Naprosyn is a pain reliever used primarily for arthritis.

Like other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, it may also be prescribed for menstrual cramps, bursitis, tendinitis, sprains, strains and other painful conditions.

Naprosyn is virtually identical to Anaprox, a popular pain reliever, so these two drugs should never be taken together.

It is also available by its generic name, naproxen, and as an over-the-counter pain reliever, Aleve.

Side Effects and Interactions

No matter how you swallow this medicine, the most common side effects of Naprosyn involve the gastrointestinal tract.

They include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, cramps, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

Some people may develop ulcers and intestinal bleeding while taking Naprosyn. Occasionally these problems can occur without obvious symptoms and lead to a life-threatening crisis due to perforation of the stomach lining.

Older people appear to be more susceptible to this problem and should be monitored carefully. Warning signs include weight loss, persistent indigestion, a feeling of fullness after moderate meals, dark or tarry stools, anemia and unusual fatigue.

Home stool tests such as Hemoccult or Fleet Detecatest may provide an early indication of bleeding.

Other side effects to watch for include headache, ringing in the ears, rash, itching, difficulty breathing and fluid retention.

Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty concentrating, and confusion are possible, so do not drive if you become impaired.

Less common adverse reactions include jitteriness, insomnia, heart palpitations, hair loss, depression, tremor, tiredness, visual disturbances, and sores in the mouth. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Naprosyn can affect both the kidney and liver, so periodic blood tests to monitor the function of these organs is important.

Some people become sensitive to sunlight while on Naprosyn, with a severe burn or rash resulting, so use an effective sunscreen, stay covered or avoid the sun.

This medication can interact with many other drugs, including aspirin and alcohol.

Naprosyn may blunt the effectiveness of many blood pressure medicines, including beta-blockers like Corgard or Tenormin, ACE inhibitors like Capoten, Vasotec or Zestril and diuretics like Dyazide or Lasix.

It can increase blood levels of the heart drug Lanoxin and increase the toxicity of the transplant drug Sandimmune and the cancer medicine methotrexate.

Because it has the potential to cause GI bleeding, Naprosyn could be dangerous in combination with the blood thinner Coumadin.

If you must take Naprosyn together with either the seizure medication Dilantin or the manic-depression medicine lithium, your physician should monitor blood levels and effects of these drugs closely.

Check with both your doctor and your pharmacist before taking Naprosyn in combination with any other drugs.

Special Precautions

People who are allergic to aspirin or other anti-inflammatory agents should avoid Naprosyn.

Signs of allergy include breathing difficulties, rash, fever, or a sudden drop in blood pressure and require immediate medical attention.

Taking the Medicine

Because Naprosyn can be hard on the digestive tract, it may be taken with food to reduce stomach irritation. This offers no guarantee of safety, however.

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  1. Tom

    Mostly my experience of Naproxen has been helpful so far ….one month …..arthritic knees . My main concern has been a loss in mental agility and memory clarity , Anyone else experience anything similar ?

  2. Dee

    I’ve been taken 500g Naproxen a day for over a year. It’s really helped with the arthritis in the neck and bulging disc pain. But today found I have high blood pressure which has been fine before, even though life has been pretty stressful. Made me look into the BP side and found Naproxen written large everywhere. Have suffered with depression, slight ringing in ears, rashes, lack of concentration and blurry vision throughout this time but did not connect it to Naproxen. I’m on this site now to see if there is anything to stop me just stopping taking them – any adverse side effects. Not looking forward to a return to the chronic pain though.

  3. Myra
    Orange County, CA

    I have very bad back and have been taking Alive several times a day for many months, on orders from my Dr. Yesterday I started seeing weird colors and patterns everywhere–it is very very distressing, I have also not been able to keep my balance. I have stopped taking the Aleve, but the crazy symptoms have not gone away, My Dr. says to drink plenty of water. I also had a lot of ocular migranes 2 days ago, but that has stopped, anyone heard of thia?

  4. Stomachache

    This medication is the devil. Gave me intense stomach pains, bloated and hugely distended belly, gas, ringing in ears and dizziness. But the stomach pains were the worst.
    I was splitting a 500 mg pill.
    I paid a lot for this med but will be disposing of it.

  5. H.B.
    Raleigh, NC

    I have been taking(2) Aleve 220 mg non-prescription for about 3 years for osteoarthritis in knees and wrist. I usually don’t need it but about once every 2 weeks. Does using aleve over a long period of time at this rate cause kidney or liver damage? I have not had any adverse reactions at this time. I manage to walk about 1 or 2 hours a day and do yoga. Which both seem to help.

  6. MAZ

    I was prescribed Naproxen twice a day for severe back pain, which was to be taken after food, which I adhered to. I took it for about two months. It did help with the back pain but I started to bleed from my back passage, my bowel movements also totally changed. I would have to rush to get to a toilet, it was a complete nightmare, especially when I had no problems before. I also had pain in my back at the side which I felt was coming from my kidneys – I notice this was mentioned – my doctor brushed it off as coming from my back.
    I went to one of the other doctors in the practice who sent me for a Colonoscopy. It showed that I had an inflamed bowel and rectum. I’m convinced this is all down to taking Naproxen. I haven’t taken it now for 4 months and I still have a little bleeding and my bowels are still totally messed up. I went for relief of back pain and feel I have ended up in a worse state. I went to a chiropractor for my back pain and nearly pain free – but my insides now are totally messed up.

    • karen
      south africa

      I took for two months now I also got cramps, wind and dashing to the toilet all the time I haven’t taken for over a month am I supposed to now live with this???

  7. Terence
    WV West Virginia

    I see a lot of issues (which I had in the past) w/ Naproxen and stomach trouble. Naproxen Sodium molecule is virtually unchanged by water but is FAT SOLUBLE. I’ve been taking 220 mg 3x a day —morning, early dinner, bedtime, with a large dose fish oil capsule. Full or empty stomach and absolutely no issues. Hope this helps.

  8. Car

    I took 500mg of Naproxen this morning with a sandwich and full bottle of water. It was prescribed to decrease inflammation in a torn labrum in my hip. An hour after I took it my stomach started aching. It has hurt extremely bad all day. It is a dull burning pain. It has been 14 hours since I took the Naproxen with no relief. I am hoping that it will stop soon. This was definitely the first and last time I will ever take this medication. It has been an awful experience.

  9. Candyce

    I have fibromyalgia and recently started experiencing back pain that had radiated to my back. when the pain persisted I went to the Emergency room. I had several routine test done and everything came back normal do the doctor gave me a prescription for Naproxen 500 mg to take twice daily and discharged me to go home. After the first dose my my pain went away so I felt good. After second dose I noticed a stomach cramp in my upper abdomen right below my ribs. The cramp would come and go for hours. I continued to take the medicine as prescribed and after 4-5 days my I had stomach cramps, nausea, constipation, bloating, gas, and pressure in my stomach. I did some research on the medication and after reading about these common and negative side effects decided to stop taking it. I have not taken it for 48 hours and my stomach is still not back to normal but feels a little better. This stuff is lethal…be careful! As as side note I did take the medication with a full meal but still caused me to feel sick.

  10. Kazza

    Woke up early hours and could not walk been having bad pain in my knee for a few weeks I managed to take strong painkillers but did not help went to my GP and he booked me in for a MRI scan in the meantime gave me Naproxen 2×500 daily been on them 3 months then went onto 1×500 daily for another 3 months
    The last visit to my GP they suggested I cut to 250 daily I have done this and the last 3 days I have had headache also some stomach pain heartburn
    The knee pain is much better but I can definitely see a change in cutting down the medication dosage
    I think I will come off it totally in a months time
    Just to add I noticed my hearing has been worse!
    Hope this helps

  11. Patricia

    Went to GP for quite severe hip pain (possibly bursitis or arthritis). Am female, aged 66, and pain prevented my running regime. Dr prescribed Naproxin 250mg twice a day. Helpful for the hip pain but the side effects, especially the shooting stomach pain, the gas, trips to the bathroom and bloating meant that I stopped after about 5 or 6 days. Five days on, I’m still experiencing stomach pain. Not sure what’s going on but glad I found this site.mwished I’d found it before I started these meds.

    • Jo

      I am currently going through exactly what you did. I have been off the medication for 4 days now but still my tummy is not right and I don’t feel like eating. Just wondering how long it took you to get back to normal.

  12. Jade

    Went to doctors for chest pain, blood pressure was fine and was getting plenty of oxygen so she ruled out heart disease. She prescribed naproxen 250mg 3x a day. However luckily I only took one because I started to feel weak in the left side of my body, heard ringing, lost concentration was getting angry and stressed, ankles began swelling up currently still are 3 days after taking! Also anxiety is really playing up! Read the side effects after getting swollen ankles and read about people’s experiences with the drug that’s when I realised the reason I was feeling so horrible was due to this drug, like I said luckily I only took one! Really do not recommend this do not know why doctors are allowed to prescribe this to patients!

  13. DCW
    Raleigh, NC

    My GP prescribed Naproxen 500mg twice a day for a 10-day period to relieve strained abdominal muscles and lower back pain from physical injury. After 4 days on the regimen, though it relieved the target pain, I have steadily become more and more bloated. Several hours after I dose, symptoms occur of kidney stress that diminish and go away completely before the next dose. I also have ringing in the ears like many others posted here. It’s a trade-off in my case. The side effects are a little worse than the problem the drug fixes, at least for me.

    What gets me are the FDA and International Health Organization’s double-blind placebo clinical trial studies for Naproxen. According to the trial reports, side effects are rare. The studies show the placebo groups experience side effects at nearly the same rate as the control group taking Naproxen, including most of the side effects posted by myself and others here. You can find the reports on fda.gov and nlm.nih.gov.

  14. Charlie
    North Carolina

    I’ve been prescribed naproxen for jaw pain and I’ve been on it for a couple months. I only take it as needed, which is often, though I generally try to do just about anything else for the pain because of the side effects. First of all, it doesn’t always work. I’d guess and say that it maybe does something for the pain about 25% of the time. The other 75% of the time, I’m left still in pain, but now with an upset stomach. It really messes with my stomach. Also, I’m prone to depressive periods (I’m not too sure how to describe it, but there’s been suicidal thoughts) and I’ve been in one long, particularly bad one since starting naproxen. Additionally, it does nothing for the headaches and neck aches that occasionally accompany my jaw pain. I’m really not impressed.

    • BreeC-M

      I have a very rare jaw disorder. I went to see a specialist, he told me that depending on how long you live with everyday chronic pain, your brain can pick up on pain signals whether you feel pain or not. Some days I find myself taking 3 220mg caplets of naproxen at a time. However later on at night I need 3 more. The bottle says not to exceed 1-2 pills in 24 hours and I have been taking 6 some days. As a result, I have had huge blue/black and purple bruises on my legs for months on end. Take what your doctor has prescribed and the rest of the pain felt probably isn’t pain at all, depending on how long you went with untreated pain.

      • Terry Graedon

        Please discuss this with your doctor. Too much naproxen (and you are taking too much) can put you at risk for elevated blood pressure, bleeding ulcers, heart attack, and stroke. And that’s just the highlights.

  15. Paulette C
    Thames Ditton Surrey

    I have been taking Naproxen for one week and have had disturbed sleep for two nights due to indigestion and pain in my stomach. This medecine was prescribed by my doctor for inflammation in the muscles of my bottom after a fall. I am stopping the Naproxen because I am appalled by all the comments I have just read.

  16. Jo

    I took Aleve PM at night to help with TMJ pain. Worked for the pain. Feet started to tingle at night. Went to doc who tested for everything from diabetes to cancer. All blood work good. Sent to a podiatrist for my feet after blood tests were clear. Prescribed more Aleve. Add to morning routine and keep taking at night. Now I have hives, tingling pins and needs all over, ringing in ears, swollen tongue, watery eyes, blurry vision. Went to an allergist who told me to quit taking Aleve ASAP. So I did. Now I wait and am taking antihistamines to counteract the hives and allergic reaction. It’s been 24 hours now and the ringing in the ears is less intense but still there. Hives are less intense but still itching and tingling. Feet feel less tingly. What an ordeal! I am told to wait a week for everything to subside. Guess it must have to flush itself out of your body. I can’t and will not ever take this again. :-( Taking one wrong thing can really mess you up!

    • Jo
      Vancouver WA

      UPDATE! It ended up NOT being the Aleve causing my problems. It was an overdose of Vitamin B supplements! I never knew this could happen. The flushing and red rash was from an overdose of Niacin (a B vitamin) and an overdose of B6 caused numbness in my feet and tingling. After stopping this supplement my tingling has gone away, no more rash, ringing in ears has decreased by 50% and the numbness in the balls of my feet will take a lot longer they say. I am just glad they figured it out and that it is reversible!

  17. John

    Had a groin strain following stiff hour walk in humid conditions.
    I saw that Naproxen was recommended as NSAID for pain.
    I Took it for 8 days – Started to get nausea after 3 days, then stomach started hurting.
    Day 7 my stool had turned black – anxiety shot up as i have had digestive issues previously – after 3 consecutive days with black stool – intestinal bleeding but by chance, I saw a comment about this drug and it’s side effects
    Then I found this forum after stopping use of drug. Using Doxazasin to repair stomach/intestinal damage. I am appalled that this drug is being supplied by doctors – the company that produces should be charged with endangering life – I have not taken 3 days now and my stools back to normal colour so I guess most out of my system – hope this helps others.

  18. Corina
    Ruidoso, NM

    I have osteoarthritis and have been taking naproxen for almost a year. I’ve had dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, severe itching, small blister lesions (thought they were shingles), severe headaches daily, tingling/numbness in my left arm, edema (started in right foot–now in both feet, legs and hands), purpura, petechia, nose bleeds, dry mouth, stomach pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, insomnia, anxiety, weight gain (super fast), fluctuation in B/P, neck pain, heartburn, loss of appetite, gas and constipation. I’m a nurse and was sent to a specialist for my pain and a pain management specialist. Not all of the symptoms came on suddenly. My right foot has been swelling since August of 2014. I never thought all of these things were extreme allergic reaction to naproxen. I’ve been bloated, in pain, and just miserable. I made the connection with the swelling (edema) back to the time I first started using it. Then found all the other problems that I had listed. Funny my Dr. Didn’t know. Went in about the swelling and pain and Dr. figured it was arthritis. Had X-ray s and an MRI. He told me I was overweight and needed to lose weight, after I told him I was gaining weight and hadn’t changed my diet and felt bloated. I took myself off it and trying to get rid of the edema and everything else. Worse off than with some minor aches and pains. Will take some time to get back to normal.

  19. Helayne

    On A Positive Note……….
    I was on prescription Naproxen many years ago, but my MD took me off due to adverse reports about it.
    However, I decided to start OTC Naproxen (Aleve, 220mg) last year because it seemed to help best for my arthritis pain. It works for me, as I have only to take one, and i’m pain-free for over 24 hrs. I’m an 82 year old female with osteoarthritis for many years, and some healed broken joints which would bother me greatly if not for the Aleve.
    I make a point of widely spacing it from my one prescription ACE inhibitor med by at least 12 hrs. There are very few side effects, and I take it only two- or three times a week, if needed.
    Almost every med has side effects, some more serious than others; it’s a matter of weighing the benefits with the pitfalls. I’m fortunate that my side effects are minimal, and the strength of the OTC Naproxen is enough for me.

  20. kat

    I am having chills. Numbness and anxiety attacks after just 250mg tabs today. I don’t like it and will not be taking anymore.

  21. JD

    Not wise taking these for a long time if you do take my advice don’t drink smoke or eat unhealthy drink plenty of water, TAKE vitamins, get your blood tested regularly, These do help dramatically but trust me if you take the higher dose for a long time your kidneys and liver will suffer. Serum inorganic phosphate level below range 0.77 mmol/L [0.8 -1.5] and another…

  22. Burnaby Bill

    only took 3x500mg. Made muscles twitch at night, and ears ring. Been ringing 3 months straight now.

  23. colin

    I was prescribed naproxen for chronic lower back pain i only took two a day 2x500s after two days was constantly feeling sick and unwell so stopped taking them its taken a week to start feeling better rather live with pain then feeling so ill.

  24. valerie

    I took this cursed medication for a fortnight back in March, and was prescribed it again a few weeks later for what turned out to be a fractured metatarsal. I developed ringing in my ears and could not hear properly. It was only after a few weeks of feeling as if I was going mad that I finally made the connection and stopped taking them. My hearing and the noises in my head and ears got much better after about a fortnight but it took a couple of months to feel completely back to normal.
    Now I am worried that I have had tingling in my hands, arms and legs for quite a few months which isn’t getting better despite treatment from a physio. I suddenly remembered that this started at the same time that I was taking Naproxen (I had originally thought the tingling in my arm might have been triggered by using a crutch.) I see that tingling is included in the list of side-effects, but I have been unable to find any information about whether this gets better when you stop taking the drug or whether it causes permanent nerve damage.
    Any information or comments very welcome.

  25. CMi

    I had been taking naproxen for approximately 3 months on an as needed based. Over the last 4 days I’ve been very dizzy and I’m concerned it is the naproxen. After 4 days I’m wondering how long it will last. I do not have ringing in my ears. Wanted your feedback on if the ringing in your ears eventually went away.

  26. gnesta

    Helen H: Have you checked your thyroid? I had palpitations and sudden severe anxiety and I found out I have HYPERthyroid (Hashimoto’s)………

    • Jacquie

      I have hashimoto, this is a Hypothyroid. I just started taking this drug today, but it’s only for 5 days, so hopefully I will not experience your side affects.

  27. helen h.

    I was prescribed naproxyn for pelvic pain. After a few weeks I noticed that in my chest I was always aware of my heartbeat and my belly was bloated and tight. I wondered if this could be high blood pressure, I am a fit 48 year old who normally has really low BP and when I checked it was 148 over 95 which is really bad.
    I have been racking my brain for what could have brought this on in just a couple of months and did the search and found all of these posts. I have been spared some of the effects such as heartburn as I was co-prescribed omeprazole to prevent this. But I have not slept well and have palpitations and anxiety, indeed I have gone on another medication to help with the anxiety. I will put up with the pain rather than have high BP with associated risk of heart attack and stroke. Bit nervous about how long it will take to recover, but no more after today.

  28. MLM

    I took Naproxen 375mg for less than week as well and had severe stomach pains and issues like most people mentioned here. It’s been a week and a half since I stopped taking it and still have some pain but I’ve been taking Zantac which seems to help out a bit. That’s crazy it took 6 weeks to clear up – the side effects are not worth taking this drug.

    • Tiffany D
      United States

      My son will be 11 years old at the end of April. He had Sever’s Disease in his foot, and needed a cast for a month. After the cast got taken off, he had more issues and in turn without going into to many details, was diagnosed with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome. He is a pretty tall and big kid, so he is on 3 different meds.. Naproxen was one of them. He was taking 250 MG 2x a day. I’m 99% sure he has developed an ulcer now. He has all of the symptons. Originally I thought it was just a stomach ache, as that is a side effect. But it seems to be getting worse, and he has finished his dosage, as of 4 days ago. I feel so bad for him. Can’t believe the horrendous side effects from this medicine.

  29. Glen

    I only took it for a week or less and not even prescription strength. It took six weeks before I was free of all stomach pain.

  30. C Bennett

    Barbara … I’ve taken naproxen for almost a year and am taking myself off (along with a few others). Have had alot of the side effects listed by other people, recovering from a car accident (lower back problems), so who knows which pill is doing what. I have allergies and took an allergy pill …. holy cow, stomach cramps galore and I had a hysterectomy about 17 yrs ago. Don’t think the naproxen has helped but I want to stop all of them. My question for you …. how long did it take for naproxen to be completely out of your system?

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