Can You Take Aleve If You Have Fatty Liver Disease?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to use NSAIDs, like Aleve, if you have fatty liver disease.

Can You Take Aleve If You Have Fatty Liver Disease?
Sep 11, 2020

Lin asked

Can I safely take Aleve for two weeks with Fatty Liver Disease?


Hi Lin and thanks for reaching out to us. I appreciate you asking to make sure that naproxen (or under the brand name, Aleve, Naprosyn, or Anaprox) is safe to take. I don’t know how advanced your fatty liver disease is, so my answer will depend on how advanced it is. Unfortunately, from what I could find, naproxen hasn’t been extensively studied in patients with fatty liver disease or liver impairment. I was able to find some general information about other similar drugs and their safety in liver disease. 

In general, the class of medication that naproxen belongs to, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids), are considered safe at low doses in patients that have mild liver impairment. Aleve would fall into this lower dosing; 220mg (1 tablet) twice a day. That being said, you should follow up with your physician. Aleve and drugs like it are known to worsen liver failure. It is rare (less than 1% of people will experience this), but it does happen. It’s a good idea for your physician to continue to monitor for increased liver enzymes. Additionally, if you ever notice your skin beginning to turn yellow, you might be experiencing jaundice which is a sign of acute liver failure. If this occurs, immediately stop the medication and call your physician.

If you have severe liver impairment, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not a safe option and should be avoided. They can actually lead to a condition called hepatorenal syndrome which causes acute kidney failure. This acute kidney failure can eventually lead to hospitalization, need for dialysis, and potentially death.

So in summary, if you have mild fatty liver disease, Aleve is probably safe; just let your physician know about it and make sure that they are monitoring your liver enzymes. If you have severe fatty liver disease, avoid Aleve, ibuprofen, and other drugs like it. 

I hope this helps! Feel free to write us again in the future.

  • Naprosyn Prescribing Information, FDA
  • The Therapeutic Use of Analgesics in Patients With Liver Cirrhosis: A Literature Review and Evidence-Based Recommendations, Hepatitis Monthly
  • Pain Management in the Cirrhotic Patient: The Clinical Challenge, Mayo Clinic Proceedings

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