1. Prescription naproxen oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug. Brand name: Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn.
  2. 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.
  3. All forms of prescription naproxen oral tablets help reduce swelling and pain. They’re used to treat many conditions, including arthritis, menstrual pain, muscle and joint inflammation, and gout.

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:

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.

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:

  • stomach pain
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness

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:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • weakness in one part or side of your body
  • difficulty speaking
  • swelling of the face or throat
  • high blood pressure
  • bleeding and ulcers in your stomach and intestines, with symptoms such as:
    • stomach pain
    • bloody vomit
    • 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

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Prescription naproxen oral tablets can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with naproxen are listed below.

Antidepressant drugs

Combining selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) with naproxen increases your risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. Examples of these drugs include:

  • citalopram
  • fluoxetine
  • fluvoxamine
  • paroxetine

Blood pressure drugs

Naproxen might make your blood pressure medications not work as well. If you’re older than 65 years, combining naproxen with certain blood pressure medications may damage your kidneys. Examples of these medications include:

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • angiotensin receptor blockers
  • beta-blockers, such as propranolol
  • diuretics

Heartburn drugs and drugs that protect the stomach

Taking any of these medications with naproxen may make naproxen treat your pain more slowly:

  • aluminum hydroxide
  • magnesium oxide
  • sucralfate

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Combining naproxen with other NSAIDs increases your risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. Examples of these medications include:

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • etodolac
  • diclofenac
  • flurbiprofen
  • ketoprofen
  • ketorolac

Cholestyramine

If you take cholestyramine with naproxen, your body may absorb naproxen more slowly than usual. That means it may take longer to work.

Lithium

If you take naproxen with lithium, it may increase the lithium in your body to harmful levels.

Methotrexate

Taking methotrexate with naproxen can lead to harmful levels of methotrexate in your body.

Warfarin

Taking warfarin with naproxen increases your risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Dosage forms and strengths

Generic: Naproxen

  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 250 mg, 375 mg, 500 mg
  • Form: delayed-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 375 mg, 500 mg

Generic: Naproxen sodium

  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 275 mg, 550 mg
  • Form: extended-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 375 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg

Brand: Naprosyn (naproxen)

  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 250 mg, 375 mg, 500 mg
  • Form: delayed-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 375 mg, 500 mg

Brand: Anaprox (naproxen sodium)

  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 275 mg, 550 mg

Brand: Naprelan (naproxen sodium)

  • Form: extended-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 375 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg

Dosage for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Naproxen:

Immediate-release oral tablet

  • The typical dosage is 500 to 1,000 mg daily in two divided doses.
  • The maximum dose is 1,500 mg per day. This should be given for a limited time period (up to 6 months).

Delayed-release oral tablet

  • The typical dosage 375 to 500 mg twice daily.
  • The maximum dose is 1,500 mg per day. This should be given for a limited time period (up to 6 months).

Naproxen sodium:

Immediate-release oral tablet

  • The typical dosage is 275 to 550 mg twice daily.
  • The maximum dose is 1,650 mg per day. This should be given for a limited time period (up to 6 months).

Extended-release oral tablet

  • The typical dosage is 750 or 1,000 mg once daily.
  • The maximum dose is 1,500 mg per day. This should be given for a limited time period.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

A dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special dosage considerations

If you’re older than 65 years, your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be dangerous.

Dosage for juvenile arthritis

Child dosage (ages 2–17 years)

Children in this age group generally receive the oral suspension form of this drug. The dosage will be based on your child’s weight. It should be given twice per day in evenly spaced doses.

Child dosage (ages 0–23 months)

Dosage for children younger than 2 years hasn’t been established.

Dosage for tendonitis, bursitis, and menstrual pain

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Naproxen:

Immediate-release oral tablet

  • The initial dose is 500 mg, followed by 250 mg every 6 to 8 hours as needed.
  • The maximum daily dose on day 1 of therapy is 1,250 mg. Additional daily doses should not exceed 1,000 mg.

Delayed-release oral tablet

  • The initial dose is 1,000 mg once daily.
  • The dose may be temporarily increased to 1,500 mg once daily if greater pain relief is needed.

Naproxen sodium:

Immediate-release oral tablet

  • The initial dose is 550 mg, followed by 275 mg every 6 to 8 hours or 550 mg every 12 hours as needed.
  • · The maximum daily dose on day 1 of therapy is 1,375 mg. Additional daily doses should not exceed 1,100 mg.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special dosage considerations

If you’re older than 65 years, your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be dangerous.

Dosage for gout pain and inflammation

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Naproxen:

Immediate-release oral tablet

  • The initial dose is 750 mg, followed by 250 mg every 8 hours until the attack subsides.

Delayed-release oral tablet

  • The initial dose is 1,000 to 1,500 mg once daily followed by 1,000 mg once daily until the attack subsides.

Naproxen sodium:

Immediate-release oral tablet

  • The initial dose is 825 mg, followed by 275 mg every 8 hours until the attack subsides.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special dosage considerations

If you’re older than 65 years, your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be dangerous.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

FDA warnings

  • This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • Naproxen may increase the risk of heart disease. Using naproxen in the long term or at high doses increases your risk. People with heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, also have higher risk. Naproxen shouldn’t be used for pain before or after heart bypass surgery. Doing so may increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
  • Naproxen may cause ulcers and bleeding in your stomach and intestines. This can happen at any time during treatment and may occur without symptoms. This effect can result in death. You’re at higher risk if you’re older than 65 years.

High blood pressure warning

Naproxen can cause high blood pressure or make your high blood pressure worse. It can also make your high blood pressure medications not work as well. You may need to watch your blood pressure level carefully while taking naproxen.

Water retention and swelling warning

Some formulations of this medication have extra salt in them. Talk to your doctor about which formulation to take if you’re watching your salt intake.

Asthma warning

Naproxen can cause an asthma attack. If you have asthma that can be triggered by aspirin or other NSAIDs, don’t use naproxen.

Allergic reaction warning

Naproxen can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction warning

Combining naproxen and alcohol increases your risk of ulcer and stomach bleeding.

Warnings for certain groups

For people with stomach problems: If you have a history of ulcers or stomach or intestinal bleeding, naproxen increases your risk of stomach or intestinal bleeding.

For people with kidney disease: Naproxen can cause kidney damage when it’s used for a long time. If you have serious kidney disease, you should not use this drug.

For pregnant women: Naproxen is a pregnancy category C drug. That means two things:

  • Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  • There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Avoid naproxen during the third trimester of pregnancy. It could harm your pregnancy. Talk with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

For women who are breastfeeding: Naproxen is passed through breast milk and could cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Breastfeeding is not recommended while taking this medication.

For seniors: Use caution when taking naproxen if you’re older than 65 years. Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that this drug doesn’t build up too much in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be harmful.

For children: The safety and effectiveness of naproxen haven’t been established in children who are younger than 2 years.

Prescription naproxen oral tablet is a short-term drug treatment. It comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: You may experience more pain and inflammation caused by your condition.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • fatigue
  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach
  • heartburn
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of consciousness
  • stomach bleeding

In rare cases, an overdose can cause:

  • dangerous allergic reactions
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney failure
  • trouble breathing
  • coma

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: If you miss your dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it’s just a few hours until your next dose, wait until the scheduled time and take a single dose.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: Signs that the drug is working will depend on the condition being treated.

  • Adult arthritis: Your pain and swelling may get better, you may be able to walk faster, and your morning stiffness may get better.
  • Juvenile arthritis: Your pain and swelling may get better and you may be able to walk faster.
  • Menstrual pain: Your pain may get better.
  • Tendonitis or bursitis: Your pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation may get better.
  • Gout: Your pain and inflammation may get better and the temperature of your skin may start to return to normal.

General

  • You can take naproxen with or without food. Taking it with food may reduce your risk of upset stomach.
  • You can cut or crush the immediate-release tablet to make it easier to take. However, don’t cut or break the delayed-release or extended-release forms. Breaking them apart can increase your risk of stomach damage.
  • You may need to space your doses evenly. If you take a regularly scheduled dose, you may space the doses every 12 hours or every 6–8 hours.

Storage

  • Store naproxen at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep the container tightly closed and protect the drug from light.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They won’t damage your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will perform tests to check your health and make sure this drug is working for you. These tests may include:

  • blood test
  • kidney function test
  • liver function test
  • stool sample test

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.