Naproxen is in a class of drugs called NSAIDs and is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, tendinitis, gout, and menstrual cramps. It is available under the trade names Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan, Flanax, Aflaxen, others. Get to know how Naproxen works, its side effects, precautions, and contraindications where Naproxen is not suggested.
Naproxen types and Mechanism of action:
- There are two types of prescription naproxen: 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 also available in over-the-counter forms.
- All forms of prescription naproxen oral tablets help reduce swelling and pain. They’re used to treat many conditions, including arthritis, menstrual pain, muscle and joint inflammation, and gout.
It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Naproxen blocks cyclooxygenase, which is an enzyme that produces prostaglandins—these are chemicals produced by the body during an inflammatory response, and they are responsible for causing pain.
It is used to relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness caused by:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile arthritis
- Ankylosing arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Naproxen is used to treat symptoms like joint stiffness, painful joints of the knee, hip, neck, lower back associated with Osteoarthritis.
Naproxen is used to treat symptoms like joint stiffness, pain, and swelling associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It is used to treat pain and cramps during menstruation.
Fever and Pain
Naproxen is used to reduce fever, pain, and inflammation.
It is also used for:
- Gouty arthritis
- Menstrual pain
- Muscle aches
- Back pain
- Shoulder bursitis
It is available as 250mg, 375mg and 1000mg tablets. It should be taken after food. Maximum dose is 1500mg per day.
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- Angiotensin receptor blockers
- beta-blockers, such as propranolol
- Aluminium Hydroxide
- Magnesium Oxide.
- Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors.
- Naproxen with other NSAIDs can increase the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding.
Naproxen contraindicated in following conditions:
Avoid if you have allergy to Naproxen or other NSAIDs
Naproxen is contraindicated if you are diagnosed with asthma or other respiratory complications.
If you are suffering from any bleeding disorder, Naproxen is not recommended for you. It could cause severe swelling and bleed in the intestines, stomach, and anus.
Naproxen side effects:
- Higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke (especially in smokers, those who take it for a long period of time, and who have a family history of high BP and heart disease)
- Abdominal pain
- Sores in mouth
- Colon problems
- Excessive thirst
- Burning or tingling in the arms or legs
- Hearing problems
- Ringing in the ears
Expert Advice for Naproxen
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive or breastfeeding.
- It can cause serious complications such as kidney problems and stomach bleeding if taken for a long time.
- Naproxen can raise your risk of heart attack, blood clots or stroke.
- Inform your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with liver or kidney problems.
- It should be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
Precautions before taking Naproxen tablet:
Some medications are not suitable for people with certain ailments, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking Naproxen, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have stomach ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you have high blood pressure
- If you have a heart condition or a problem with your circulation or blood vessels
- If you have any blood clotting problems
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medicines (such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen), or to any other NSAIDs.
- If you have Kidney and Liver Problems.
Taking more than prescribed Naproxen may cause harmful side effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you find any side effects.
If you miss the dosage take as soon as possible, and if it is near to next dose, skip the missing dosage continue the regular dosage. Do not take extra doses.
Naproxen is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved. Naproxen is not known to cause any harm to the foetus, but should only be used after consultation with your doctor.
Naproxen stays for a long period in the body and hence not safe to use during breastfeeding. Before taking this medicine consult your doctor.
Substitute tablets for Naproxen:
- Ibuprofen (ibuprofen)- Over-the-counter.
- Meloxicam (meloxicam) -Prescription only.
- Aspirin (aspirin)- Prescription or OTC.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) -Over-the-counter.
- Celebrex (celecoxib) -Prescription only.
- Diclofenac – Prescription only.
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Dr. Divya has been pursuing Dentistry for about 5 years now. Endodontics and Orthodontics are her areas of interest and she holds a BDS degree from Govt. Dental College, Vijayawada, AP. Besides pursuing her career as a Dentist, she is passionate about Technical writing and is spending her free time in writing medical articles to bring awareness and share medical knowledge to the public.