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How Long Does Aleve Take to Work?

Are you suffering from pain? Aleve is one of your best options for pain relief. You may be vulnerable to taking plenty of pain medications if you need instant subsidy for your pain.

Taking a fist full of medications will not save you from the intolerable pain you’re suffering from and instead cause harmful effects on your body. It is essential to know how long your medications take to work to take them in proper dosage.

Aleve is one of the most potent and widely used pain relief medications worldwide, so it is all the more important to know the topics I will discuss in this article- how long does aleve take to work?

Table of Content

What is Aleve?

Aleve is the brand name for naproxen sodium. It is an over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works to relieve pain. It can ease you from almost all types of pain, starting from regular migraine attacks to monthly menstrual cramps- aleve is a temporary solution to all. It is a long-acting drug, so you can use it to treat chronic sufferings like arthritis.

how long does aleve take to work

Your body has specific receptors called cyclooxygenase or COX receptors. It produces chemical substances called thromboxane and prostaglandins.

Aleve blocks these receptors to inhibit the production of both natural and pathological prostaglandins from reducing pain and inflammation.

When to take Aleve?

You can take aleve to get over almost all minor pain and inflammatory conditions. Be it intolerable headache from migraine, thumping menstrual cramps, toothache, or even back strains from muscle cramps. You can also use it to get your fever under control.

You can also use it to reduce pain suffering due to arthritis. Don’t forget to take your doctor’s advice, though.

How long does Aleve take to work?

Aleve requires a different duration of time to be effective in other conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common scenarios when Aleve is necessary.

How long does aleve take to work for headaches?

No luck with your migraine attacks even after trying various high-dose strong painkillers? Try aleve because it does the magic for most. Aleve blocks COX receptors. It reduces the synthesis of prostaglandins which causes less dilatation of vessels inside your brain.

This will, in turn, reduce your migraine pain. According to experimental studies, it has been proven that aleve only takes 2 hours to kick in and reduce your hammering headache.

Although aleve is the only pill that works for many, it can also make headaches worse for a few. You can also get medication rebound headaches as a side effect if you take aleve for other pain reliefs.

You can try natural alternatives like ginger and warm water if you have no luck with aleve or other pain killers. But make sure not to overdose on painkillers and consult your doctor for the most effective dose.

How long does aleve take to work for menstrual cramps?

If you’re a woman, you most certainly have moderate to severe menstrual cramps every month. Aleve is the most effective among NSAIDs in dealing with your cramps. For safe use and optimum effect of the drug, try to do the following.

Take aleve 1-2 days before your period starts

Now, this is if you have a regular menstrual cycle. If you have an irregular cycle, you wouldn’t know when your period is about to start, so you can take it after your period starts.

It is more effective if you take it before your period pain starts because aleve stops the production of prostaglandins in your body that is the substance responsible for inducing pain and causing cramps.

how long does aleve take to work

Continue taking for at least 3 days

This is including the 1 to 2 days before your period. It usually takes about 3 days for aleve to kick in entirely, but you will start to feel the effect within an hour after taking the pill.

Don’t take more than 3 pills a day

Make sure not to take more than 3 pills per day because it might cause a naproxen overdose.

Naproxen overdose occurs if you take too many or prescribed naproxen for too long.

This results in several adverse effects such as irritation, confusion, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, seizures, and many others. People with kidney with liver conditions are more susceptible to developing overdose symptoms, so be careful if you suffer from either.

Don’t take it with ibuprofen

It is best if you don’t take aleve with any other NSAIDs, especially ibuprofen, which is a common error people make when in extreme pain.

It can result in unfavorable gastrointestinal symptoms like bleeding. Try to space it for at least 6 hours if necessary and take it in the entire stomach to reduce the severity of symptoms.

How long does aleve take to work for a toothache?

Just visited a dentist? Suffering from a pounding toothache? Don’t worry, cause aleve will do wonders at bringing it down.

Toothache can result from nerve irritation, cavities forming because of bad oral hygiene and food stuck to your teeth longer than it should, infection, or because you’ve just been to a dentist and it’s been a nightmare.

According to studies, aleve takes the edge off postoperative dental pain in 1-12 hours. Aleve lessens swelling and, therefore, pain for all causes of toothache except if you have an infection. You can only treat infection with antibiotics. You must check with your dentist to find out the cause of your toothache.

How long does aleve take to work for muscle strains?

Although there are various reasons you could have back pain or neck pain, the most common cause is muscle strain. Aleve is the go-to drug for relieving pain resulting from muscle aches.

It reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation around your muscles and joints. It takes about 45 minutes to start working. You’ll feel the effects of it until about 4 hours.

However, you should get the cause of your neck pain and back pain evaluated by your health practitioner because it could just be for the new mattress you got at home or because of a deadlift that you tried at home. Get it checked to find out.

How long does aleve take to work for fever?

The release of prostaglandins by increased activity of cox receptors causes a spike in body temperature. Aleve will bring down your fever within an hour but make sure not to take it consecutively for more than 3 days.

How long does aleve take to work for arthritis?

Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints in your body. It can happen if you’re aging or if you’re young. If arthritis is affecting your joints in the spine, it is known as ankylosing spondylitis. If it’s affecting your big toe joints, it is known as gout.

If you have arthritis in any of its forms, you’re probably suffering from a pain you cannot describe. So much so that it is making you immobile and dysfunctional. In that case, aleve once again comes to the rescue. Aleve is not a cure for your sufferings. Yet, it is sure to minimize the unbearable pain you have even when you’re resting at night, let alone during your pain during movement.

Aleve is a long-acting drug as it has a long plasma half-life (12-17hrs). It stays in your body for at least 4 days, so you can use it for long-term treatment procedures like arthritis.

how long does aleve take to work

You’ll start to feel the effect of the drug in about an hour, but it might take from 3 days to several weeks before you see full benefits. Nevertheless, you should follow your doctor’s orders strictly when taking aleve for a prolonged time.

How long does aleve take to work for inflammation?

Prostaglandins cause inflammation. Aleve breaks down the prostaglandins in your liver and makes them inactive, reducing inflammation.

You can enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits of aleve at high doses, but you have to continue taking it for a few weeks to experience the real magic of aleve.

Aleve over other painkillers

Aleve is specifically more beneficial than other NSAIDS because you get the same effect from fewer pills. What is better than subsidizing your pain and also not having to take uncountable pills?

Generally, just 2 aleve tablets can relieve you from your excruciating pain for the entire day compared to other NSAIDs that need more frequent dosing. It also has fewer cardiac and renal side effects, so a considerable toxicity profile.

When not to take aleve

If you’ve been taking aleve for some time, you’re likely to face adverse effects as it shrinks down the mucosal layer in your stomach that protects you from drug reactions. It also inhibits platelet formation and increases water retention. It is essential to inform your doctor about the following if applicable-

  • If you have existing cardiac conditions like hypertension or cardiac failure, renal failure, or respiratory conditions like asthma.
  • If you’re planning to get pregnant or you’re pregnant or lactating
  • Diabetes
  • If you have a blood condition like anemia or thrombosis
  • If you are taking any medications regularly like omeprazole or ibuprofen
  • If you have a history of allergy after taking aleve or any other NSAIDs
  • If you have any significant symptoms of gastrointestinal toxicities like ulceration, perforation, or obstruction.


Aleve is one of the most efficient NSAIDs that relieves you from pain and inflammation. How long aleve takes to work depends on different conditions. You should seek your doctor’s advice to determine the necessity and frequency of dosage of aleve.


Can I take ibuprofen 6 hrs after taking naproxen?

It is best not to combine the two NSAIDs as it causes significant reactions like bleeding and ulceration. However, if you take naproxen of a lower dose earlier, then you can take ibuprofen after 6hrs. Otherwise, you should wait longer.

Why does my stomach hurt after taking naproxen?

Naproxen is probably not best suited for you. If it is necessary to take an aleve, then take it on a full stomach and a full glass of water. You should still see a doctor for complete discretion

How long should I wait for my back pain to go away after taking naproxen?

Aleve takes about 45 mins to start working in case of back pain, but it might take up to 4hrs for peak effects.

What will happen if I take 4 naproxen at once?

 You’re likely to face severe side effects of naproxen because you’re consuming more than the recommended dose.

Does aleve cure arthritis pain?

Aleve doesn’t cure arthritis but eases your mobility as it aids your joint pains.

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