The active ingredient naproxen is used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. It is used among other things in swelling and inflammation, but also in rheumatism and gout and after minor operations. Ingestion can cause a number of side effects such as tiredness, dizziness, headache and gastrointestinal discomfort. In rare cases, serious damage such as severe liver and kidney disorders are possible. We inform you in detail about effect, side effects and dosage of naproxen.
Naproxen has an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic effect. The active substance is used primarily as a painkiller. It ensures in the body that the formation of prostaglandins is inhibited. These are messenger substances that stimulate the nerve endings to send pain signals to the brain. If no more prostaglandins are formed, no pain signal is transmitted and there is an analgesic effect.
Naproxen is commonly prescribed for the following conditions and conditions:
- Swelling and inflammation
- menstrual cramps
- Insert of a spiral
In addition, the drug is also used after minor operations such as a tooth removal as a painkiller.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Naproxen belongs to the group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, analgesics from this group can also be used to treat rheumatic complaints. Within NSAIDs, naproxen is one of the nonselective NSAIDs, more specifically arylpropionic acid derivatives. This group also includes the active ingredient Ibuprofen. Although acetylsalicylic acid and diclofenac are also non-selective NSAIDs, they belong to other subgroups.
Side effects of naproxen
Taking naproxen can cause a number of side effects. Among other things, it can cause skin irritation and swelling of the face, peptic ulcer and diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, nausea and vomiting. Central nervous disorders such as headache, drowsiness, fatigue and dizziness are also possible.
In addition, more serious side effects such as liver and kidney disorders, asthma, bleeding of the gastric mucosa and hematopoietic disorders may occur. It can also lead to oral mucosal and tongue inflammations, gout attacks and blood stools. However, most of these side effects are rare.
Taking naproxen may also increase the risk of stroke. However, compared to other NSAIDs, naproxen has a relatively low risk in this respect. If you already have other risk factors for a stroke, you should consult with your doctor before taking the drug.
For a complete list of all side effects, take a look at the package leaflet for your medication.
Dosage naproxen correctly
Naproxen is usually taken in the form of tablets. The tablets are available in different dosages - usually they contain 250 or 500 milligrams of the active ingredient. In addition to tablets are also suppositories with naproxen available. Doses over 250 milligrams are only available on prescription.
In general, naproxen should always be dosed as low and taken as short as possible. As a result, any side effects may be reduced. In contrast, high doses and long-term use may increase the risk of side effects such as stroke. Therefore, always take the medicine according to the instructions of your doctor and never increase or extend the dose on your own initiative.
Contraindications: Beware of heart and kidney disease
Naproxen should not be used if hypersensitivity to the active substance or other NSAIDs is present. Likewise, the drug is contraindicated in lupus erythematosus, severe heart, liver and kidney disease and gastric and duodenal ulcer.
Certain groups of patients should take the active substance only after a careful risk-benefit assessment or under strict medical supervision:
- Patients with gastrointestinal discomfort or inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
- Patients with hypertension
- Patients with mild hepatic dysfunction
- Patients with mild heart failure
- Patients with respiratory diseases such as asthma, hay fever or nasal polyps
- Patients with an increased tendency to bleed
Before children, the elderly or alcoholics are treated with naproxen, consultation should also be held with a doctor.
pregnancy and breast feeding period
During the last three months of pregnancy, no drugs with naproxen may be taken. During the six months before, the active substance may only be used after careful consideration of the benefit and risk. Likewise, should be dispensed during lactation on the drug. An exception, however, exists if the attending physician considers taking it mandatory.
Interactions with naproxen
Taking naproxen may interfere with various other medications. Thus, drugs with a similar effect increase the risk of side effects. The simultaneous use of the active ingredient phenprocoumone (Marcumar®) also increases the likelihood of bleeding.
In addition, naproxen can strengthen or weaken a number of drugs in their effect. Therefore, if you are taking medications regularly, you should notify your doctor. For example, naproxen increases the concentration of digoxin, lithium, methotrexate and phenytoin in the blood. Likewise, the effect of antidiabetics can be increased.
Interactions may also occur with the following drugs: ACE inhibitors, antihypertensives, diuretics, glucocorticoids, oral anticoagulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ciclosporin, probenecid and sulfinpyrazone.