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Information about Naproxen

Naproxen is a popular over-the-counter nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) that is widely used for therapy of mild-to-moderate pain and arthritis. 

Liver safety of Naproxen

Naproxen has been associated with rare cases of clinically apparent drug induced liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Naproxen

Naproxen (na prox' en) belongs to the propionic acid class of NSAIDs similar to fenoprofen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen and oxaprozin.  The antiinflammatory and analgesic properties of NSAIDs such as naproxen are mediated by inhibition of tissue cyclo-oxygenases (Cox-1 and -2), which results in a decrease in pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, important mediators in inflammatory and pain pathways.  Naproxen has analgesic as well as antipyretic and antiinflammatory activity.  It has a longer half-life than other commonly used NSAIDs, making a twice daily regimen feasible.  Naproxen was approved for use by prescription in the United States in 1976 and for over-the-counter use in 1994.  Currently more than 10 million prescriptions for naproxen are filled yearly and these numbers do not capture the wide scale over-the-counter sales.  Naproxen is indicated for mild-to-moderate pain from various causes including trauma, tendonitis, headache, dysmenorrhea, and various forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and ankylosing spondylitis. 

Dosage and administration for Naproxen

Generic and over-the-counter formulations are available in multiple doses (125, 250, 225, 375, 500, 550 mg) under multiple commercial names including: Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, Naxen, Naxodol, Neo-Prox, Nu-Naprox, Nycopren, Proxen, Synflex.  Over-the-counter combinations with antihistamines are also available.  The typical dose is 250 to 500 mg taken orally twice daily. 

Side effects of Naproxen

As with other NSAIDs, naproxen is generally well tolerated, but side effects can include headache, dizziness, somnolence, dyspepsia, nausea, abdominal discomfort, heartburn, peripheral edema and hypersensitivity reactions.

Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Acetaminophen, Celecoxib, Diclofenac, Diflunisal, Etodolac, Fenoprofen, Flurbiprofen, Ibuprofen, Indomethacin, Ketoprofen, Ketorolac, Mefenamic Acid, Meloxicam, Nabumetone, Naproxen, Nimesulide, Oxaprozin, Phenylbutazone, Piroxicam, Rofecoxib, Sulindac, Tolmetin

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