What is naproxen?
There are two types of prescription naproxen: regular naproxen and naproxen sodium. Regular naproxen comes as an oral immediate-release tablet, an oral delayed-release tablet, and an oral suspension. Naproxen sodium comes as an oral immediate-release tablet and an oral extended-release tablet.
Naproxen is also available in over-the-counter forms. This article only addresses prescription forms of naproxen.
Prescription naproxen oral tablets are available as the brand-name drugs Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. They’re also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name drug.
Why it’s used
Prescription naproxen oral tablets are used to treat pain and inflammation in a variety of conditions. It’s approved to treat:
menstrual period pain
symptoms of gout
How it works
Prescription naproxen oral tablets belong to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. It isn’t fully understood how this medication works to decrease pain. It may help reduce swelling by lowering levels of prostaglandin. This is a hormone-like substance that usually causes inflammation
Naproxen side effects
Prescription naproxen oral tablets may cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other activities that require alertness until you know you can function normally. This drug can also cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects that occur with naproxen oral tablet include:
nausea and vomiting
Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
shortness of breath or trouble breathing
weakness in one part or side of your body
swelling of the face or throat
high blood pressure
bleeding and ulcers in your stomach and intestines, with symptoms such as:
blood in your stool
black and sticky stool
asthma attacks in people who have asthma
low red blood cell count, which can cause fatigue, lethargy, and weakness
yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
unusual weight gain or swelling of your arms, legs, hands, and feet
skin rash or blisters with fever