with Aleve, consult your doctor first. Certain drugs may interact with Aleve and cause serious reactions.
We’ve answered the question, ‘Can you take 3 Aleve at once?’; next, let’s look at tips for taking Aleve.
Tips for Taking Aleve
1. Inform the Doctor About Your Medical History
To facilitate proper treatment using Aleve, inform your doctor of your medical history (if the doctor is not your family doctor).
2. Take Aleve with Food to Decrease the Risk of Stomach Upset
Food would reduce the acidity caused by aspirin in your stomach. Aspirin is a blood thinner, so it affects an empty stomach.
3. Take Note of Aleve’s Precautions and Follow Them Correctly
If you’re among the high-risk people, consult a doctor first. The doctor will determine other treatment options for your pain and fever.
4. Follow the Recommended Dosage Accurately
The majority of those who take Aleve within the recommended dosage has experienced only mild to no side effects.
5. The Elderly (60 Years Old and Above) Must Consult the Doctor First Before Taking Aleve
As you grow older, your body organs also slow down. It’s like an old car–the engine won’t be as smooth-working as it was when it was new. Doctors know this, so they take special care in giving medications to the elderly.
The kidneys of older persons are slow in eliminating toxic waste products, and their liver is sluggish in detoxifying the body of harmful substances. These dysfunctions will affect other organs in the body, such as the heart and gastrointestinal tract.
6. Drink Milk or Lots of Water to Reduce the Risk of Gastrointestinal Disturbances and Prevent Dehydration
Your body’s cells need water to perform their physiologic functions efficiently. Therefore, drink enough water for the day. That would be at least 8 glasses of water. You can also drink fruit juices but avoid the citrus ones as many of them contain citric acid. But most fruit juices are high in sugar. If you have diabetes, opt for unsweetened drinks.
7. Long Term Use of Aleve Can Affect Your Heart, GI Tract, and Other Internal Organs
Do not take Aleve for more than 10 days for pain or more than 3 days for fever. If your pain symptoms persist after these designated days, again, consult a doctor. There’s something seriously wrong with your body. The doctor would find out about any pathological condition that causes your pain and fever.
How Is Aleve Compared with Advil and Tylenol?
Aleve gives you a day’s relief with only two tablets, while Tylenol and Advil would provide relief for only 8 hours. Also, Aleve is stronger than Tylenol in treating pain and fever.
Also, Aleve has anti-inflammatory action while relieving pain, but Tylenol only relieves pain. So, in some inflammatory conditions, Aleve is more effective. On the other hand, Advil is ibuprofen that has the same action as naproxen. They are both anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Treatment of Acute and Chronic Pain
Although Advil is better in treating acute pain, Aleve is longer-lasting, which you could use for chronic conditions. Because of its longer-lasting effect, Aleve tends to cause more gastrointestinal problems (ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding) than Advil.
The prescription strength of the three drugs differs, too. Aleve is only 200 mg, while Tylenol and Advil are at 500 mg. This fact means it takes a more significant dose for Tylenol and Advil to ease painful conditions.
Conclusion – Can You Take 3 Aleve at Once?
So, can you take 3 Aleve at once? It is not recommended to take 3 Aleve at once because it may lead to unwanted side effects such as nausea. You should follow the dosage instructions for Aleve.
The manufacturer’s instructions state not to take more than 2 tablets or liquid gels in 12 hours, and not more than 3 tablets or liquid gels in 24 hours. Susceptible individuals may suffer mild to serious side effects if they take more than the proper dosage.
When you follow the dosage accurately, Aleve’s side effects are minimal in individuals with no organ impairment.