Naproxen relieves pain

The active ingredient naproxen is used to treat mild to moderate pain. It is used, among other things, for swelling and inflammation, but also for rheumatism and  gout  and after minor operations. Taking it can cause a number of side effects such as tiredness, dizziness, headaches and gastrointestinal problems. In rare cases, serious damage such as severe liver and kidney disorders is also possible. We will inform you in detail about the effects, side effects and dosage of naproxen. 

Painkilling effect of naproxen

Naproxen has an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic effect. The active ingredient is primarily used as a  pain reliever  . In the body, it ensures that the formation of prostaglandins is inhibited. These are messenger substances which, by stimulating the nerve endings, ensure that pain signals are sent to the brain. If no more prostaglandins are formed, no pain signal is passed on and an analgesic effect occurs.

When is naproxen used?

Naproxen is commonly prescribed for the following conditions and conditions:

  • rheumatism
  • gout
  • swelling and inflammation
  • menstrual cramps
  • insertion of a spiral

In addition, the active ingredient is also used as a painkiller after minor operations such as tooth removal.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Naproxen belongs to the group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Painkillers from this group can  also be used to treat rheumatic complaints due to their  anti-inflammatory effect .

Within the NSAIDs, naproxen belongs to the non-selective NSAIDs, more precisely to the arylpropionic acid derivatives. The active ingredient  ibuprofen also belongs to this group . Although acetylsalicylic acid  and  diclofenac  are also non-selective NSAIDs, they belong to different subgroups. 

Naproxen side effects

A number of side effects can be caused by taking naproxen. Among other things, it can cause skin irritation and swelling on the face, gastrointestinal ulcers, as well as  diarrheaconstipationheartburn , nausea and vomiting. Central nervous disorders such as headaches, drowsiness, tiredness and dizziness are also possible. 

In addition, more serious side effects such as liver and kidney disorders,  asthma , bleeding in the gastric mucosa and blood formation disorders can occur. It can also lead to inflammation of the oral mucosa and tongue, gout attacks and blood stool. However, most of these side effects are very rare.

Increased risk of stroke

Taking naproxen can also increase your risk of stroke. However, compared to other NSAIDs, naproxen has a comparatively low risk in this respect. If you already have other risk factors for a stroke, you should definitely consult your doctor before taking the active substance. 

For a full list of all side effects, please see the package leaflet that came with your medication. 

Correct dosage of naproxen

Naproxen  is usually  taken in pill form. The tablets are available in different dosages – they usually contain 250 or 500 milligrams of the active ingredient. In addition to tablets,  suppositories  with naproxen are also available. Doses over 250 milligrams are only available with a doctor’s prescription.  

In general, naproxen should always be taken in as low a dose and as briefly as possible. This can reduce any side effects that may occur. On the other hand, high doses and long-term use can increase the risk of side effects such as a stroke. Therefore, always take the medication according to your doctor’s instructions and never increase or extend the dose on your own. 

Contraindications: Be careful with heart and kidney diseases

Naproxen should not be used if you are hypersensitive to the active substance or to other NSAIDs. The active substance is  also contraindicated in lupus  erythematosus, severe heart, liver and kidney diseases as well as gastric and duodenal ulcers. 

Certain groups of patients should only take the active ingredient after a careful benefit-risk assessment or under strict medical supervision:

  • Patients with gastrointestinal complaints or chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as  Crohn’s disease  or ulcerative colitis 
  • patients with hypertension 
  • Patients with mild hepatic impairment
  • Patients with mild  heart failure
  • Patients with respiratory diseases such as asthma, hay fever or nasal polyps 
  • Patients with an increased bleeding tendency

A doctor should also be consulted before children, the elderly or alcoholics are treated with naproxen. 

pregnancy and breast feeding period

No medication containing naproxen should be taken during the last three months of pregnancy. Even during the six months beforehand, the active ingredient may only be used after a careful benefit/risk assessment.

The active ingredient should also be avoided during breastfeeding. However, there is an exception if the doctor treating you considers it absolutely necessary to take it. 

Interactions with naproxen

Taking naproxen can cause interactions with various other medications. Drugs with a similar effect increase the risk of side effects. The probability of bleeding also increases if the active ingredient phenprocoumon (Marcumar®) is taken at the same time. 

In addition, naproxen can enhance or weaken the effect of a number of medications. If you take medication regularly, it is important that you tell your doctor about it. Among other things, naproxen increases the concentration of digoxin, lithium, methotrexate and phenytoin in the blood. The effect of antidiabetics can also be increased. 

Interactions can also occur with the following medications or active ingredients:

  • ACE Hemmer
  • Antihypertonika
  • Diuretics
  • Glucocorticoide
  • oral anticoagulants
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • ciclosporin
  • Probenecid
  • Sulfinpyrazon

For more information about interactions with naproxen, please consult your doctor or ask at the pharmacy.


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