The generic name of Aleve is naproxen. Aleve is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to alleviate fever, pain and inflammation. This medicine works by blocking the Cox enzymes necessary for producing the chemical prostaglandins. Lower concentrations of prostaglandins mean lesser pain, swelling and fever.
Doctors may also prescribe naproxen for individuals with dysmenorrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Side effects of naproxen include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, shortness of breath and heartburn. More serious side effects are fluid retention, kidney damage, blood clots, heart attacks, hypertension and heart failure. Some people, particularly those with asthma, may experience allergic reactions.