Brand Names: Actron,
Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn
Drug Class: Nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Available in: Tablets,
oral suspension, gelcaps
Available OTC? Yes
As Generic? Yes
of breath or wheezing, with or without swelling of legs or
other signs of heart failure; chest pain; peptic ulcer disease
with vomiting of
blood; black, tarry stools; decreasing kidney function. Call your doctor
Common: Nausea, vomiting, heartburn,
diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, sleepiness.
Less Common: Ulcers or sores
in mouth, depression, rashes or blistering of skin, ringing
in the ears, unusual tingling or numbness of the hands or feet,
blurred vision. Also elevated potassium levels, decreased blood counts;
such problems can be detected by your doctor.
To relieve minor pain or inflammation associated
with headaches, the common cold, toothache, muscle aches, backache,
arthritis, gout, tendinitis, bursitis, or menstrual cramps; also,
to reduce fever. When patients fail to respond to one NSAID,
several others may be tried.
How the Drug Works
NSAIDs work by interfering with the formation of
prostaglandins, naturally occurring substances in the body that
cause inflammation and make nerves more sensitive to pain impulses.
NSAIDs also have other modes of action that are less well understood.
Adults: 440 to 1,500 mg daily. Maximum dose is
1,500 mg a day, taken in 2 to 3 evenly divided doses.
Onset of Effect
Rapid; relieves pain within 1 hour. However, it
may take up to 2 weeks to suppress inflammation.
Duration of Action
Up to 12 hours.
Take with food; maintain your usual food and fluid
Store tablets in a tightly sealed container away
from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store oral suspension
in refrigerator, but do not freeze.
If You Miss a Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. However, if it
is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and
resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.
Stopping the Drug
If you are taking this drug by prescription, do
not stop taking it without first consulting your doctor.
Prolonged use can cause gastrointestinal problems,
including ulceration and bleeding, kidney dysfunction, and liver
inflammation. Consult your doctor about the need for medical
examinations and lab studies.
Over 60: Because of
the potentially greater consequences of gastrointestinal side
effects, the dose of NSAIDs for older patients, especially those
over age 70, is often cut in half.
Driving and Hazardous Work: Do
not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how
the medication affects you.
Alcohol: Avoid alcohol
when taking this drug; the combination of naproxen and alcohol
can be highly toxic to the liver.
Pregnancy: Avoid or
discontinue this drug if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Breast Feeding: Naproxen
passes into breast milk; avoid or discontinue use while nursing.
Infants and Children: Naproxen
may be used in exceptional circumstances; consult your pediatrician
Special Concerns: Because
NSAIDs can interfere with blood coagulation, this drug should
be stopped at least 3 days prior to any surgery.
Symptoms: Severe nausea,
vomiting, headache, confusion, seizures.
What to Do: Call your
doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison
control center immediately.
Do not take this drug with aspirin or any other
NSAIDs without your doctor's approval. In addition, consult your
doctor if you are taking antihypertensives, steroids, anticoagulants,
antibiotics, itraconazole or ketoconazole, plicamycin, penicillamine,
valproic acid, phenytoin, cyclosporine, digitalis drugs, lithium,
methotrexate, probenecid, triamterene, or zidovudine.
No known food interactions.
Consult your doctor if you have any of the following:
bleeding problems, inflammation or ulcers of the stomach and
intestines, diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE,
lupus), anemia, asthma, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, kidney
stones, or a history of heart disease or alcohol abuse. Use of
naproxen may cause complications in patients with liver or kidney
disease, since these organs work together to remove the medication
from the body.
From The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs. You
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