Q. I have taken naproxen regularly for the last several years, having had knee replacement and shoulder surgery. When I take naproxen, my blood pressure goes up from 115/70 to about 145/94.
I was told my blood pressure problem was unrelated to the drug, but when I quit taking naproxen my blood pressure went back down to 115/70. I can’t find anything about this and wonder what else I can do for pain.
A. A recent report from Denmark (Circulation, July 2010) included over one million people taking NSAID pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren, etc), celecoxib (Celebrex) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, etc). The investigators found that, except for naproxen, “most NSAIDs are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.”
Although you discovered that naproxen raises your blood pressure, this medicine is the only one in the study that did not increase the risk for heart attack or stroke. It is, however, associated with hypertension and gastrointestinal bleeding, so benefits and risks must be weighed carefully.
We are sending you our Guides to Alternatives for Arthritis and Blood Pressure Treatment so that you can find some less conventional ways to manage your pain without affecting your blood pressure.