The analgesic Aleve, a pain reliever from Bayer, is a member of the classification of medication referred to as NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The generic version of Aleve is known as Naproxen. Aleve is typically used to treat mild to moderate pain.

As an anti-inflammatory medication, Aleve helps reduce swelling and other inflammation that commonly affects muscles and joints in the body. This medication provides pain relief for headaches as well as reduces fever. Patients taking Aleve for stiffness and discomfort associated with arthritis find it successful at reducing symptoms.

Aleve’s pain-relieving ability is due to its effect on prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandin is an enzyme that is responsible for pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. A dose of Aleve lowers the level of prostaglandins, diminishing pain.

Potential Side Effects

Medications that fall under the NSAID classification such as Aleve have been known to cause gastrointestinal irritation and a risk of bleeding, especially if the medication is taken too often or for too long a duration. Other seriously adverse effects should be met with caution. Shortness of breath is a rare side effect that requires medical attention to rule out any serious issues.

Less serious side effects of Aleve include skin irritation, headache and nausea. Ringing in the ears, acid indigestion and dizziness are also common side effects that tend to lessen with subsequent doses.