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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Naproxen (naproxen sodium) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and inflammation from arthritis, as well as to treat mild to moderate pain from other sources involving inflammation.
Like all NSAIDs this product can induce stomach ulcers. Individuals with current ulcers or a history of developing stomach ulcers from NSAID use may want to consider alternative products, or take Naproxen with a proton-pump inhibitor.
While all NSAIDs are associated with some risk of cardiovascular events, Naproxen is among the least-likely to trigger such events. In some trials patients taking Naproxen had fewer cardiovascular events than placebo groups.
Naproxen alleviates both inflammation and fever, making it useful in treating conditions that cause pain as a result. It is generally not very useful in treating pain which isn't the result of inflammation, such as nerve pain.
This product can be used in all ages, though use in young children is generally reserved for arthritis and not commonplace in all locations. Likewise elderly patients may be at increased risk of side effects. A doctor should determine dosage in these populations.
In otherwise healthy adults Naproxen is commonly used to treat:
The medication is typically used as-needed to address pain, and treatment generally should not exceed two consecutive weeks without doctor approval. Patients---particularly first-time patients---may require additional tests to monitor for developing side effects.
To be clear, this page is talking about regular tablets; dosage and administration differs for enteric coated or extended release tablets, or any other formulation that isn't a regular tablet.
Naproxen dosage depends largely on what's being treated. Treatment can be broken down into three main categories, which follow.
For long-term conditions such as arthritis:
For short-term sprains, strains, and other pain:
Note that treatment often exceeds two consecutive weeks, it's just inadvisable to do so without input from a doctor. Doctors can screen for developing side effects that might not otherwise be noticed until severe, such as ulcers or cardiovascular issues.
Naproxen begins working within an hour of administration, though it may take a week or two of treatment for maximum effect. As is usually the case with pain medication, effects are best if taken at the earliest symptoms of pain; while it will still provide benefit at later stages, effects may not be as great.
Taking tablets with food or milk will help alleviate stomach-related side effects of nausea, heartburn, ulcers and stomach bleeding. A full glass of fluid is also recommended.
Taking Naproxen with alcohol, particularly at higher doses, increases risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Patients will do best to avoid alcohol during treatment. Likewise patients should not mix Naproxen with:
Most patients experience only mild side effects from Naproxen, such as ringing in the ears, headache, or dizziness. These usually pass as the body adjusts to treatment.
Less commonly serious side effects are experienced, with call for medical attention:
There is risk, however small, of a cardiovascular event. Be alert for symptoms of heart attack or stroke. Also be alert for signs of ulcers or intestinal bleeding, which including blood in stools or vomit and abdominal tenderness, which may turn into abdominal pain.
Mothers who are pregnant should avoid this and all NSAIDs during the third trimester.