- A Visual Guide to Migraine Headaches Slideshow
- Headache and Migraine Triggers Slideshow
- Take the Migraines Quiz
- What is naproxen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for naproxen?
- Is naproxen available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for naproxen?
- What are the side effects of naproxen?
- What is the dosage for naproxen?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with naproxen?
- Is naproxen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about naproxen?
What is naproxen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Naproxen belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other members of this class include ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen) and several others. These drugs are used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. They work by reducing the levels of prostaglandins, chemicals that are responsible for pain, fever, and inflammation. Naproxen blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. Naproxen was approved by the FDA in December 1991.
What are the side effects of naproxen?
The most common side effects from naproxen are:
- ringing in the ears,
- drowsiness, abdominal pain, nausea,
- fluid retention, and
- shortness of breath.
Other important side effects include:
Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment
What is the dosage for naproxen?
The usual adult dose for pain is 250 every 6 to 8 hours or 500 mg twice daily using regular naproxen tablets. The usual dose for Naprelan controlled release tablets is 750 to 1000 mg given once daily. For EC-Naprosyn, the usual dose is 375-500 mg twice daily.
Naproxen should be given with food to reduce upset stomach. The dose for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis is 500 to 1000 mg every 12 hours. Dysmenorrhea is treated with 250 mg every 6 to 8 hours after an initial dose of 500 mg.
Which drugs or supplements interact with naproxen?
Naproxen is associated with several suspected or probable interactions that affect the action of other drugs. The following examples are the most common suspected interactions.
- Naproxen may increase the blood levels of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity.
- Naproxen may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of blood pressure medications. This may occur because prostaglandins play a role in the regulation of blood pressure.
- When naproxen is used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or aminoglycosides (for example, gentamicin) the blood levels of the methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because the elimination from the body of these drugs is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
- Individuals taking anticoagulants, for example, warfarin, (Coumadin), should avoid naproxen because naproxen also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to bleeding.
- Naproxen increases the negative effect of cyclosporine on kidney function and reduces the effect of furosemide (Lasix) and thiazide diuretics because of prostaglandin inhibition.
- Naproxen should be avoided by patients with a history of asthma attacks, hives or other allergic reactions to aspirin or other NSAIDs. If aspirin is taken with naproxen there may be an increased risk for developing an ulcer.
- Persons who have more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day may be at increased risk of developing stomach ulcers when taking naproxen or other NSAIDs.
Is naproxen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
NSAIDs may cause a fetal birth defect called ductus arteriosus (early closure of two major blood vessels of the heart and lung) in the third trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, NSAIDs should be avoided during this last part of pregnancy.
What else should I know about naproxen?
What preparations of naproxen are available?
- Anaprox (tablets): 275 and 550 mg
- Naprosyn (tablets): 250, 375 and 500 mg
- Naprosyn suspension: 125 mg/5ml
- EC-Naprosyn: 375 mg
- Aleve: 220 mg
- Naprelan (controlled-release tablets): 375 and 500 mg.
How should I keep naproxen stored?
Naproxen should be stored at room temperature: 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment
Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve) is in the class of drugs called nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Naproxen is prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, inflammation, and fever. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Surprising Reasons You're in Pain With Pictures
Examine the varying causes of pain. Pain may be caused by simple, everyday objects, tasks and activities such as the way you sit,...
Sciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
Sciatica pain radiates from the lower back toward the feet. Sciatica may feel like a cramp in the leg, burning, tingling, pins...
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What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain and stiffness of the tendons, muscles, and joints....
Low Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Relief
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Ankylosing Spondylitis Quiz: Symptoms & Treatment
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Gout Quiz: What is Gout? Is There a Gout Diet?
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
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Headaches Quiz: Learn About Headache Pain
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Fibromyalgia Quiz: What Is Fibromyalgia?
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Pain-Relief Tips for Bumps, Bruises, Sprains, and Strains in Pictures
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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Track and Prevent Symptoms
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can cause from mood swings, munchies, and more. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatments of...
Slideshow: 10 Daily Habits to Reduce Chronic Pain
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Toe Pain
- Hand Pain
- Wrist Pain
- Joint Pain
- Ankle Pain
- Arm Pain
- Jaw Pain
- Hip Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
- Joint Cracking (Joint Popping)
- Foot Pain
- Stiff Neck
- Elbow Pain
- Joint Stiffness
- Lower Back Pain
- Knee Pain
- Neck Pain (Cervicalgia)
- Heel Pain
- Menstrual Cramps
- Swollen Joints
- Unsteady Gait
- Joint Redness
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
- Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
- Swollen Knee
- Joint Warmth
- PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Headaches FAQs
- Fibromyalgia FAQs
- Gout FAQs
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- Back Pain FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Ankylosing Spondylitis FAQs
- Home Remedies, Treatment, and Prevention of Sprains and Strains
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 17 Warning Signs of Serious Complications
- Home Remedies for Shingles
- Herbs: Toxicities and Drug Interactions
- Pain Relievers and High Blood Pressure
- Osteoarthritis of the Hands
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Pain Management Over-The-Counter
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs
- meloxicam, Mobic
- celecoxib, Celebrex
- indomethacin, Indocin, Indocin-SR (Discontinued Brand in U.S.)
- Drug Interactions
- nabumetone, Relafen (Discontinued)
- flurbiprofen (Ansaid is a discontinued brand)
- oxaprozin, Daypro
- phenylbutazone, Butazolidine
- ketoprofen (Discontinued brands: Nexcede, Orudis, Oruvail, Actron)
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
- fenoprofen, Nalfon
- salsalate, Amigesic, Salflex, Argesic-SA, Marthritic, Salsitab, Artha-G
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- choline magnesium salicylate, Trilisate
Prevention & Wellness
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- New Drug for Severe Form of Arthritis Shows Promise in Trial
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- Low-Dose Aspirin, Other Painkillers May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
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- Antidepressant, Painkiller Combo May Raise Risk of Brain Bleed
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- Ways to Treat Depression That Aren't Antidepressants
- Certain Painkillers Ill-Advised After Heart Attack: Study
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- Common Painkillers Tied to Blood Clot Risk, Study Suggests
- More Painkillers May Raise Heart Risks for Older Women: Review
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Daily Health News
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top naproxen Related ArticlesComplete List
EndometriosisEndometriosis implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They also can be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder. Endometriosis may not produce any symptoms, but when it does the most common symptom is pelvic pain that worsens just prior to menstruation and improves at the end of the menstrual period. Other symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pain during sex
- Pain with pelvic examinations
- Cramping or pain during bowel movements or urination
Treatment of endometriosis can be with medication or surgery.
Fibromyalgia SlideshowWhat is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain and stiffness of the tendons, muscles, and joints. Learn about fibromyalgia symptoms, treatment and tender points.
Fibromyalgia QuizFibromyalgia could be the reason for your constant, deep bodily pain. Learn more about this painful condition with the Fibromyalgia Quiz.
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
HeadacheHeadaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Liver Blood TestsAn initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the presence of certain liver enzymes in the blood. Under normal circumstances, these enzymes reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream, and can lead to diseases like fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hepatitis. Several medications also can increase liver enzyme test results.
Low Back Pain SlideshowDo you suffer from low back pain? Watch this slideshow to see common triggers of lower back pain and what kind of treatments you can get to help find relief.
Take the Pain QuizIs pain all in the brain? Take the Pain Quiz to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about the unpleasant sensation we call pain.
Reasons You're in PainExamine the varying causes of pain. Pain may be caused by simple, everyday objects, tasks and activities such as the way you sit, wear your hair, what you eat and many other surprising reasons you are in pain.
Pinched Nerve OverviewA pinched nerve causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area due to pressure on a nerve. Caral tunnel and sciatica are two examples of conditions caused by a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve is diagnosed by taking a patient history and performing a physical examination. Electromyography may be performed. Treatment for a pinched nerve depends on the underlying cause.
Rheumatoid ArthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.
Take the RA QuizHow is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Quiz to rest your RA IQ.
Root CanalA root canal is a dental procedure that's used to save an infected tooth. Treatment involves removing the tooth's nerve and pulp and then cleaning and sealing the tooth. Symptoms and signs that indicate a root canal is needed include toothache, discoloration, swelling, tenderness, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, and a persistent pimple on the gums. Typically, a root canal is no more painful than having a filling placed.
SciaticaSciatica pain, caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, typically radiates from the low back to behind the thigh to below the knee. Disc herniation is usually the cause of sciatica. Medication to alleviate pain, physical therapy, and bed rest are treatments for sciatica.
Sciatica SlideshowSciatica pain radiates from the lower back toward the feet. Sciatica may feel like a cramp in the leg, burning, tingling, pins and needles, or numbness. Learn about sciatica causes, exercises, treatment and pain relief.
Sore Throat Home Remedies and Treatment
These 25 sore throat natural and home remedies can help soothe throat pain, and heal a sore throat caused by viral (common cold, flu, mumps); bacterial (tonsillitis, some STDs); some toxins; allergens; trauma or injury; or "mechanical causes" (breathing through the mouth). Typical symptoms of a sore throat include throat pain, coughing, sneezing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Natural and home remedies to soothe sore throat pain include:
- Essential oils
- Licorice gargles
- Slippery elm leaves
- Raw garlic
- Throat Coat tea
Trigger Point InjectionTrigger point injection (TPI) treats knots of muscles that form when muscles don't relax. During the procedure, a needle containing anesthetic and/or corticosteroid is inserted into the trigger point. TPI may be used to treat fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and tension headaches.