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Naproxen - Uses, Side Effects and Precautions

Published on Apr 23, 2022 and last reviewed on Jun 08, 2022   -  5 min read


Naproxen is a drug that reduces inflammation and pain in the joints and muscles. Read the article below to know more.



Naproxen is used to treat diseases of the joints such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and mild to moderate pain. They can also treat conditions, including menstrual pain. It belongs to the group of NSAIDs, and initially, it was approved for prescription use and then for over-the-counter (OTC) use. It can effectively manage acute pain and pain related to rheumatic diseases.

Due to its overall tolerability and effectiveness, Naproxen is considered the first-line treatment in various cases like osteoarthritis, acute gout arthritis, dysmenorrhea, and musculoskeletal inflammation and pain. Naproxen is available as a generic and brand-name drug. It is available as Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn.

Drug Group:

Naproxen belongs to the group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These are drugs that are used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower the temperature. NSAIDs are available as tablets, capsules, and suppositories, creams, gels, and injections.

The main types of NSAIDs are:

What Is Naproxen Used For?

Naproxen can be used for the following conditions:

How Does Naproxen Work?

Naproxen is a NSAID that works by temporarily stopping the hormones that are responsible for the inflammation and pain in the body. They work by reducing the chemicals that cause pain and inflammation. The chemicals that cause the pain and inflammation are prostaglandins. Naproxen stops the enzymes called cyclo-oxygenase that are responsible for the production of prostaglandins resulting in reduced concentrations of prostaglandins. As a result, pain and inflammation are relieved.

What Is the Dosage for Naproxen?

Dosage for Naproxen

Dosage for Children:

The dosage for children below 18 years has not been established yet.

Dosage for People Above the Age of 65 Years:

For those who are above the age of 65 years, their body may process this drug very slowly. So the doctor may start them on a lowered dose so that too much of the drug does not build up in the body. When too much drug is taken into the body, then it can be dangerous.

How to Take Naproxen?

What If You Missed Any Dose?

If you missed taking a dose, take the dose immediately when you remember it unless it is time for the next dose. Do not take two doses of Naproxen together to compensate for the missed dose.

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions of Naproxen?

Certain drugs are not suitable for people with certain other medical conditions, or sometimes a drug can be used only with caution.

In the below cases, it is important to inform your doctor before taking this medicine.

If you are,

If you have,


Do not take Naproxen during pregnancy or while you are planning to get pregnant. Certain animal studies have shown that there is an increased risk of miscarriage and many other adverse effects following the use of Naproxen in early pregnancy.


Avoid using Naproxen while breastfeeding as it can be excreted in human milk. This drug is seen in the milk of the lactating mother in concentrations of about 1 % in the plasma.

What Are the Side Effects of Naproxen?

The common side effects of taking Naproxen are:

These side effects should generally go away after a few days or within a few weeks. You need to inform your doctor if the side effects do not go away or if they get severe.

There are few serious side effects that include:

It is not that every individual who takes Naproxen will experience these side effects. The side effects vary according to the individual.

What Are the Drug Interactions of Naproxen?

There are certain drugs that interact when taken along with Naproxen are:

- Captopril.

- Lisinopril.

- Losartan.

- Valsartan.

- Prednisone.

- Furosemide.

- Citalopram.

- Fluoxetine.

- Fluvoxamine.

- Paroxetine.

- Aspirin.

- Ibuprofen.

- Diclofenac.

- Ketoprofen.

- Ketorolac.

- Etodolac.

What Are the Common Brand Names for Naproxen?


Frequently Asked Questions


How Long After Taking Naproxen Can I Take Paracetamol?

Usually, Naproxen should not be taken along with other anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen or Aspirin. But Paracetamol is fine to be used alongside Naproxen at the same time. Naproxen and Paracetamol help with the pain.


How to Relieve Stomach Pain After Taking Naproxen?

Gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach pain are the most common side effects of NSAIDs as NSAIDs can irritate the stomach lining, so people can control the pain by taking Naproxen after having food or a glass of milk to prevent stomach upset problems.


How Long Does Naproxen Take to Start Working?

Naproxen may generally take around one hour to work, or it can also take up to two hours to feel the full effects of the Naproxen dosage. If Naproxen is taken to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, then the symptoms begin to improve within a week or may take two weeks or longer to feel the full benefit of the medication.


How Long After Taking Naproxen Can I Breastfeed?

Naproxen is usually not recommended while breastfeeding as Naproxen passes into the breast milk in small amounts. Though it is unlikely to harm the baby, there have been one to two reports of side effects in babies after having Naproxen through breast milk.


How Many Naproxen Can You Take a Day?

No more than two tablets, capsules, or liquid gels are recommended in 12 hours. So do not take more than two tablets in 12 hours without doctors’ supervision. Taking more than the recommended dosage can increase the risk of side effects, including a potential decrease in kidney function.


Are Naproxen Stronger Than Ibuprofen?

Naproxen and Ibuprofen are well tolerated and are effective at relieving pain and reducing inflammation and stiffness. But in a study, it was found that Naproxen was more effective than Ibuprofen. A dosage of 440 mg Naproxen is approximately equivalent to a dose of 400 mg Ibuprofen. The pain relief from Ibuprofen does not last as long as the pain relief from Naproxen.


Why Should You Not Take Naproxen?

Naproxen can increase the risk of heart diseases such as heart attack or stroke, particularly when you take the drug long-term or when taken in high doses. Even people without heart disease or prior history of heart attack can develop stroke or heart attack when Naproxen is taken in the long run.


Can Naproxen Make You Sleepy?

Naproxen can cause drowsiness, and also it can cause morning sleepiness when taken too late at night. It is generally advised to not drive or use any machinery or do any other activity that requires alertness when taking this drug until it is sure that one can function normally.


Is Naproxen a Muscle Relaxer or Painkiller?

Naproxen is technically not a muscle relaxer but rather a pain medication belonging to the group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). It is used to relieve pain from various conditions like headaches and muscle aches and reduces joint stiffness caused by tendonitis, arthritis, and gout attacks.


How Strong Is Naproxen?

Naproxen is a powerful anti-inflammatory painkiller that is used to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with a wide range of health conditions such as arthritis, gout, or menstrual pain.


What Are the Common Side Effects of Naproxen?

The common side effects of Naproxen include:

- Stomach pain.

- Constipation.

- Diarrhea.

- Flatulence.

- Heartburn.

- Nausea and vomiting.

- Dizziness.

Some of the serious side effects of Naproxen include:

- Chest pain.

- Shortness of breath.

- High blood pressure.

- Bleeding and ulcers in the stomach along with other symptoms like bloody vomit, blood in the stools, yellowing of the skin, and unusual weight gain.

Last reviewed at:
08 Jun 2022  -  5 min read




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