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Naproxen does not alter indices of muscle damage in resistance-exercise trained men


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: January 1999 - Volume 31 - Issue 1 - pp 4-9
Clinical Sciences: Clinical Investigation

Naproxen does not alter indices of muscle damage in resistance-exercise trained men. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 4-9, 1999.

Purpose: Unaccustomed exercise is associated with an elevated plasma creatine kinase (CK), myofibrillar inflammation, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) may attenuate DOMS and indirect indices of inflammation in humans.

Methods: We studied the effects of an NSAID (naproxen sodium (500 mg, 2 times a day for 48 h)) taken before and after resistance exercise in eight healthy, moderately trained men in a randomized, double-blind trial. The exercise consisted of unilateral knee concentric/eccentric weight lifting with 6 sets × 10 repetitions at 80-85% of the 1 repetition maximal contraction. Muscle biopsies of each vastus lateralis (EX = exercised/REST = control) were taken 24 h after exercise for immunohistochemical staining of inflammatory cells (leukocyte common antigen). At 24 and 48 h postexercise, we also determined DOMS, plasma CK activity, and knee extensor muscle torque.

Results: Exercise resulted in an increased CK activity at +24 and +48 h (vs preexercise: P < 0.01), with no treatment effect. There were no treatment effects for any of the measured variables except for a return of voluntary knee extension torque to baseline by +48 h postexercise for NSAID treatment (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: NSAID administration did not alter CK rise, muscle force deficit at 24 h postexercise, nor perceived muscle pain. In addition, the increased CK at 24 h postexercise was not associated with an acute myofibrillar inflammatory cell infiltrate in moderately trained men after resistance exercise.

Departments of Pathology, Neurology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K CANADA

Submitted for publication February 1998.

Accepted for publication May 1998.

The authors would like to thank Maria C. Harvey and Mr. Ian McNivan for their technical support and use of equipment. This study was supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Address for correspondence: Dr. M. Tarnopolsky, Rm. 4U4, Dept. of Neurology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5 Canada. E-mail:

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.