Prescription naproxen is indicated for the relief of pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness associated with various types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, which primarily affects the spine.
Nonprescription naproxen is commonly used to alleviate mild pain due to headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, and to reduce fever. Naproxen belongs to a class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which function by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, a substance responsible for inducing pain, fever, and inflammation.
Uses and Dosage
Prescription naproxen is available in various formulations, including regular tablets, delayed-release tablets, extended-release tablets, and a suspension for oral administration. The extended-release tablets are typically administered once daily, while the tablets, delayed-release tablets, and suspension are taken twice daily for arthritis.
Nonprescription naproxen is available as tablets, capsules, and gel capsules for oral administration, typically taken every 8 to 12 hours as needed with a full glass of water. Nonprescription naproxen may be taken with food or milk to reduce nausea.
Carefully follow the instructions on the package or prescription label, and seek clarification from your doctor or pharmacist for any unclear information. Take naproxen precisely as prescribed, and do not exceed or decrease the dose or frequency beyond the instructions on the label or as advised by your physician.
Before each use of the suspension, gently shake the bottle to ensure uniformity of the medication. Use an oral syringe or measuring cup provided by your pharmacist to measure the correct dose of liquid.
The delayed-release and extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole, without crushing or breaking them.
If taking naproxen to alleviate arthritis symptoms, relief may be observed within a week of treatment, but full therapeutic benefits may take up to two weeks.
In case of worsening or new symptoms, redness or swelling in the affected area, pain lasting over 10 days, or a fever persisting beyond three days, discontinue naproxen and seek medical attention.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- excessive thirst
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- burning or tingling in the arms or legs
- cold symptoms
- ringing in the ears
- hearing problems
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- changes in vision
- feeling that the tablet is stuck in your throat
- unexplained weight gain
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- swelling in the abdomen, ankles, feet, or legs
- sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection
- skin reddening
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or hands
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- excessive tiredness
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- bruises or purple blotches under the skin
- fast heartbeat
- cloudy, discolored, or bloody urine
- back pain
- difficult or painful urination
- decreased urination
- loss of appetite
Prior to taking naproxen, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies to it, aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and celecoxib. Disclose any other allergies as this medication may contain inactive ingredients that could trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before taking this medication, disclose your medical history, particularly if you have asthma, aspirin-sensitive asthma, blood disorders (such as anemia), bleeding or clotting problems, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, stroke, swelling, or stomach/intestinal/esophagus issues.
The use of NSAID medications, including naproxen, may cause kidney problems. You are more likely to experience these problems if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or take certain medications. Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to avoid dehydration. If you notice any change in urine volume or colour, notify your doctor immediately.
This drug may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Consuming alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate these effects. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness until you can safely do so.
This medication can cause stomach bleeding. Regular use of alcohol and tobacco, particularly in combination with this medicine, may increase the likelihood of stomach bleeding.
This medication may also make you more sensitive to sunlight. Limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, and wear protective clothing and sunscreen when outside. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience sunburn or skin blisters/redness.
Older adults may be more prone to stomach/intestinal bleeding, kidney problems, heart attack, and stroke while taking this medication.
Women of childbearing age should discuss the benefits and risks of using this medication with their doctor before taking it. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive. This medication can harm an unborn baby and complicate normal labor/delivery. It is not recommended for use in pregnancy from 20 weeks until delivery. If your doctor determines that you require this medication between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible. You should not use this medication after 30 weeks of pregnancy.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Naprosyn is available in the following forms and strengths:
Do you have to take Naprosyn with food?
Always take Naprosyn with or just after a meal so it does not affect your stomach.
How long does Naprosyn take to get rid of inflammation?
This medicine usually begins to work within one week, but in severe cases up to two weeks or even longer may pass before you begin to feel better.