Did we all get it wrong about Naproxen?

There was a recent thread on this data that just came out, but I wanted to give Naproxen its own thread because it has been thought that NSAIDs might be harmful to take on a regular basis. This data, however, suggests the opposite.

Personally, I have always used Aleve/Naproxen over Ibuprofen whenever I am under the weather because it masks the symptoms for a longer period of time and reduces pain just as well. If I took it before a work out, I definitely feel less joint pain.

There seems to be some signal with these NDAIDs given some of the data on this, aspirin, and White Willow Bark (even if it’s not in humans).

What do all the smart folks here think? Is it actually one of the best things we can take for longevity? Should we pop an Aleve every day to extend our lifespan?


I also use Naproxen as an anti inflammatory because it has the least negative impact on the heart of the nsaids. I don’t know what to make of the study results. nsaids definitely have a negative impact on heart, kidneys and stomach. At this point I’m assuming a confounding factor in an association study.


What do you suspect could be the negative confounding factor in this instance?

I would guess that people that have overall poor health, are more likely to have contraindications to nsaids. Anyone on blood thinners, anyone with chronic kidney disease, etc. Sick people are being excluded from the nsaid group.
Would be interesting if they compared Naprosyn to ibuprofen.

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I really can’t find any studies involving healthy people who take NSAIDs for headaches or minor pains.
This 2024 paper pretty much says it all;
"Cardiovascular disease increases with age and comorbidities.39,40 However, there is a paucity of research evaluating the cardiovascular risk of an aging population using NSAIDs for common pain conditions."

“Administrative data inherently carry risks of coding errors, misclassification, missing data or incomplete data, which could influence the accuracy of comorbidity profiles and medication adherence. The absence of detailed patient lifestyle behaviors, genetic predispositions, and socioeconomic factors from the database introduces potentially unknown confounding variables that are challenging to control.”

I do love Aleve, it is by far my favorite NSAID/minor pain reliever, just because I feel it works the best.

I guess in theory, if I took two Aleve every day for a week, during that week and perhaps a day or two beyond, inflammation in my body should be slightly less overall, which is a good thing. However I’d be worried about potential for intestinal bleeding or other distress if I kept that up indefinitely.

Along these lines, I have taken the powerful anti-inflammatory Meloxicam (15 mg) for an extended period. All I can say is WOW that works. My body felt 20 years younger in just a few day with respect to significant reduction in daily stiffness and pain in all joints. Waking up and getting out of bed brought a smile to my face because normal stiffness and discomfort vanished. This is how it felt to get out of bed when I was 20! Of course the problem with Meloxicam is it does have terrible potential side effects and if taken long enough would probably endanger your life through intestinal bleeding, etc. While Aleve is much milder I imagine long term chronic use would eventually take its toll.


I also took that same dose of Meloxicam last year after a minor surgery and I totally agree it works exceptionally well. I felt uneasy about taking it because I assumed it was bad for my health. Maybe it wasn’t THAT bad after all.

I also agree that Aleve is my favorite NSAID too if I ever need to take one. I can lift heavier in the gym because I don’t have to worry about any aches and pains.

It seems Naproxen is the NSAID with the least damaging cardiovascular effects.


Yes me too, it’s funny–before I took it I went on the internet and looked up peoples’ experience with it. Man the comments were full of people having horrible side effects of all types, very scary sounding. But I took the plunge and found it worked for me very well. While I was taking it I was frequently asking myself, “hey I felt a twinge in my gut, am I experiencing intestinal damage/bleeding?” I was comically vigilant about any possible negative symptoms. I was lucky and had none, but it did feel like I was playing with fire a bit, as it is a powerful drug.

Also, one more n=1 with Aleve: When I take it at bedtime I find it generally improves the quality of my sleep, as it increases my overall body comfort.

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I suspect its normally used for muscle pains. I have been perscribed it for a pulled back muscle after lifting too much weight. Someone who is unhealthy wont be going to the gym or playing tennis and pulling something. It could just be a proxy for exercise.
Aspirin and Tylenol make up excedrin and are probably proxies for headaches, stress and poor mental health.
Ibuprofen is also known for muscle use, but i think it’s less commonly prescribed for this? Any data on this? Is it at least better aspirin and Tylenol in this study?

I noticed naproxen did better in males than females and i suspect that in males its a better proxy for ego causing sports injuries as we try to forget we’re getting older. In women its probably as often caused by frailties, and less likely to visit gym…
Women also dont need as much exercise to live a long time.

I’m glad I didn’t look up Meloxicam before taking it. I swear there are people with horror stories no matter what drug or supplement is mentioned. I didn’t feel anything from it other than pain relief.

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I would really hope that nobody is going to start Naprosyn as a daily supplement based on this study. Risks would certainly outweigh possible benefits.

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How can we be so certain the risks outweigh the possible 10% life extension? I’d say this one is far from settled.

I personally won’t be using it daily. However, I no longer will do everything I can to avoid taking it whenever I get a headache or feel a little sore. Maybe some intermittent use could have benefits here.

What is the absolute risk of a once-daily dose of 220 mg, which is half of the maximum recommended daily dose? If people are already taking NSAIDs, which is probably most of the older people, why wouldn’t they benefit from switching to naproxen?

I’m going with known risks outweigh unproven benefits.

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