Naproxen: The Pain Reliever

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Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever. It is a member of the propionic acid class of NSAIDs, which also includes ibuprofen and ketoprofen. Naproxen is available in over-the-counter and prescription forms.

It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that play a role in inflammation and pain. When prostaglandin levels are reduced, inflammation and pain are relieved. Naproxen is also a mild antipyretic, meaning that it can reduce fever.

what is it for

Naproxen is used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by a breakdown of the lining of the joints), rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis caused by swelling of the lining of the joints), juvenile arthritis (a form of joint disease in children), and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis that mainly affects the spine).

Prescription tablets, extended-release tablets, and suspensions are also used to relieve shoulder pain caused by bursitis (inflammation of a fluid-filled sac in the shoulder joint), tendinitis (inflammation of the tissue that connects muscle to bone), gouty arthritis (joint pain caused by the build-up of certain substances in the joints), and pain from other causes, including menstrual pain (pain that occurs before or during a menstrual period).

Nonprescription is used to reduce fever and relieve mild pain from headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, menstrual periods, common cold, toothaches, and backaches.


The dosage of naproxen depends on the condition being treated and the severity of the symptoms. For over-the-counter use, the recommended dose of naproxen is 220 milligrams (mg) every 8-12 hours, as needed. For prescription use, the dose of naproxen can be higher, up to 550 mg every 12 hours.
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