Side effects of Naproxen that can be bothersome

Using any medication can lead to side effects and we have to deal with it. We think about the benefits of medication, but land up getting setting effects too. Again it varies from person to person. In some cases one person taking the same medicine might not experience severe side effects as others do. It completely depends on your medical condition. It is always better to be aware of the side effects of any medication you are using so that you can seek medical help in time.

Naproxen too comes with major as well as mild side effects. Major side effects need immediate medical attention. Make sure you keep a check on any of the changes you think are unusual. Let us learn about some major side effects associated with use of Naproxen.

Major side effects that need immediate medical attention are

  1. Bruising
  2. Itching skin
  3. Belching
  4. Skin eruptions
  5. Swelling
  6. Stomach pain
  7. Wheezing
  8. Blue, purplish, large, flat patches on skin
  9. Breathlessness
  10. Chest tightness
  11. Labored breathing

Major but less common side effects are

  • .cloudy urine
  • Indigestion
  • Appetite loss
  • Bloating
  • Blurred vision
  • Decrease in amount of urine
  • Double vision
  • Night blindness
  • Pale skin
  • Skin rash
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe stomach cramping, pain or burning
  • Tunnel vision
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Exertion and troubled breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness

Rare side effects of naproxen

  • Blindness
  • Anxiety
  • Bleeding gums
  • Canker sores
  • Pale, cool skin
  • Cold sweats
  • Discomfort or chest pain
  • Darkened urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Decreased vision
  • Dry cough
  • Swallowing problems
  • Noisy or fast breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • High fever
  • Hives
  • Frequent urination
  • Hair loss
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Increased sweating
  • no pulse
  • no BP
  • pain in knees and ankles
  • nosebleeds

Some side common side effects of naproxen that need no medical attention are given as below. These side effects disappear as your body gets used to the medication. Your physician can help you treat these side effects easily. If you feel the side effects  continue for longer period, you need to consult your doctor immediately.

More common

Continuing buzzing or ringing sound in ears

Hearing loss

Less Common

Change in hearing

Sour or acid stomach

Spinning sensation

Stomach discomfort or stomach soreness

Passing gas

Depending on the severity the doctor can treat these side effects. The side effects that bother you, needs to be treated, you can discuss with your doctor as your doctor might change your dose to help you get rid of those side effects. Some side effects can be fatal too, so do not ignore them. You can also check with your doctor for alternative methods to help reduce the severity of side effects like yoga, meditation or alternative herbal medicines.

Right dosage of Naproxen can avoid overdose

You need to carefully consider the benefits as well as risk of using Naproxen. Using the right dose for short term can help you achieve the goals of your treatment. Initial doses and response to the medication can help the doctor adjust the dose of Naproxen for his patients as per individual’s needs.

During long term usage, the Naproxen dose is adjusted to low or high depending on the response of a patient  to clinical tests. A lower dose to be taken on a daily basis is sufficient for use in a long term.

When patients tolerate well to lower doses, the dose of Naproxen can be increased by the doctor to 1500/mg per day for a period of six months, in cases where high level of analgesic or anti-inflammatory activity is required.

Right doses of Naproxen for

Arthritis

Oral tablet  – Strengths : 250mg/375mg/500mg

Oral suspension – Strengths: 5ml/125 mg

Oral delayed-release(tablet) – Strengths – 275 mg

Adult dosages ( for 18 years and above)

One 250 mg /375 mg/500 mg tablet – twice a day in doses that are evenly spaced. Your doctor can prescribe the right dose.

If you are above 65 years of age, the drug might be processed slowly by your body. Your physician can start with lower doses so that higher amount of drug is not accumulated in your body. Large amounts of the drug can be toxic.

Pain during Menstrual Period

Oral tablet  – Strengths : 250mg/375mg/500mg

Oral suspension – Strengths: 5ml/125 mg

Oral delayed-release(tablet) – Strengths – 275 mg

Adult dosages ( for 18 years and above)

This group normally takes the delayed-release tablet

Sometimes the initial dose is 550 mg

The next dose of naproxen is 550mg to be taken after every 12hours or 275mg to be taken after every 6-8 hours as required.

Bursitis and Tendonitis

Oral tablet  – Strengths : 250mg/375mg/500mg

Oral suspension – Strengths: 5ml/125 mg

Oral delayed-release(tablet) – Strengths – 275 mg

Adult dosages ( for 18 years and above)

This group normally takes the delayed-release tablet

Sometimes the initial dose is 550 mg

The next dose of naproxen is 550mg to be taken after every 12hours or 275mg to be taken after every 6-8 hours as required.

Gout pain/Inflammation

Oral tablet  – Strengths : 250mg/375mg/500mg

Oral suspension – Strengths: 5ml/125 mg

Oral delayed-release(tablet) – Strengths – 275 mg

Adult dosages ( for 18 years and above)

  1. The initial dose can be 750mg – oral tablet
  2. The next dose can be 250 mg – oral tablet which can be taken after every eight hours till the symptoms vanish
  3. The initial dose can be 825mg
  4. The next dose after this dose is 275mg tablet which can be taken after every eight hours till the symptoms vanish.
  5. You should avoid taking naproxen in extended release form as it takes long time to show its effectiveness.

Naproxen overdose and treatment

The side effects of overdose seen are vomiting, nausea, hypertension etc., as naproxen sodium can get absorbed rapidly in your blood, blood levels needs to be checked as soon as possible. Activated charcoal and emesis can be considered for faster recovery.

Naproxen treats pain and inflammation effectively

Naproxen is a common NSAID, which helps decreasing the hormones responsible for pain and inflammation in the body. The generic name is Naproxen. Brand names are Aleve, Naprosyn, Aleve etc.,

Naproxen is supplied in form of tablets and suspension. Naproxen is used to treat a lot of medical conditions like tendinitis, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, menstrual cramps, gout and bursitis.

The slower acting naproxen forms are extended release tablets and delayed release tablets and are meant for treating chronic conditions only such as ankylosing spondylitis and arthritis. These naproxen forms will not be effective in treating acute pain.

Some important information

Do not use Naproxen if you are allergic to aspirin or any other NSAID medication.  Naproxen can cause heart stroke or heart attack if used in high doses, used for a long term or in case you are suffering from a heart disease.

Do not use the medication after and before heart surgery(bypass). Seek emergency help in case you experience breathlessness, chest pain, weakness, vision problems or problems related to balance.

Naproxen can lead to intestinal or stomach bleeding which can be life threatening too. This condition can occur in older adults without any notice when they are using this medication.

Naproxen can lead to fatal heart stroke or heart attacks when taken in high doses or for a long term. Even if you are not suffering from any heart diseases, there are chances that you still experience a heart attack while using Naproxen.

Before you start taking Naproxen , check with your physician whether the medication is suitable for you or not and also let your doctor know if you have the following health ailments.

Asthma

High blood pressure, diabetes, if you smoke, high cholesterol, heart disease

Kidney or liver disease

Fluid retention

History of blood clot, heart attack or heart stroke

While taking Naproxen avoid drinking alcohol as it can cause stomach bleeding. Avoid using aspirin while taking Naproxen. Also speak to your doctor if you are using any other medications for cold, allergy or pain. Many OTP medicines available contain aspirin or other medicines same as Naproxen. Taking certain medications or products together can be harmful. Read the label to check if a particular medicine consists of ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen or ketoprofen.

Is Naproxen addictive?

No, people who use Naproxen for a long term do not get drug tolerance for this drug or experience any withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue the drug. Additionally due to the fact that there are less chances of getting high on this medication, you cannot experience drug dependency. On other hand you should discuss about the drug interactions of Naproxen with other medications before using Naproxen so that you can be aware of possible side effects like urinating problems, rashes on skin, breathing problems etc.,

Naproxen is not addictive, still avoid taking high doses and using it for a long term to prevent possible and fatal side effects. Any NSAID has its benefits and risks, try using the drugs safely to get maximum benefits.

How Naproxen affects Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

For nursing mothers or pregnant women, taking NSAIDs sometimes becomes necessary and to know whether using the NSAID is safe or not, it is always better to consult your doctor.

Is Naproxen safe during pregnancy?

Naproxen is not recommended after thirty weeks of pregnancy. In some women, naproxen is prescribed before thirty weeks of their pregnancy due to some health ailments. In most cases doctors prescribe use of Paracetamol for pregnant women to control pain. Check with your doctor before using any NSAID during pregnancy. Your doctor can judge whether the drug is suitable for you and your child.

In case you had already taken naproxen before thirty weeks of pregnancy, no need to worry as there are no scientific evidences available that say, use of naproxen before 30 weeks of your pregnancy can harm the baby inside your womb.

However, if you had taken Naproxen, then it is better to speak to your doctor to discuss whether you can continue taking the medication or use low doses that works well for you.

Can Naproxen cause miscarriage?

It is not known whether use of naproxen in initial phases of pregnancy can lead to miscarriage as there are no studies available to support this.

Some studies say that women taking naproxen during pregnancy are at higher risk of miscarriage than the women who don’t use naproxen during pregnancy.

There are no evidences available to prove that using naproxen during early phases of pregnancy can cause birth defects. It is believed that women using naproxen during first trimester of pregnancy are at a risk of having babies having birth defects than women who don’t use naproxen.

Is Naproxen safe during breastfeeding?

Naproxen when used for a short term is believed to be safe for nursing mothers. However, there is always a small risk associated with consumption of drugs while breastfeeding.

Naproxen is safe during breastfeeding as low amount of drug gets transferred to breast milk. Research supporting the safety of naproxen use during breastfeeding is still inadequate.

If you are lactating mother, make sure you take occasional pill in case you experience a headache and thus naproxen becomes safe for you.

If you use naproxen for a long term while breastfeeding, it can be harmful to your baby as some compounds through pills may secrete and accumulate in your baby’s body. Some of the side effects of naproxen while breastfeeding are

  • Hives
  • heartburn
  • dizziness
  • water retention
  • diarrhea
  • excessive thirst
  • confusion
  • indigestion
  • appetite loss
  • constipation
  • hearing troubles
  • headache
  • excessive fatigue
  • vision problems

To prevent the effect of naproxen to your baby, you can breastfeed your baby before taking the medicine and you can take the medicine immediately after you breastfeed your baby. This can minimize the effect of naproxen in your baby. If you see any symptoms in your baby that you suspect can be as a result of naproxen, immediately consult your doctor to avoid complications.

Do you know about Naproxen Drug interactions?

Naproxen should be taken as prescribed by your doctor. There are pills available for this medication in different sizes and doses, so make sure you take the right form and right dosage of Naproxen. The drug can interact with other medication or products that you need to know about in order to get maximum benefits from this medication.

Firstly, before you start taking Naproxen, tell your doctor about all other medications you are using as naproxen might interact with these medications resulting in unwanted side effects. Make a list of all products or medications you are using including herbal products, dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals etc.,

Here are some drug interactions you need to know about

Sucralfate and Antacids

Related administration of some sucralfate and antacids can obstruct naproxen absorption

Aspirin

When Naproxen as Anaprox, naprosyn etc., suspension is taken with aspirin, its protein covering is decreased. Using Naproxen and aspirin is not recommended due to the harmful side effects that can be severe.

Diuretics

Naproxen can interfere with your blood pressure medications and make them less effective. If you are above 65 years, naproxen taken with blood pressure medicines can damage your kidneys.

Cholestyramine

Taking these two medicines together can hinder the absorption of Naproxen.

NSAIDs and Naproxen

  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Ketoprofen
  • Etodolac
  • Ketorolac

Taking the above NSAIDs with Naproxen can result in intestinal and stomach bleeding.

Antirheumatic drug – methotrexate

Combining Naproxen with methotrexate can increase the methotrexate toxic levels.

Anticoagulant – Warfarin

Using Naproxen and Warfarin and other blood thinners can lead to intestinal or stomach bleeding.

Lithium

Naproxen can lead to increase in lithium levels in the body, which can result in lithium toxicity.

Alcohol

Consuming alcohol with naproxen can cause stomach bleeding or stomach ulcers.

Cyclosporine

Naproxen is responsible for accelerating the adverse effects of cyclosporine on your kidney and also reduces the furosemide effect due to prostaglandin inhibition.

Other drug interactions

Naproxen is connected to plasma albumin, thus it has potential to interact with other drugs that are bound to albumin like aspirin, hydantoins etc., patients who are taking Naproxen with such albumin bound drugs should be monitored for dose adjustment if needed.

Probenecid prescribed in conjunction with naproxen can increase levels of naproxen anion plasma and increases its plasma significantly.

It is important to take extra care if you are using medications to regulate blood pressure as naproxen can decrease the effect of your blood pressure medicines. You also need to check with your doctor if you can use naproxen with other medications during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Knowing about other medications, supplements that can interact with naproxen, you can ask your doctor to recommend you the right dose and help you know the side effects of drug interactions, which can help you use the medication safely. Drug interactions can completely change how a particular drug works for you. So combining too many medications can be harmful. It is better to let your doctor guide you about the right dosage of naproxen.

Combining Naproxen and Alcohol – Is it Safe?

A NSAID naproxen is used in treating pain related to arthritis, gout, bursitis or menstrual cramps and inflammation and also Paget’s disease. Apart from its common side effects like ulceration, bleeding, irritation and perforation in GI(gastrointestinal system), the risk of emergency side effects of GI increase when it is used with alcohol so in simple words alcohol and naproxen should not be used together as they aren’t safe until and unless your physician allows you.

Medical authorities have different warnings regarding using combination of alcohol and naproxen. Some sources forbid the patients from using alcoholic beverages completely when the patient is using the medication. While some sources just warn patients to limit alcohol consumption during the treatment. Well, it is demonstrated that consumption of 3 or more drink on a daily basis while consuming naproxen can lead to fatal side effects associated with gastrointestinal system. These risks can increase depending on other factors like patient’s age or overall health of the patient.

Combination of alcohol and naproxen can lead to irritation in lining present in stomach or gastritis.  Additional tobacco usage can increase the risk of gastrointestinal system and naproxen related complications even more. Self medication done to control gastritis by using antacids can create problems in absorption and digestion of naproxen.

Some other effects of using alcohol and naproxen combination are grogginess and drowsiness and this also leads to inability to operate machines safely. The combination of the two substances also affects older people more than younger adults.

Naproxen alone leads to chances of having heart stroke or heart attack in individuals having hypertension or coronary artery disease. This risk related to cardiovascular complications is higher in individuals who use the medication for a prolonged period. Naproxen’s side effect related to GI can appear anytime without warnings while undergoing treatment. So consumption of alcohol in combination with naproxen can increase the side effects of GI.

Since alcohol itself has the capability of leading to ruptures and causing inflammations within our stomach, it stops the NSAIDs effect in our body. This happens as alcohol doesn’t promote normal cellular functions in our body and stop the digestion process and affects the absorption of food and nutrients in out body, thereby reducing the action of pain relieving of NSAIDs. Alcohol also depresses peripheral and central nervous system so alcohol consumption should be strictly avoided while taking NSAIDs

The effects of consuming alcohol and naproxen can differ in each person but the chances of having various health problems are high. NSAIDs do work for you but they also have their own positive and negative effects on our body. We all know severe affects of alcohol in our body so together the two substances can imbalance normal function of the body.  Alcohol stays for a long time in our body and taking naproxen can lead to severe problems.

It is better to listen to your doctor and stop alcohol consumption till the time you are undergoing treatment to avoid further complications.

Know More About Your Naproxen

Naproxen is used to give relief from pain that occur due to various conditions like muscle aches, headaches, menstrual cramps, dental pain and tendonitis. It also helps in reducing swelling, pain and stiffness in joints caused due to gout attacks, bursitis and arthritis. This medicine is called as NSAID. It blocks certain substances present in our body that cause inflammation.

If you planning to treat chronic arthritis, check with your doctor for non-drug treatment or in case you are using other medications. Let us understand how to make right use of Naproxen.

Before you start taking Naproxen read the medication guide given by your pharmacist thoroughly and also as and when you buy a refill. For any queries you can ask the pharmacist or your doctor.

Take the medicine orally as directed by the doctor, normally twice or thrice a day with one glass full of water. Avoid lying down for at least 10 minutes after you take this medicine. To avoid stomach upset you can take the medication with milk, food or antacid.

The dosage completely dependent on your response to the treatment and your medical condition, and in order to reduce the side effects like stomach bleeding or any other side effects, try to take lowest dose of the medicine and for a short period of time.

In cases like arthritis it can take two weeks after consuming the drug regularly to get the maximum benefit. Remember that the medications available for pain work best only when taken during the beginning of the pain or when you see first sign of any pain.

Some of the side effects associated with Naproxen

Nausea, headache, upset stomach, dizziness, drowsiness, heartburn may occur. If any of the mentioned side effects are visible or get worse, consult your doctor immediately. Many people do not get serious side effects but doctor is the best person to judge as how the medicine is going to benefit your health and accordingly prescribe the dose.

Though the medication can increase your blood pressure, so make sure you get your blood pressure checked at regular intervals and let your doctor know if the levels goes high. Also let your doctor know immediately for  severe side effects like hearing changes, easy bruising, painful swallowing, mood changes, swollen hands, feet, ankles, unexpected weight gain, stiff neck, vision changes, urine related problems, stiff neck.

The drug can cause fatal but rare liver disease. It is better to ask for medical help if you see these symptoms of liver damage like stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, vomiting, nausea, yellowing of skin and eyes. Serious allergic reaction after consuming the drug is very rare. Still if you notice symptoms related to allergic reactions like trouble breathing, skin rash, itching, swelling of throat, tongue or face, severe dizziness and breathing problems, consult your doctor immediately.

It is better to talk to your doctor about your medical condition before taking the medicine so that doctor can determine if the medicine is suitable for you or not.

Sciatica Relief Basics

When you are faced with pain from your lower back radiating down your legs caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve relief of any kind is welcome. Help at times like these can come from several different sources. Over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen can be useful when used along with ice and heat to relieve pain and swelling. Other medical help can come in the form of both surgical and non-surgical treatments.

Most often surgery is not necessary and pain relief medications are a more appropriate choice. There are times when stronger prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs might be necessary to deal with sciatica and other lower back pain. In extreme cases stronger pain killers including codeine might be necessary. These medications can be habit forming and should only be taken under a Doctors close supervision. Muscle relaxers which have the desired effect of relieving tension in your muscles should also be taken with care because of their tendency to make you excessively drowsy putting you at risk when driving or operating machinery.

Among the most effective long term treatment with the fewest possible negative side effects is a regular stretching and exercise program. A firm foundation of strong muscles in our backs and legs built up through exercise provide the best support for our bodies and the best chance to limit the amount of stress placed on the sciatic nerve through overworked muscles. Surgery is usually saved to be used as a last resort when other treatments are not effective. Conditions such as herniated discs can cause sciatic pain and is one time your doctor might recommend a surgical solution to remove the cause of the nerve compression.

Another condition associated with sciatic pain is spinal stenosis, which is another form of nerve compression and might require surgery to correct. The surgery to correct this condition is called a lumbar laminectomy and involves removing some bone to allow for more space for the nerves passing out from the spinal column. Under other conditions the best option for relief is a discectomy which calls for the removal of the disc that is causing the pain. The compression which causes the nerve pain is relieved once the disc is removed allowing more space for the nerve.

Spinal fusion is one of the most radical treatments for sciatica and involves fusing vertebrae in the spine to one another to bring relief from the pain caused by nerve compression. This procedure is done as a last resort when long term injury or osteoporosis makes it a viable option. This type of surgery has the drawback of leaving the subject of the operation with limited movement within their spine.

Considering how many possible physical, medical and surgical treatments are available each case is as different as the individual person suffering from sciatica. Each case requires an individual treatment tailored for that person. Our health care professional should always be consulted as a first stop on the road to relief.