The People's Perspective on Medicine

Naproxen sodium


Anaprox is a pain reliever used for arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, dental surgery, bursitis, tendinitis, sprains, strains and other painful conditions.

It belongs to a class of medications commonly called NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Side Effects and Interactions

No matter how you swallow this medicine, the most common side effects involve the gastrointestinal tract. They include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, cramps, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

Some people even develop ulcers and intestinal bleeding while taking Anaprox. These problems occasionally occur without obvious preliminary symptoms, leading to a sudden 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 may 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 be alert for include headache, ringing in the ears, rash, itching, difficulty breathing and fluid retention. Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty concentrating, and confusion are possible; do not drive if you become impaired.

Less commonly Anaprox may produce jitteriness, insomnia, heart palpitations, hair loss, depression, tremor, tiredness, visual disturbances, and sores in the mouth.

Some people become sensitive to sunlight while on Anaprox, so use an effective sunscreen, stay covered or avoid the sun. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

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

This medication can adversely interact with many other drugs, including aspirin, alcohol, beta-blocker heart or blood pressure medicine, blood thinners, Lasix, lithium and methotrexate.

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aleve (which contains the same ingredient as Anaprox) or others containing ibuprofen or aspirin should not be combined with Anaprox. Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure Anaprox is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

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

The over-the-counter pain reliever Aleve is another guise naproxen may take and should not be mixed with Anaprox.

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

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

Taking the Medicine

Because Anaprox and Anaprox DS can be hard on the digestive tract, the pills may be taken with food to reduce tummy trouble.

This does not guarantee that the drug will be safe for the stomach.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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At 15 I took naproxen for one pain and swelling. I had an allergic reaction that resulted in SJS (Stephen Johnson’s syndrome). I was hospitalized and was very lucky to survive the ordeal. I highly recommend that anytime who thinks that they are having an allergic reaction to this medication seek immediate medical attention! I survived because of a quick diagnoses of SJS; that is what saved my life.

I’ve taken aleve (naproxen sodium) and Advil (ibuprofen ) for around 15 years. I’m 32 and about 2 years ago I started noticing a slight allergic reaction to Advil. Itchy eyes, palate, and gums. As well as swelling around my lips and eyes. It doesn’t happen every time I take them but it concerns me that it will get worse. I wonder if anyone has these same symptoms.

I took naproxen sodium for about five days to reduce inflammation in my right arm due to strain to a tendon, and developed a rash all over my body (red pinpoint dots), and then got blisters on the end of my tongue and on the inside of my lips. Also, my mouth was very raw, and it was hard to eat anything without being in pain. It’s been four days and the rash has lessened, and my mouth is not as raw, but still have numbness now in my mouth, and some blistering. Did not know that this would be an allergic problem, they should test for allergies of this drug before prescribing.

I think I been having a reaction to Naproxen I was put on it 375mg 2 x a day and on day 8 broke out in hives. It has been 13 days and I’m still having a reaction on Zyrtec 1 x a Day and Zantaz 150 mg 2 x a day plus had gotten a shot of Kenalog 60 mg after pred pack did not work. I hear that a reaction to a medication can take 6 weeks to totally go away can anybody else give me some input? I’m so scared.

Hi. I’ve just had naproxen for the first time after falling and injuring my back on Friday. After 2 tablets I had the most horrific headaches, confusion, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting. Ended up at the hospital screaming for someone to just shoot me! It’s been over 48 hours now but I’m still bed-ridden with headaches and pain. Does anyone know just how long this stuff stays in your system? I’m so fed up with it now :( Thanks. Jane

Last year I took naproxen for pain and after I took it I had noticed I had gotten a fever blister at first I didn’t pay it no mind because I didn’t know it was from that medicine so when I didn’t take the medicine again it stopped so a couple days so I had the wrote toothache in my life so instead of walking to the store at two in the morning for an advil pm I decided to take naproxen and soon after I took it my lip started tingling and now I have a fever blister again so now I know what caused it…. it was the naproxen so I just wish this will go away.

After taking Naproxen Sodium tablets, 220 mg only one time, my lips swelled, tingled, felt sunburned, and chapped the next day, then a few days later blisters appeared all over my lips. I have never had an allergic reaction to anything in my life and I’m 54 years old. This is a first for me. I’m sure it was caused by the medicine because I had never taken it before, nor will I ever again!

Hello I just read your post. How long did your reaction last after you took naproxen? I had a reaction to it I think I’m still having one and it’s been 13 days and I’m really getting frustrated. Leslie

I found out I was Allergic to Naproxen Sodium after I took it for a fever blister and cramps. After I took it the fever blisters got bigger and more painful. Then I started noticing rashes that were red at first then turned black. I was itching all over and very irritated and could not focus on anything. I was feverish and my eyes started to blur. I was rushed to the hospital and had to be kept there for three days. That’s when they told me I had an allergic reaction to Naproxen and told me I was very lucky because if I would have waited a little longer I would have what they call Stevens Johnsons Syndrome which is an severe allergic reaction to a medication that causes blindness and even death.
I still have the dark spots all over my body and around my mouth and eyes. I am currently seeking pain and suffering from this incident but that’s not important. The most important thing is that I’m still alive!

For a number of years I would come down with a reaction that would cause me to develop blisters on my lips followed by mouth ulcers for a duration of 2 weeks. It finally was discovered that Sodium Naproxen was causing an allergic reaction. These reactions were very painful but are now under control.
I would like to know if someone else has ever had these reactions?

I took Naproxen Sodium 220 mg tablets (1-4/ usually 4) daily for arthritis for over 10 years without stomach trouble or any noted kidney or liver problems. Then, following a CT scan with dye to check out an eye problem I suffered acute kidney failure. Was it the Naproxen, the dye, the antibiotic they proscribed for the eye problem, a combination?
No one seems to know. I survived by the grace of God. My kidney function dropped to 12% before miraculously turning around. Doctors were baffled. The problem is, I still have arthritis and am not supposed to take anti-inflammatories now. Guess I’ll try natural cures.

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