Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever and inflammation. This drug is quite similar to ibuprofen, indomethacin and nabumetone, amongst others. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including swelling, arthritis, tendonitis, gout, menstrual cramps, and bursitis. You may need a prescription in order to get Naproxen for your condition. Work with your doctor to determine if Naproxen is right for you.
Those who have had allergic reactions to other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have a significantly higher risk of reacting to Naproxen. Those who are prone to upset stomachs should take Naproxen with food and a full glass of water to reduce the likelihood of side effects. Dosage for the drug varies, so work with your doctor to determine what size dose is right for you. If you miss a dose, make it up as soon as you remember. If it is very close to the time when you should be taking your next dose, then wait and continue your regular schedule. You should never double up doses to make up for the ones that you have missed.
Common Side Effects of Naproxen
One to 10% of patients reported gastrointestinal distress while on Naproxen. This may include heartburn, pain, constipation and nausea. In most cases, these symptoms could be alleviated if the drug was paired with a meal. If these symptoms persist or become worse, you may need to adjust your dosage to a more appropriate level. Talk with your doctor about these symptoms so that you can work together on a solution.
Other common Naproxen side effects include headaches, dizziness, vertigo, skin eruptions, visual and hearing disturbances, palpitations and thirst. Taking each pill with a full glass of water can help with some of these symptoms. This will help the medication be absorbed more efficiently, which will help reduce reactions. In many cases these symptoms will relax over time, once the body has gotten used to the medication. If this is not the case, or the side effects begin to get worse, seek medical attention. If the symptoms appear to be part of an allergic reaction to the medication, stop taking your prescription and contact medical assistance to determine the best course of action.
Slightly less common Naproxen side effects, occurring in 3-9 % of users include severe gastrointestinal experiences, abnormal renal function, pulmonary edema, jaundice, hyperglycemia, inability to concentrate or muscle weakness. These symptoms also appeared to become less severe over time but could be signs of a more serious condition. If you notice any symptoms that lead you to believe you are suffering from internal bleeding, heard failure or if you cannot breathe normally then seek medical help right away.
Uncommon and Rare Side Effects of Naproxen
In rare cases, cardiovascular issues stemming from Naproxen became quite serious. Blood clots, heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythm, heart failure and low blood pressure have been reported. Though these instances are rare, they should be taken quite seriously and addressed as soon as you start to notice them. Report any cardiovascular issues to your doctor immediately and stop taking your medication if it appears to be affecting your health. If you appear to be having a heart attack or stroke, contact emergency services right away.
Other internal issues such as meningitis, pneumonia, fluid in the lungs, loss of white blood cells, ulcers, kidney disease or an excessive amount of potassium in the blood have been reported. These issues can lead to psychological distress such as depression, anxiousness or mood swings. If you are prone to any of these conditions, inform your doctor before you start taking Naproxen. If any of these conditions develop or become worse, inform your doctor immediately so they can alter or suspend your dosage.
Side Effects in Children, Pregnant Women, Seniors and Others
Children under 2 should not be given Naproxen. You may also need to get an adjusted prescription for those suffering juvenile arthritis as the dosage in the traditional tablets may be too large. Most doctors recommend that Naproxen be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding. Those late in pregnancy are at more of a risk than those that are early on. Discuss the risk with your doctor and only start a Naproxen regimen if they are certain it is safe. Seniors with a history of heart disease should inform their doctor about their condition to help avoid serious side effects while on Naproxen.
Those who have had an asthma attack or allergic reactions while on aspirin or other anti-inflammatories should not take Naproxen. Do not take Naproxen just after having a heart attack or bypass surgery as it can increase your risk of bleeding.
Interactions with other Medications and Substances
Let your doctor know if you are on any blood thinning drugs before you start taking Naproxen so they can adjust your dosage appropriately. Medications known as sulfonylureas, which include anti-diabetic medications and sum sulfonamide antibiotics have also been shown to adversely impact the effects of Naproxen in your system. Let your doctor know about any other supplements you are taking so they can access the risk of this condition.
You should not smoke or drink alcohol while on Naproxen. These substances, along with antacids, aspirin and other painkillers can affect the blood pressure which can send it into an unsafe level when paired with Naproxen.