Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory used to treat pain and inflammation. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Naproxen is commonly called Noflam, Naprosyn Naprogesic® and Sonaflam®.
On this page, you can find the following information:
- What is naproxen?
- How to take naproxen
- When is taking naproxen a concern?
- Taking naproxen with other pain medicines
- Taking naproxen with blood pressure medicines
- What are the side effects of naproxen?
Naproxen belongs to a group of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It's used to treat different types of pain such as period pain and pain from injury or after surgery.
NSAIDs are also used to ease pain, swelling and stiffness associated with flare-ups of gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. NSAIDs block the inflammation process and in this way ease swelling and pain.
In New Zealand naproxen is available as tablets.
- Tablets comes as immediate release and slow release (SR).
- The immediate release tablets are useful where immediate pain relief is required, and the slow release tablets are more useful in reducing long term inflammation.
- Lower strengths of naproxen tablets (Naprogesic® and Sonaflam®) can be bought over-the-counter from a pharmacy.
The dose of naproxen will be different for different people. As a guide:
- For a long-term condition (such as arthritis), the usual dose is 500 mg to 1 gram per day, taken as either a single dose, or divided into 2 doses during the day.
- For short-term conditions (such as muscle/tendon pain or sprains/strains), the usual dose is 250 mg, 3 or 4 times a day when needed. It is often recommended that a double dose (500 mg) be taken for the first dose.
- For gout pain, the usual dose is 750 mg for the first dose, and then 250 mg every 8 hours until the flare has passed.
- For period pain, the usual dose is 250 mg or 275 mg 3 to 4 times a day for up to 5 days.
Always take your naproxen exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.
- Take naproxen with food or immediately after food, to prevent stomach upset. Take naproxen with a full glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole, don't crush or chew them.
- Avoid or limit alcohol while you are taking naproxen. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects such as stomach upset.
- Missed dose: If you forget to take a dose, take it when you next need pain relief and then continue as before. Don't take 2 doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
For most people taking naproxen is safe but extra care is needed in some situations, for example if:
- you have high blood pressure
- you have heart or kidney problems or asthma
- you're aged 65 years or older
- you smoke.
It can also be harmful to take naproxen when you are dehydrated or have been sick with diarrhoea (runny poos) or vomiting (being sick). Read more about the risks of NSAIDs.
|When you should NOT take naproxen|
Naproxen should NOT be used in some situations as it can be harmful. For example, if you:
Read more about the risks associated with NSAIDs.
It's safe to take naproxen with paracetamol because they work differently.
Naproxen interacts with some medicines, especially those used for high blood pressure, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking naproxen.
Image credit: University of Otago, NZ
Taking NSAIDs together with blood pressure medicines can be harmful to your kidneys. This is called the ‘triple whammy’. If you are taking blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors or ARBs and diuretics) tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting naproxen.
- Examples of ACE inhibitors are captopril, cilazapril, enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril and quinapril.
- Examples of ARBs are candesartan, irbesartan and losartan.
- Examples of diuretics are furosemide, bumetanide, bendroflumethiazide, chlortalidone, indapamide, spironolactone, eplerenone and metolazone.
Read more about the triple whammy.
|Side effects||What should I do?|
|Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product.|