Naproxen: what is it for?

Naproxen is an analgesic drug that belongs to the large family of NSAIDs, also known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic drugs. It is a medicine that it is contraindicated, among other situations, in patients suffering from a gastroduodenal ulcer, as well as in pregnant or lactating women.

The reason for this is that, as we will see later, Naproxen crosses the placenta and part is excreted in the milk. On the other hand, this medicine is administered in adults, mainly orally, in doses of 250 mg in two doses every 12 hours. The maximum dose is 1000 mg.

Main indications of naproxen

It can be used both as an antipyretic and analgesic. It has an effect similar to that of aspirin, but it has a better tolerance. In addition to these two effects, it is also an anti-inflammatory drug used for the treatment of rheumatic diseases such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Gouty arthritis

Likewise, It is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, such as that which occurs in tendonitis, bursitis, dental pain, dysmenorrhea or migraines.

On the other hand, naproxen, having antipyretic effects, It can be used in the treatment of febrile episodes and in relief of cold-associated symptoms.

Naproxen is indicated for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. In addition, it helps to treat other common ailments.

Learning more about NSAIDs

Naproxen, as we know, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic drug, this family being one of the most prescribed medication groups. The reason for this is that they present a great variety of indications.

As for how they trigger the action, naproxen, like all non-opioid analgesic drugs, share a mechanism of action. They are able to inhibit the action of the enzyme cyclooxygenase. As a consequence of this inhibition, the synthesis of the formation of prostaglandins is inhibited, in particular, of the PGE and the PGL

Prostaglandins are protein substances that participate in numerous physiological processes such as inflammatory reactions, pain production and fever. Because of this, with the inhibition of the enzyme involved in its synthesis, All these symptoms can be controlled.

Read also: What are the differences between ibuprofen and paracetamol?

Main adverse reactions of naproxen

Naproxen is one of the NSAIDs best tolerated by patients. However, like all dermal products in the market, Naproxen is not exempt from producing a series of adverse effects. Adverse effects of medications are all those expected events that occur unintentionally with drug treatment.

In this sense, naproxen can produce a series of digestive disorders such as:

  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Or, if administered rectally:

  • Anal discomfort
  • Gastroduodenal ulcer.
  • Liver lesions

On the other hand, it is also capable of triggering nerve disorders, such as headaches, dizziness or loss of consciousness, among others. Other side effects that occur with naproxen treatment are:

  • Passing deafness
  • Agranulocytosis
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Skin disorders

Pharmacokinetics: what happens to naproxen in the body?

Naproxen is administered orally and has rapid absorption. For distribution in the body you need to bind to plasma proteins.

Pharmacokinetics includes the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of the drug. In this sense, naproxen is administered orally, presenting a rapid absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

After approximately 2-4 hours after administration, naproxen reaches its maximum plasma levels. It has a half-life of between 12 and 15 hours, that is, this is the time necessary for half of the plasma concentration of the drug to be removed.

On the other hand, for distribution by the body you need to bind to plasma proteins. Specifically, it joins almost entirely, 99%. This fact is important because promotes interaction with other medications that also binds to plasma proteins for distribution, which can generate a toxic picture if the necessary measures are not taken.

Naproxen is able to cross the placental and blood brain barrier, so you have to be careful. Finally, It is metabolized in the liver and it is eliminated in the urine by 95% and partially in the milk.

Discover: Liver metabolism: antibiotics and alcohol


Naproxen is an NSAID that is mainly used to treat the pictures of rheumatic diseases. However, it presents many other indications.

Pregnant and lactating women, as well as people with gastroduodenal ulcers, You should not take this medicine as it can cause serious consequences..

For any questions, We recommend that you ask both the doctor and the pharmacist before taking naproxen and the complications are no longer reversible.