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What is Naproxen

Updated on August 11, 2009

What is Naproxen

Naproxen, or Naproxen Sodium, is an anti-inflammatory drug that does not include steroids. As an anti-inflammatory the drug is often used as a pain reliever. Naproxen, sometimes mis-spelled "Naproxyn" is often the term used for the drug when it is not sold over the counter.

Naproxen, is often found in pill form that should be consumed with food and water. In most of the world it remains a prescription drug but can be found in over the counter doses in the United States and United Kingdom.  It is often formed into a white crystal pill and does not have an oder. 


How Naproxen Works

The main way that Naproxen provides pain relief is by inhibiting the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.   COX-1 is a protein that assists in the production of chemical messengers in the body.  These chemical messengers are responsible for inflammation and other functions.  By inhibiting COX-1, Naproxen reduces the bodies ability to produce inflammation.  

Like Asprin, Naproxen's inpact on COX-1 also reduces cardiac related health issues. 

Over the Counter Naproxen

In the United States, the most common brand of over the counter naproxen is Aleve.  It first appeared in 1994 after receiving approval from the FDA. 

Other brands of Naproxen found over the counter around the world include Feminax Ultra (UK).  In Canada, the drug is also sold under the Aleve brand. 

Naproxen Side Effects

Side Effects are common for all medication.  Symptoms such as gas, dizziness, headache, and other common drug side effects can occur with Naproxen.  Seek Doctors consultation if these side effects seem extra-ordinary or are causing you to worry.  

While less common, some sever side effects are possible with Naproxen.  Sever Side Effects for Naproxen may include the following (Seek Doctors Attention Immediately): 

  1. Allergic Reaction (Hives, Rash, Itching, Etc).
  2. Bloody Stools 
  3. Chest Pain
  4. Shortness of Breath
  5. Stomach problems
Naproxen impacts your bleeding and doctors should be consulted with all drug use, over the counter, or prescription. 

Naproxen, and its over the counter brands, are strong pain relievers that require proper attention when being used. Like with most drugs, it is often recommended to be consumed with drink and water.

Naproxen can be used to help with day to day pain, or while in the hospital. It is not uncommon for Naproxen to be prescribed to women after giving child birth.

Like with all drugs, before use seek formal instructions for use and guidance from your physician.  Only your doctor can help you most with medication and new and update information related to drugs and their side effects are made available through physicians often. 

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