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Naproxen is a medication that is used to provide pain relief from various ailments. Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID.
What is Naproxen?
Naproxen is a painkiller belonging to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other well known NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen and diclofenac. Naproxen is a stronger anti-inflammatory than aspirin and ibuprofen; it is thought to be similar in strength to diclofenac but carries fewer risks and side effects.
It can be used to treat pain where there is also inflammation present such as sprains, strains and mild arthritis.
Naproxen works by blocking chemical transmitters called prostaglandins that are responsible for pain and inflammation at the site of injury.
Prostaglandins are responsible for many different roles in the body, these include acting as pain messengers at the site of injury. Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes are important for prostaglandin production which in turn regulates pain, inflammation, platelet production and protecting the stomach.
Naproxen and other NSAIDS are non-specific and block both cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) to reduce all prostaglandin production and therefore reduce pain and inflammation.
Stomach irritation, due to prostaglandin reduction, is a common side effect of NSAIDSs. To combat this we supply Naproxen with a gastro-resistant coating to ensure that the tablet dissolves further down the gastrointestinal tract and not in the stomach.
Naproxen is normally taken at a dose of one tablet twice a day, morning and night (roughly 12 hours apart).
The Naproxen tablets have a special coating, which ensures they don’t dissolve in the stomach but further down in the intestines. If the tablets are crushed, chewed or broken this coating will be damaged and will not work properly. This means that the contents will be absorbed in the stomach which may lead to unwanted side effects such as stomach irritation or pain.
Take Naproxen with or after food. This doesn’t have to be a main meal, as long as it is not on an empty stomach.
Naproxen will start to work usually within an hour and the effects will last for up to 12 hours.
Naproxen can be taken with paracetamol to boost pain relief. It should never be taken with other anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, ibuprofen or diclofenac. For more details please contact us for free and impartial advice.
It is best to avoid indigestion remedies at the same time as Naproxen as they can change the acid environment of the stomach. The tablet will then dissolve in the stomach where it is not intended which may lead to side effects.
Is it OK to take Naproxen every day?
Naproxen is mostly recommended for people who have short-term, non-serious injuries or pain. If you’re taking it regularly (over weeks or years), or in high doses, it’s worth speaking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether there is a more appropriate long-term pain relief solution for you.
Naproxen and other anti-inflammatories can be harsh on the stomach, especially if:
- You are over 65
- You are taking them regularly for periods over two weeks
- You have existing stomach issues
High doses of Naproxen taken over a long period of time are associated with the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. If you need to take Naproxen for periods exceeding two weeks, you should take a treatment, such as Omeprazole, to suppress stomach acid and thus protect your stomach lining from damage.
Naproxen 500mg tablets are a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory and painkiller. They are stronger than the over-the-counter treatments such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Naproxen and diclofenac are thought to have similar effects although Naproxen is thought to carry less risk of unwanted effects.
Naproxen and other NSAIDs are better at inflammation and swelling compared to paracetamol. Naproxen 500mg tablets are a stronger painkiller than paracetamol, however they can be taken together when extra pain relief is required.
Naproxen does not have the potential to be habit forming like opiate-based painkillers such as codeine.
Like all anti-inflammatory medicines, Naproxen can cause side effects.
Common side effects can include:
- Gastric side effects including upset stomach, heartburn, stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhoea. These can also include bloating and gas.
- Dizziness & headache.
- Blurred vision or ringing in the ears.
- Skin itching and rash.
Some of these side effects may be less likely to occur if Naproxen is taken with or after food.
Naproxen can cause an allergic reaction in a very small number of people. You should not take Naproxen if you know you are allergic or if you have an allergy to any other anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin or diclofenac. If you suffer with an allergic reaction to Naproxen, symptoms may include: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. If any of these symptoms occur you should seek medical attention immediately.
You should stop taking Naproxen and see your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following symtpoms occur:
- chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- swelling or rapid weight gain, little or no urinating;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- fever, headache, neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions) or
- severe skin reaction – fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.