Does Kratom Interact With Naproxen (Aleve)?
Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Kratom and NSAIDs can have a mild to moderate interaction for two reasons: increased effects and metabolic competition.
Both kratom and naproxen relieve pain, though they have different mechanisms of action. There’s also a chance one could slow down the other’s metabolization, though this is less likely. Naproxen is mainly metabolized by CYP1A2, 2C8, and 2C9 enzymes, while kratom is mostly metabolized by CYP3A4.
In terms of possible interactions, yes, it’s relatively safe. However, this does not mean that naproxen and kratom do not carry risks individually.
You must be aware of each drug’s dangers and consume them accordingly.
Naproxen is not usually taken daily on a long-term basis, so there’s little risk of an adverse reaction. It’s always best to talk to a doctor first, but naproxen and kratom are likely safe to use together as long as you aren’t using large amounts or doing it often.
Patented in 1967 and then approved for medical use in 1976, naproxen is an over-the-counter medication — although, in certain forms, a doctor’s prescription is needed.
In terms of medication type, naproxen is known as an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). NSAIDs work to decrease pain, inflammation, and fever while also preventing blood clots .
There are different types of NSAIDs, and each will typically have slightly varying side effects. Naproxen is a “non-selective” NSAID: this means it inhibits the activity of both COX-1 and COX-2 — these are cyclooxygenase enzymes. The enzymes activate compounds responsible for the bodily processes that cause inflammation, pain, and fever, mainly prostaglandins.
NSAIDs work to reduce these symptoms by inhibiting cyclooxygenase enzymes.
Naproxen is ingested orally, available in a wide variety of strengths, and exists in various formulations such as extended-release and delayed-release. The effects can be felt within one hour while lasting up to twelve hours.
|CYP Metabolism||CYP1A2, 2C8, and 2C9|
|Interaction With Kratom||Agonistic|
|Risk of Interaction||Low to moderate|
Like other NSAIDs, naproxen is used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties, which can be used to manage the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments.
According to the FDA, naproxen is approved for several usages.
It can provide relief from:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis (Bechterew’s disease)
- Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Acute gout
- Primary dysmenorrhea
The FDA also recognizes naproxen’s ability to manage general symptoms of pain.
Naproxen’s properties can provide relief for many conditions, but it does not cure the underlying conditions.
Naproxen’s ability to provide overall pain relief has turned it (and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen) into one of the most common household medications in the world.
Since NSAIDs help manage a wide variety of conditions, so the proper dosage can vary significantly.
The FDA recommends that patients use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual treatment goals.
Recommended dosages are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis: two 375 mg or 500 mg tablets once daily, or one 750 mg tablet once daily.
- Management of pain, primary dysmenorrhea, acute tendonitis, and Bursitis: two 500 mg tablets once daily.
- Acute gout: two to three 500 mg tablets once daily on the first day, followed by two 500 mg tablets once daily until the attack has subsided.
Naproxen is available under the following brand names:
Since they are so common, there is a common misconception that NSAIDs do not cause significant side effects. Be warned: this is not accurate at all.
The main side effects of naproxen include :
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Increased blood pressure
- Diminished renal function
- Increased bleeding risk
- GI ulcers
Serious but rare adverse effects include:
- Blood dyscrasias
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Myocardial infarction
- Heart failure
There are also other mechanistic effects to consider:
- Inhibition of COX-1 leads to a significant loss of integrity for the gastric mucosa and, therefore, reduces protection for stomach tissue. However, COX-2 does not have an important role in the mucosa, so selective COX-2 inhibitors do not produce these effects. (This does not apply to naproxen.)
- NSAIDs can lead to serious impairment of renal activity and blood flow, leading to kidney injury and renal failure.
Fun fact: kratom is actually a cousin of the coffee plant!
At the moment, kratom is still an unregulated substance, but don’t let this discourage you. Through scientifically sourced information, you can stay safe when experimenting with kratom.
One of the most remarkable things about kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is its wide spectrum of effects. In practice, this gives it an amazing number of uses — and even more, could be discovered as research continues.
Kratom can act as a stimulant and provides increased energy and concentration. It even has powerful mood-enhancing effects. It can also promote sleep, act as a weight-loss supplement, and effectively treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom is also a spectrum drug — the amount you take changes its effects. Lower doses are energizing and uplifting, but it begins to elicit more potent pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing effects in more significant amounts.
Related: Is Kratom An Opioid?
It is always best to avoid formulaic dosage recommendations. People’s bodies are different, and there are a lot of factors that come into play. The best thing you can do is play it safe, go slow, and listen to your body — especially if you’re a beginner.
With that caveat out of the way, here are the average kratom recommendations:
- 2-5 g (low dose)
- 6-8 g (medium dose)
- 9-12 g (high dose)
Remember, the effects of kratom can vary, so choose the appropriate dose that fits your purposes. Start on the low end and see how it affects you. Only increase it if necessary, and take breaks once a week to avoid side effects and tolerance.
Kratom is considered relatively safe, but it does carry the possibility of certain side effects, especially with larger doses and long-term use.
Kratom’s most common side effects include:
- Changes in libido
- Poor appetite
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Tremors or muscle contractions
- Changes in blood pressure
- Itchiness in the skin
Also, since kratom is unregulated, buying from untrustworthy kratom sellers can put you at risk of exposure to contaminants.
Finally, you should know that kratom can cause physical and mental dependence. You can avoid this by consuming kratom in small doses and taking a break from kratom once in a while.
You’ll find kratom comes in three main strains, though other variations of these exist.
The different strains share slightly varying alkaloid profiles. In practice, this means that although they all produce the same general effects, they all specialize in certain parts of it.
These strains differ due to a handful of factors, such as soil composition and harvest time. For example, red strains tend to be higher in 7-hydroxymitragynine, the alkaloid that binds strongly to opioid receptors.
White vein kratom is commonly known to users as the “mind” strain due to its ability to elicit kratom’s stimulating and nootropic side — perfect for a morning pick-me-up!
If you’re interested in kratom for its brain-boosting benefits, this could be the strain for you. These strains are good for boosting motivation, concentration, and mood.
Red vein kratom is the best choice if you’re looking to treat chronic pain or anxiety-related issues, as it emphasizes the opiate-like side of kratom.
If you’re currently on a pharmacological pain-killer, you should seriously consider jumping to red-vein kratom as it is a much safer choice in terms of adverse effects and propensity to develop an addiction. Of course, talk to your doctor about making changes, and never combine kratom with opiates or other medications.
Green vein kratom is considered the middle point between white and red.
Instead of focusing on one area of the kratom spectrum, it provides a well-balanced experience of everything that kratom offers.
The only downside is you don’t get the targeted experience of a red or white.
Yellow-vein kratom doesn’t really have any outstanding characteristics — it’s very similar to green, except that it’s much less potent.
However, if you have a sensitivity to kratom or are a first-timer, this can be a positive. Many people prefer the mild nature of yellow strains, especially when dealing with anxiety.
Yes, taking both naproxen and kratom carries little risk of a dangerous interaction.
It should be noted that consuming NSAIDs daily places one at a high risk of developing severe adverse effects like renal failure.
If you are using both kratom and naproxen as a pain-relief regimen, you should be mindful not to overconsume naproxen. It’s often better to use kratom more than NSAIDs as it carries a much lower risk of developing serious side effects — just make sure to use the proper dosage.
Talk to your doctor if you use either one daily to be safe.
- Brogden, R. N., Heel, R. C., Speight, T. M., & Avery, G. S. (1979). Naproxen up to date: a review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy and use in rheumatic diseases and pain states. Drugs, 18(4), 241-277.
- Brutzkus, J. C., Shahrokhi, M., & Varacallo, M. (2021). Naproxen. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.