Arthritis Home > Naproxen Side Effects
Several different side effects can occur with the use of naproxen. Those that were most commonly reported in clinical trials included stomach pain, constipation, and drowsiness. People who use this pain-relief medicine may also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Symptoms that may indicate serious side effects of naproxen include chest pain, shortness of breath, and slurred speech.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with naproxen (brand names include Aleve®, Naprosyn®, EC-Naprosyn®, Anaprox®, Anaprox® DS, and Naprelan®). However, not everyone who takes the medicine will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, they are generally minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with naproxen. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of naproxen side effects with you.)
Just like any drug, naproxen has the potential to cause serious side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that people using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) other than aspirin, including naproxen, may have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke than those who do not take NSAIDs. This risk may be higher in people who have been taking NSAIDs for a long time. These events can occur without warning and can lead to loss of life. Get emergency medical help by calling 911 as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness on one side of your body
- Slurred speech.
Other potentially serious side effects include but are not limited to:
- Allergic reactions, such as:
- Swelling of the face or body
- Unexplained skin rash
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach or intestine problems, such as:
- A hole (known as a perforation)
- Liver damage, which can cause:
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Excessive tiredness
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure
- Fluid retention or unexplained weight gain (see Naproxen and Weight Gain)
- Congestive heart failure
- Feeling that the pill is stuck in your throat.
Because naproxen can increase your risk of major or life-threatening bleeding, contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or have any of the following symptoms:
- Bloody nose
- Black, tarry stools
- Blood in the urine or stools
- Vomiting blood
- Red or purple spots on the skin.