GENERIC NAME: Naproxen

COMMON BRANDS: Anaprox, Naprosyn, Anaprox-DS, EC-Naprosyn, Midol Extended Relief, Naprelan 375

Naproxen is an oral prescription, and over-the-counter drug belongs to a class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with analgesic and antipyretic properties. It acts by decreasing the amount of prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase COX-1 and COX-2) produced in your body.

There are two types of naproxen such as regular naproxen and naproxen sodium. Regular naproxen comes as an oral immediate-release tablet, an oral delayed-release tablet, and an oral suspension. Naproxen sodium comes as an oral immediate-release tablet and an oral extended-release tablet.

Naproxen is available in both brand-name version and generic-name version. It is sold under the common brand names “Anaprox” and “Naprelan”. The generic drugs usually cost less than the brand name version.

What is Naproxen used for?

Analgesia: This drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain of headaches, muscle aches and dental pain.

Primary dysmenorrhea: This drug is also used to relieve mild to moderate menstrual pain or cramps.

Primary dysmenorrhea is a pain in the lower abdomen that usually occurs before or during menstruation, in the absence of other diseases such as endometriosis.

This drug is used to reduces pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by the following conditions:

Rheumatoid arthritis: It is a condition that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joint.

Osteoarthritis: It is a common chronic joint condition that causes pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.

Ankylosing spondylitis: It is a type of arthritis that primarily affects the spine. It causes severe inflammation of the vertebrae that might lead to chronic pain and disability.

Tendinitis: It is a painful condition in which tendon sheath get inflamed.

Bursitis: It is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near joints.

Acute gout: It is a common and complex form of arthritis that is characterised by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints.

How to use Naproxen?

Read the medication guide carefully given by your pharmacist before you start taking naproxen and whenever you get a refill. If you have any problem or you do not understand any part, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication orally, usually 2-3 times in a day with a full glass of water or as advised by your doctor. Do not lie down wait for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. To avoid gastrointestinal problems (like stomach upset) take this drug with food, milk or antacid.

Naproxen may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. Older adults are more sensitive to these side effects. To reduce the risk of GIT bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at a lower dose for the shorter duration. For conditions like arthritis, continue to take this medication as directed by your doctor.

Do not change your dose or take it more frequently than directed by your doctor. Pain medication works best if they are used with the first signs of pain. If you wait until your pain worsens, the medicine may not work well.

For conditions like arthritis, it may take up to two weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.

Inform your doctor if your pain remains or get worst or if you develop any new symptoms.

What are the side effects of Naproxen?

The most common side effects observed with the use of this drug are nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea and dizziness. If any of these effects remain or get worse, notify your doctor immediately.

Get emergency medical assistance if you notice symptoms of GIT bleeding or ulcers such as stomach pain or abdominal pain, black/sticky stools and bloody vomit.

This drug rarely causes severe, possibly fatal liver damage and can even lead to liver failure. The symptoms of liver damage are persistent nausea/vomiting, weakness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin. If you notice any of the above side effects, stop taking naproxen and consult your doctor or pharmacist right away.

Get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms like shortness of breath or trouble breathing, chest pain, weakness in one part or side of your body, slurred speech and swelling of the face or throat.

Seek medical assistance promptly, if you notice any severe side effects, like easy bruising/bleeding, hearing changes (like ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, signs of kidney problems (like change in the amount of urine), stiff neck, vision changes, symptoms of heart failure (like swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness).

Inform your doctor instantly if you notice any signs or symptoms of unexplained weight gain or edema.

This document does not include all possible side effects. If you see other side effects not listed above, reach out to your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Naproxen?

Inform your doctor/pharmacist before taking naproxen, if you are allergic to it; or if you have other allergies (including aspirin and other NSAIDs like ibuprofen, mefenamic acid, etc.). This drug may also contain some inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your doctor/pharmacist for more information.

Inform your doctor/pharmacist about all the products you are using including prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products.

Before taking naproxen, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history especially of aspirin-sensitive asthma, severe kidney disease, recent heart bypass surgery (CABG), active bleeding/sores in stomach/intestines (ulcer, gastrointestinal bleeding), blood disorders (like anemia), high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, nasal polyps, obesity, tobacco use, stroke, swelling of the ankles/feet/hands.

Naproxen may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal, older adults are more susceptible to this condition. Regular use of this drug with alcohol and tobacco may increase your chances for stomach bleeding. Restrict the use of alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor/pharmacist for further information.

This drug may cause you dizzy or drowsy, do not drive, use heavy machinery, or do anything that needs sharpness until you can do it cautiously. Limit use of alcoholic beverages. Speak to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

NSAIDs like naproxen sometimes can cause kidney problem which is more likely to occur if you have kidney disease or have heart failure, in severe dehydration, or an older adult. To avoid kidney problems take plenty of water. Notify your doctor instantly if you have a change in the amount of urine.

If you are using this medication, you may be more sensitive to sun exposure. Limit your time under sun exposure. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sun protection (such as sunscreen) and wear protective clothing when you are going outdoors. Inform your doctor as soon as possible if you get sunburns or if you have blisters or redness on your skin.

Naproxen also comes as a salt form of sodium (like naproxen sodium). Tell your doctor if you are on a salt-restricted diet.

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of this drug especially to stomach bleeding and kidney problems. Therefore, caution is required while using this drug in older adults.

During pregnancy, use this medication only when benefits outweigh the risk and only if prescribed by your doctor. It is not advised to use this drug during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy as it may harm to the fetus and interference with normal delivery/labour.

This drug may pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Naproxen?

Naproxen may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you may be using. A drug interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works which can be harmful or block the drug from working well.

Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of the drug without consulting your doctor because your doctor may be monitoring you for all possible drug interactions.

Some products that may interact with naproxen are aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (like captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (like losartan, valsartan), cidofovir, corticosteroids (like prednisone), lithium or diuretics (like furosemide), ketorolac.

Taking “blood thinners” such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin and anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel with naproxen increases the risk of severe stomach bleeding.

Take advice from your doctor/pharmacist before using any over-the-counter medicine for cold, allergy, or pain. Many over-the-counter medications contain aspirin or other NSAIDs similar to naproxen (such as mefenamic acid, celecoxib, etc.). Taking these products together with naproxen can increase the concentration of naproxen in your body which may result in severe side effects. Read the medication label carefully to check if the medicine contains aspirin or any other NSAIDs. However, you should continue using aspirin if you are already using it for the prevention of heart attack or stroke but only on doctor’s advice.

Naproxen like some other NSAID’s may interfere with specific laboratory tests, giving a false test result. Make sure that laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

WARNINGS:

Heart risk:

Naproxen may increase the risk of heart problems, such as blood clot, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure which can be fatal. The risk may increase if you already have heart disease or have taken naproxen for an extended period or at high doses.

This drug is contraindicated for the treatment of pain before coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery (heart surgery is done to increase blood flow to the heart). Taking this drug before surgery will increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Gastrointestinal:

This drug may increase your risk of stomach problems, like bleeding, or peptic ulcers which can be fatal. These conditions can occur at any time and without any warning signs. If you are above 65 years, you may have a greater chance for severe stomach issues.

Hyperkalemia:

Increases in serum potassium concentration have been reported with use of NSAIDs like naproxen even in some normal patients without kidney problem.

Serious Skin Reactions:

Naproxen can cause serious skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), exfoliative dermatitis and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). These serious effects may occur without warning and can be fatal.

What are the forms and strengths of Naproxen?

Generic: Naproxen
Form: Oral tablet, Immediate-release
Strengths: 250mg, 375mg, 500mg
Form: Oral tablet, Delayed-release
Strengths: 375mg, 500mg

Generic: Naproxen sodium
Form: Oral tablet, Immediate-release
Strengths: 275mg, 550mg
Form: Oral tablet, Extended-release
Strengths: 375mg, 500mg, 750mg

Brand: Naprosyn (naproxen)
Form: Oral tablet, Immediate-release
Strengths: 250mg, 375mg, 500mg
Form: Delayed-release oral tablet
Strengths: 375mg, 500mg

Brand: Anaprox (naproxen sodium)
Form: Oral tablet, Immediate-release
Strengths: 275mg, 550mg

Brand: Naprelan (naproxen sodium)
Form: Oral tablet, Extended-release
Strengths: 375mg, 500mg, 750mg

What is the dosage of Naproxen?

For Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Osteoarthritis:

Adult dosage (18 years and older):

Naproxen:

Oral tablet, Immediate-release:

Typical dosage: Take 500 to 1000mg daily in two divided doses.
Maximum dose: Take 1500mg per day. This should be given not more than 6 months.

Oral tablet, Delayed-release:

Typical dosage: Take 375 to 500mg twice daily.
Maximum dose: Take 1500mg per day. This should be given not more than 6 months.

Naproxen sodium:

Oral tablet, Immediate-release:

Typical dosage: Take 275 to 550mg twice daily.
Maximum dose: Take 1650mg per day. This should be given not more than 6 months.

Oral tablet, Extended-release:

Typical dosage: Take 750 or 1,000mg once daily.
Maximum dose: Take 1500mg per day. This should be given for a limited period.

Children (0–17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established.

Special dosage considerations:

Older adults (above 65 years):

The kidneys of older adults may not work efficiently, and this can cause your body to metabolize drugs slowly. As a result, more of a drug remains in your body. This increases the chances for side effects.

Your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage initially to help maintain normal levels of this drug in your body.

For Juvenile Arthritis:

Children (2–17 years):

Oral suspension form of this drug is given in children in this age group. The dosage depends on the weight of a child. It is given twice per day, generally, morning and evening after food.

Children (0–23 months):

There are no established studies for children of this age group.

For Tendonitis, Bursitis and Menstrual pain:

Adults (18 years and older):

Naproxen:

Oral tablet, Immediate-release

Initial dose: Take 500mg followed by 250mg every 6 to 8 hours when needed.
Maximum daily dose: On the first day of therapy is 1250mg. Additional daily doses should not exceed 1000mg.

Oral tablet, Delayed-release:

Initial dose: Take 1000mg once daily.
The dose may be temporarily increased to 1500mg once daily if greater pain relief is needed.

Naproxen sodium:

Oral tablet, Immediate-release:

Initial dose: Take 550mg, followed by 275mg every 6 to 8 hours or 550mg every 12 hours as needed.
Maximum daily dose: On the first day of therapy is 1375 mg. Additional daily doses should not exceed 1100 mg.

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established.

Special Dosage Considerations:

Older adults (above 65 years):

The kidneys of older people may not work efficiently, and this can cause your body to metabolise drugs slowly. As a result, more of a drug remains in your body. This increases the chances for side effects.

Your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage initially to help maintain normal levels of this drug in your body.

For Gout Pain and Inflammation:

Adult (18 years and above):

Naproxen:

Oral tablet Immediate-release:

Initial dose: Take 750mg, followed by 250mg every 8 hours until the attack subsides.

Oral tablet Delayed-release:

Initial dose: Take 1000 to 1500mg once daily followed by 1000mg once per day until the attack subsides.

Naproxen sodium:

Oral tablet Immediate-release:

Initial dose: Take 825mg, followed by 275mg every 8 hours until the attack subsides.

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established.

Special dosage considerations:

Older adults (above 65 years):

The kidneys of older adults may not work efficiently, and this can cause your body to metabolize drugs slowly. As a result, more of a drug remains in your body. This increases the chances for side effects.

Your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage initially to help maintain normal levels of this drug in your body.

Most common questions asked about Naproxen / Q&A’s:

What are the symptoms of Naproxen overdose?

Naproxen overdose symptoms may include dizziness, extreme tiredness, drowsiness, stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and slow or difficulty breathing. Seek a medical emergency as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.