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Naproxen: Effective NSAID for Pain, Inflammation, and Fever

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Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. It is available over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription.

How Does Naproxen Work?

Naproxen works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain, inflammation, and fever.

Uses of Naproxen

Naproxen is used to relieve pain from various conditions, including:

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Back pain
  • Toothache
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Pain after surgery

Naproxen can also be used to reduce fever.

Dosage and Administration of Naproxen

The dosage of naproxen depends on the condition being treated and the patient’s age and weight.

Naproxen is usually taken by mouth as a tablet or capsule. It can also be taken as a liquid suspension or rectal suppository.

The usual adult dosage of naproxen is 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) every 8 to 12 hours. The maximum daily dose is 1,250 mg.


Side Effects of Naproxen

Naproxen can cause side effects, such as:

  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Rash
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fluid retention
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke

Precautions and Warnings for Naproxen

Naproxen should not be taken by people who have:

  • A history of allergic reaction to naproxen or other NSAIDs
  • A history of stomach ulcer or bleeding
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Fluid retention
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

Naproxen should be used with caution by people who have:

  • Asthma
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Gout
  • History of ulcers or bleeding
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Stomach problems
  • Ulcerative colitis

Interactions with Other Drugs

Naproxen can interact with other drugs, such as:

  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Diuretics
  • Heart medications
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Steroids

If you are taking any other medications, talk to your doctor before taking naproxen.

Overdose of Naproxen

Overdose of naproxen can cause serious side effects, such as:

  • Stomach bleeding
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

If you think you have overdosed on naproxen, call your doctor or the Poison Control Center immediately.

Storage and Disposal of Naproxen

Naproxen should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Keep it out of reach of children.

Naproxen should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain. Dispose of it in accordance with your local waste disposal regulations.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Naproxen

If you are considering taking naproxen, be sure to talk to your doctor about the following:

  • Your medical history
  • Other medications you are taking
  • Your risk of side effects
  • The best way to take naproxen for your condition


Naproxen is a safe and effective NSAID for relieving pain, inflammation, and fever. However, it is important to use it as directed by your doctor to avoid side effects.

Here are some additional tips for taking naproxen safely:

  • Take the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.
  • Take naproxen with food or milk to reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • Do not take naproxen if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about taking naproxen.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between naproxen and ibuprofen?

Naproxen and ibuprofen are both NSAIDs, but they have different strengths and side effects. Naproxen is generally stronger than ibuprofen, but it also has a longer half-life, which means it stays in your body for longer. Naproxen is also more likely to cause stomach upset than ibuprofen.

  • Can I take naproxen with other medications?

Before taking naproxen, it is important to talk to your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications. Naproxen can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and steroids.

  • What are the long-term effects of taking naproxen?

Taking naproxen for long periods of time can increase your risk of side effects, such as stomach bleeding, kidney damage, and heart disease. If you need to take naproxen for a long time, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

  • Is there anything else I should know about taking naproxen?

If you have any concerns about taking naproxen, be sure to talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if naproxen is right for you and answer any questions you have.

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