Naprosyn (naproxen) Side Effects

Naprosyn (naproxen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used to treat pain and inflammatory diseases. It is also used to help relieve menstrual cramps and reduce fever. The use of Naprosyn is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a number of conditions, including acute gout, bursitis, various forms of arthritis, tendonitis, and primary dysmenorrhea (painful periods).

Naprosyn can be found over the counter under the brand name Aleve, but it is also available as a prescription based on specific needs. Prior to taking a new medication, speak with your primary healthcare provider to make sure it is safe and right for you.

Woman Addicted to Painkillers Holding Pills in Her Hand Palm

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Common Side Effects

Many pain medications come with side effects, and Naprosyn is no different. Side effects from medications can vary in severity and likelihood, however, since people respond to medications differently. It can therefore be hard to determine whether someone will experience side effects prior to taking the medication.

The most common side effects of Naprosyn include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nervousness
  • Skin rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Itching
  • Mouth sores
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tingling in the arms and legs
  • Cold symptoms
  • Trouble with falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night

These side effects will likely be mild and short in duration, but if they persist or become worse, speak with your healthcare provider to see if you need to stop taking Naprosyn.

Serious Side Effects

The more serious side effects of the medication may require emergency medical assistance. Whether someone will have these side effects will depend entirely on how their body responds to the medication.

Serious side effects that can occur while using Naprosyn include:

  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Difficulty or painful swallowing
  • Ringing in the ears or other changes in hearing
  • Changes in mental health or mood
  • Changes in the amount of urine excreted throughout the day, which could signify kidney problems
  • Stiff neck with no known explanation
  • Changes in vision
  • Heart failure symptoms such as swelling in the ankles and feet, fatigue, and sudden weight gain 
  • Gastric ulcers and GI bleeding
  • Renal function impairment
  • Pancreatitis
  • Colitis
  • Convulsions
  • Cardiac problems
  • Severe skin changes

There are other serious side effects that can cause liver failure or a severe allergic reaction. When taking this medication, you should watch for symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rashes and itching, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing. This is an emergency situation and requires prompt medical care.

If you experience any symptoms that indicate liver failure, contact your healthcare provider right away. Those symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting that do not go away
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Jaundice, or the yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Dark urine

Warnings

Many medications will come with a warning of potential side effects on the box. One specific warning for Naprosyn is that the use of this medication in a person with renal issues is not recommended. There are also warnings of other rare but potentially life-threatening effects that need to be considered before using this medication.

 Black Box Warning

Naprosyn has a black box warning, which is the most serious warning issued by the FDA about potential injury and death caused by a medication. In rare instances, the use of Naprosyn can cause a person to experience heart disease or high blood pressure. It could also increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke in those who recently underwent or are about to undergo heart bypass surgery.

The use of this medication should also be avoided in people who have stomach ulcers or bleeding since the medication itself can cause or worsen those conditions. Naprosyn has also been shown to cause fluid retention, which can lead to swelling in the body. There is also an increased risk for cardiovascular events in chronic and prolonged use of this drug.

Overdose from Naprosyn can occur following excessive use of the medication in a short period of time. The symptoms of a Naprosyn overdose include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • GI bleeding
  • Kidney and liver failure
  • Meningitis
  • Circulatory collapse
  • Death

Taking this medication only as directed by your healthcare provider will help prevent an overdose.

Interactions

Interactions with medications within the body and with other drugs being put into the body can lead to adverse interactions. Naprosyn can lead to more serious complications when combined with other medications. For example, the use of alcohol should be completely avoided while taking Naprosyn because it can increase the risk of developing stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Other drug interactions that could occur don’t have grave consequences, but could lower the efficacy of the medication. Some specific products that could interact with Naprosyn include:

If Naprosyn is taken at the same time as blood thinning or antiplatelet medications or other drugs that could cause bleeding, it could make that specific side effect worse. Interactions can also occur when taking Naprosyn with other NSAIDs. If you are unsure about your medication ingredients and are concerned about an interaction, speaking with your healthcare provider will help clarify what you can and cannot take while on Naprosyn.

A Word From Verywell

Although Naprosyn is generally safe and well tolerated, treatment with this medication should be approached with care and direction from your primary healthcare provider. It’s important to consider the potential side effects, what medications you are already taking, and your lifestyle to determine whether this mediation is right for you.

If you experience any of the side effects of Naprosyn, there may be another medication out there that is better suited for you. Living with painful conditions such as arthritis can be difficult, and the use of NSAIDs such as Naprosyn can help in most cases.

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4 Sources
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