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Can Diabetics Take Naproxen? Yes, They Can But With Cautions

Too much sugar coating can ruin a cake. And the same goes for diabetes. This metabolic disorder makes things too sugary in your body but in a detrimental way. However, medical sciences and lifestyle alternations can bring things on track if you follow them correctly. 

Pain management for a person with diabetes is a tricky job for any physician. While prescribing common NSAIDs,’ they face the question ‘can diabetics take naproxen’ more than anything else. 

Let me assure you that, yes, diabetics can take naproxen with a few things to keep in mind. Stay with me to learn them in detail. 

can diabetics take naproxen
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Table of Content

What Happens In Diabetes

Before we jump into what exactly naproxen does to diabetics, let us have an idea about diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that raises your blood sugar. It is related to the production of insulin hormones. Insulin is the prime hormone that helps in glucose metabolism. It transports glucose to reach the cellular level.

In diabetes mellitus, insulin production is obstructed or ceased. As a result, the glucose increases in the blood but fails to support the cells.

Diabetes has a lot of types like Type 1, Type 2, Gestational diabetes, Prediabetes. Even though the types are different, mainly the root cause is the same. The symptoms are also pretty much the same for all. They are:

  • Excessive urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Retinopathy
  • Pigmentation in skin
  • Dizziness 

Medicines For Diabetics

This is to remember that diabetics are sensitive to medicines. You cannot give all types of regular medication to them. Most of the drugs affect the blood sugar level. Often it fumbles up their physical health. This can harm the life of a diabetic.

Be it sleeping pills or nerve relaxins; you must keep all of them under close observation. Elderly diabetic patients often overdose on medicines. These can lead to multiple organ failures and even death.

Usually, we barely oversee what medicine we are having. We hardly pay attention if it triggers our underlying or pre-existing conditions. However, as a person with diabetes, it is very vital to notice if your medicine affects your glucose level. Look out for signs like vomiting, excessive sweating, urination, or salivation. These are symptoms of having reactions to the drugs you are taking.

A slight headache or stomach upset, be careful of what you are taking if you have diabetes! Now coming to our center of attraction: Naproxen. At first, let us begin with a few things about naproxen:

All About Naproxen

Naproxen is a pain killer used to relieve headaches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, bone pain, tendonitis, dental pain, etc. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the natural substances that block inflammation. Finally, it reduces pain.

It is available in the market in two forms: Naproxen base and Naproxen sodium. Out of which, the naproxen base is more robust.

Naproxen is given for about 3-5 days to an adult. Children can also have naproxen but to a limited dosage.

If you ask whether diabetics take naproxen, my answer is yes; they can. However, it is highly recommended to be taken in a high dose to avoid hypoglycemia. NSAIDs like naproxen influences the ion channels of the body and obstructs the insulin-secreting beta cells. As a result, it reduces glucose levels causing hypoglycemia.

Can Diabetics Take Naproxen

Naproxen is a quick-acting pain relief medicine. So, people usually prefer having it. But you have to be a bit careful if you have diabetes.

Naproxen is metabolized in the liver by inactive molecules. A diabetic patient already has a delicate liver. If a patient has Type 2 diabetes for a long time, it can progress to liver disorders like hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatomegaly, hepatic failure, etc. Moreover, as a diabetic undergoes daily medication, they can have drug reactions with naproxen.

This can be tremendously dangerous for a diabetic. He may die out of acidosis in his blood.

A better option for diabetics is Tylenol than Naproxen. It is lighter on the liver and a lot safer.

A physician recommended dosage of naproxen for an adult diabetic is 500mg a day. But you should not continue this for more than 14 days.

When To Take Naproxen

Naproxen is prescribed whenever you are having pain in the body. It reduces body aches soon and works faster. It works by blocking the effects of the chemicals in the body.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are preferred for diabetics include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. But they are not recommended for taking for a long time as it harms the heart.

Naproxen Contraindications

Naproxen is contraindicated in patients who show hypersensitive reactions. Some reactions include Nasal polyps, asthma, rhinitis, angioedema or urticaria, etc. These reactions can prove to be fatal depending on the health of the patient.

Risk of Naproxen For Diabetics

The human body fails to regulate or metabolize glucose if you have diabetes. When your blood glucose is above the normal range, you are hyperglycemic. When it is below the normal range, it is called hypoglycemic.

NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen raise the blood glucose level. This happens by the manipulation of the painkiller in the liver. As a result, the liver enzymes are interrupted. And so, the hyperglycemic condition prevails.

Naproxen increases the risk of cardiac damage in diabetics. In addition to that, brain stroke is also noteworthy. So if you are still concerned about can diabetics take naproxen, the associated risks will make you cautious while using it. 

When taken in high doses, naproxen can initiate stomach irritation. This can be followed by bloating and gastritis. A diabetic already has a metabolic disorder pre-existing. When he takes a higher dose of naproxen, this can worsen his kidney condition. Gradually he can proceed to acute renal failure.

Naproxen Side Effects In Diabetics

Like every other medicine, naproxen can also show side effects. It depends on the individual. For a person with diabetes, these are very crucial. You should closely monitor it post-ingestion. Some symptoms often found are:

  • Shortness of breath with mild exertion
  • Swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Skin rash
  • Signs of stomach bleeding
  • Liver problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Little or no urination
  • Anemia
  • Skin reactions
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Bruising
  • Ringing in ears

Other Harmful Medicines For Diabetics

Initial problems with diabetics are their inability to metabolize glucose. This is because the pancreas of a diabetic fails to produce insulin hormone—this insulin hormone aids in metabolizing the glucose in the body. As a result, the metabolism is hampered.

The life of diabetic circles around do’s and don’ts. They have to keep a count on what they are eating. Similarly, their medications are also closely monitored. This is because quite a few medicines elevate the blood sugar level.

Often when these groups of medicines are given to diabetics, they can show drug reactions.

Some of these medicines that do so name below:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Statins

The medicines mentioned above can cause heart failure, steroid-induced diabetes, liver failure, renal failure, etc.

A Diabetic’s Alternative To Naproxen

Diabetics are given low-dose pain reliefs. This is because it will not besmirch their routine medications. However, for those who are worried about can diabetics take naproxen; I have some practical alternatives.  


The more advisable form of the drug for a diabetic is acetaminophen. This is because it lowers stomach irritation and causes less amount of damage to the kidney. But you should closely monitor this as it can harm the liver.


You can take a monitored level of capsaicin line of medicines. These will help to reduce your headache. This line of treatment is naturally available in chili. It controls the chemical substance P in the body.

Taking Capsaicin for too long can cause permanent damage to the nerve. In a diabetic, nerve damage is already a problem. So it’s better to have it in a minimal amount.


This group of medicine locally anesthetizes the pain areas. It promotes numbness in the area. These are available in gels and creams.

Harms Of Naproxen Overdose In Diabetics

Prolonged usage of naproxen or overdose of it may cause the following harms in a person:

Peripheral Neuropathy

One of the most common problems faced by a diabetic is peripheral neuropathy. Here, the patient gradually loses his sensation in the peripheral organs. A tingling sensation characterizes this at first. Then it is followed by progressive loss of sense.

Naproxen or similar painkillers tend to initiate numbness in the peripheral organs. That is for prolonged use. So it is prescribed to have naproxen in a limited yet monitored amount. Because already your fingers are at risk.  Some supplements are available for reducing nerve pains and tinglings.

Keep your blood sugar in control. This will reduce the chances of peripheral neuropathy. And take proper medications to heal nerve pain.


Like every other medicine, you can see allergic reactions to naproxen in hypersensitive people. They may show gastrointestinal problems or have skin conditions initially. Brain damage or any other major organ failure can be an advanced stage complication to it.

Liver Failure

As everything is broken down and metabolized in the liver, it happens with naproxen too. Excessive intake will vandalize your liver. This can progress to hepatic failure of liver carcinomas. Do you see one thing? No matter how many times you ask can diabetics take naproxen, the answer will always depend on the doses and your physical conditions. 

side effects on the liver may raise the question can diabetics take naproxen
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Initial signs of it include severe gastrointestinal problems. Eventually, it can cause anorexia. In addition, naproxen is excreted by the kidneys. Too much of it has the potential to cause renal failure.


Can Naproxen Be Taken With Metformin?

Metformin makes the body respond to insulin better. As a result, it reduces the amount of sugar released into the blood.

If naproxen and metformin are taken at the same time, it is deadly! It initiates severe bodily reactions. The patient is characterized by hyperglycemia, mental imbalances, and electrolyte imbalance.

This condition is called Lactic Acidosis. A diabetic must always be careful about the side effects of Metformin.

What Is The Best Alternative To Naproxen?

Ibuprofen is the best alternative as an Over The Counter medicine. It does not disrupt the gastrointestinal system and eases out the pain. So if you have diabetes and looking for an alternative to naproxen, go for ibuprofen.

Does Diabetes Nerve Pain Come And Go?

Diabetes kicks off nerve problems. After about four to five years of having diabetes, nerve pain begins.

Ever since that, nerve pains have come and gone for diabetics. Taking light painkillers can be of help in this situation.

Can You Take Naproxen Every Day?

Yes, but in the recommended dose.

People should only use OTC naproxen for a maximum short-term period of between 3–5 days for pain but not more than three days for fever. For ongoing treatment, people should consult their doctor first. For children between 2–12 years old, the maximum daily dose by weight is 20 mg/kg.


To simply put, yes, naproxen is safe for a diabetic but discouraged. Like every other drug, too much of it is terrible and triggers underlying conditions. In addition, as we all know, diabetes itself slows down your health and elevates the risk of health issues. 

A good health guide to diabetes and observation on regular medications is highly recommended for a good lifestyle. It is always better to avoid the pain from reaching a point of taking medicine than actually taking it! I am sure now you won’t ask can diabetics take naproxen to anyone because you know all about it. 

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