Safety Concerns With Naproxen Sodium

Specific Naproxen Sodium Precautions and Warnings

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking naproxen sodium include the following:
 
  • Naproxen sodium can interact with several medications (see Naproxen Sodium Drug Interactions).
     
  • All NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium, have been reported to cause cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke, which can result in loss of life. People with cardiovascular disease or who have cardiovascular risk factors appear to be at greater risk. To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, you should take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Call 911 if you notice things such as:
 
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Weakness
    • Slurring of speech.
 
  • All NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium, may make high blood pressure worse or even cause it. Therefore, this medication should be used with caution in people with known high blood pressure.
     
  • All NSAIDs may cause congestive heart failure or swelling. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider if you notice any unexplained rapid weight gain or swelling. Also, naproxen sodium should be used with caution in people with heart failure.
     
  • All NSAIDs have been reported to cause problems in the stomach and intestines, including bleeding (known as gastrointestinal bleeding), stomach ulcers, or holes in the stomach or intestines (called perforations). These problems can lead to serious complications or even loss of life. Therefore, extreme caution should be used if naproxen sodium is prescribed for people with a history of ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, you should take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms of stomach ulcers or bleeding, including:
 
    • Stomach pain
    • Indigestion
    • Black, tarry stools
    • Vomiting blood.
 
  • Kidney damage can happen in people taking NSAIDs. It is more common in people with kidney disease, heart failure, liver problems, those taking diuretics or ACE inhibitor medications, and the elderly.
     
  • Liver damage can happen in people who are taking naproxen sodium. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice things such as:
 
    • Nausea
    • Tiredness
    • Lethargy
    • Itchy or yellowing skin
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Flu-like symptoms.
 
  • NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium, have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as difficulty breathing and swelling of the face and throat.
     
  • In rare cases, people taking naproxen sodium can develop a serious rash. If you notice an unexplained rash or blisters, fever, or itchy skin, stop taking this medication and call your healthcare provider.
     
  • If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting naproxen sodium. Alcohol can affect the way the liver works, indirectly affecting how the medication works.
     
  • NSAIDS, including naproxen sodium, have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a blood test that looks at your liver function before starting naproxen sodium and then again 12 weeks after treatment has started.
     
  • Naproxen sodium has been known to cause anemia. Therefore, if you are taking this medication for an extended amount of time and show signs of anemia, talk to your healthcare provider.
     
  • You should not take naproxen sodium with any other NSAID, because it may increase your risk for any of the problems discussed previously. Many NSAIDs are available with or without a prescription -- make sure to read labels carefully. A list of NSAIDs includes:
 
 
  • Naproxen sodium is a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning that it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. If you are pregnant, you should only take this drug if the benefit to you outweighs the possible risk to your unborn child. Naproxen sodium is not recommended for women in the third trimester of pregnancy, because it can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Naproxen Sodium and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • If you are nursing, you should not take naproxen sodium. Ask your healthcare provider whether you should stop nursing or discontinue the medicine.
     
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