Q. Can Aleve sometimes cause drowsiness? I only take one but later I find myself dozing off. Is there a hidden ingredient that causes this? Am I the only one who experiences this problem?
A. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as OTC ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen (Aleve) or prescription products like diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), indomethacin (Indocin) and meloxicam (Mobic) can sometimes cause drowsiness, dizziness or confusion.
You are not the only one who gets sleepy or spacey on medications like Advil or Aleve. A nurse who wrote to us several years ago reported that ibuprofen made her mentally foggy. She feared early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, but found that stopping the NSAID improved her mental status.
We have prepared a Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis with a discussion of the pros and cons of medicines like prednisone and NSAIDs as well as non-drug approaches for easing joint pain.