Can You Take Turmeric and Naproxen (NSAID) Together?

Turmeric and Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory drug, both efficiently reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis.

Naproxen has side effects, and studies have shown curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric to be more efficient and safer than naproxen.

Turmeric can also alleviate the adverse effects of Naproxen.

These facts prove the potential of turmeric to be used in combination with naproxen for arthritis treatment.

It is safe to consume turmeric in diet but if taking supplemental doses of turmeric or curcumin to maintain a 3-4 hour gap between taking it and any medication.

Let us now check out how turmeric and Naproxen are stacked against each other on various aspects including effectiveness, side effects etc.

Turmeric and Naproxen

1. Turmeric and Naproxen both reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness in arthritis

While Naproxen is a commonly used Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) for arthritis, turmeric, due to its anti-inflammatory properties has been widely used as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and as an adjuvant in arthritis treatment.

Both turmeric and naproxen are COX inhibitors which reduce inflammation by targeting the COX (cyclooxygenase-2) enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain in arthritis.

Studies on animal models have shown that curcumin in turmeric has positive effects on various other biomarkers of inflammation which is equivalent to that of the drug naproxen.

Novel particles and micelles consisting of naproxen and curcumin molecule aggregates have been synthesized with enhanced drug delivery systems which act on inflammatory pathways and provide better outcomes.

Thus, it can be said that turmeric can be taken as an adjuvant therapy in arthritis treatment along with naproxen for an increased therapeutic action. It can also help in reducing the dosage of drugs and their possible side effects.

Some studies have reported that turmeric interferes with the process of drug metabolism. Turmeric is taken with black pepper which contains piperine, to enhance its absorption by the body.

Piperine, a bioenhancer, also increases the absorption of drugs. Thus, taking golden paste with NSAIDs like naproxen may increase bioavailability.

This may not only provide better results but may also have increased side effects over long-term use.

Although no adverse effects have been reported while taking turmeric with naproxen, it is advised to maintain a gap of 3-4 hours while taking turmeric or golden paste with other arthritis medications to avoid possible drug interactions.

Read: Why Turmeric is a Great Natural Painkiller

2. Turmeric is more efficient than naproxen

A study comparing the effects of the most commonly used anti-inflammatory agents reported curcumin in turmeric to be more potent than many regularly used NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.

NSAIDs in arthritis only provide symptomatic relief and do not halt disease progression. Moreover, they have various adverse effects on health including gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems.

With potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric, when used in arthritis patients, not only reduces pain and swelling but also prevents the progression of arthritis and associated disorders.

It is considered safe to use and does not have adverse health effects.

This makes turmeric a more effective anti-arthritic agent than naproxen.

Read: Why Turmeric is more effective than NSAIDs

3. Turmeric alleviates the side effects of Naproxen

Consumption of naproxen has been associated with the occurrence of adverse gastrointestinal effects like gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Turmeric can prevent toxicity and ulcer formation caused by naproxen.

Studies have shown that pretreatment with turmeric alleviates the adverse effects and gastric ulcerations that might be caused by naproxen intake.

It protects the gastric mucosal lining from the toxic effects of naproxen by increasing the antioxidant activity of enzymes.

How to Take Turmeric?

There are two very popular ways to take turmeric and its key active ingredient curcumin –

  • Turmeric Powder – This is a great way to take turmeric and very safe too. One can make Golden Paste (recipe here) and use the paste regularly or just add turmeric to various dishes one prepares.
  • Turmeric / curcumin supplements – These are recommended in case of severe pain and inflammation but not advised for long-term usage. There are various types of supplements in the market, here a detailed article to understand supplement types and best supplements in the market today.

It is recommended to use turmeric powder and use supplements only when needed.

Do you take turmeric or supplements? How do you take it and how it has helped you, share your story with us by commenting below!

About the Author

TurmericForHealthTeam

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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2 Comments

  1. Nice web site. Thank you. There is an important distinction between anti-platelet vs anti-coagulation. Saying that turmeric has anti-clotting effects may be true but it fails to disclose the specific action in the complex blood clotting system. While NSAIDs like aspirin and several prescription drugs inhibit platelet aggregation they are not generally effective as anti-coagulants. Anti-coagulants act on the clotting cascade to lengthen clotting time and lessen the chances of serious clot formation in several medical conditions like atrial fibrillation or vein thrombosis. Here’s a paper showing significant in vivo turmeric anti-coagulant activity! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22531131
    Full pdf available: http://www.bmbreports.org/journal/view.html?volume=45&number=4&spage=221
    I sent this to the Theravalues company who responded promptly indicating they want to study this issue more closely. In light of the wide range of turmeric bioavailability claims from suppliers it seems prudent to clarify the anti-clotting effects of turmeric. It seems important to answer simple questions like, “Is it safe to take daily 80mg of aspirin with turmeric?”
    Have you seen any evidence that turmeric is a significant anti-coagulant? Regards, Mark Shults, MS 45 years in medical R&D

    1. Hi Mark. That is a very good initiative on your part to contact the companies that manufacture ‘bioavailable’ curcumin supplements and express your concern regarding the influence of enhanced bioavailability on curcumin’s anti-platelet property.
      We have not come across any evidence on curcumin’s anti-platelet action in human studies yet. However, we have put together a comprehensive article on the possible anti-platelet effect of curcumin and turmeric:
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-queries/is-turmeric-a-blood-thinner-will-it-increase-bleeding-risk
      Hope this helps.