How Naproxen Works and How to Take It

How Does Naproxen Work?

Naproxen and other NSAIDs work by inhibiting the action of certain hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. These hormones are called prostaglandins.
 

Effects of Naproxen

By blocking the effects of prostaglandins, naproxen is useful at:
 
  • Reducing pain related to bone, muscle, or tendon injury or inflammation
  • Reducing fever
  • Alleviating pain and joint swelling associated with different forms of arthritis and other diseases.
 

When and How Do I Take It?

Some general considerations for when and how to take naproxen include the following:
 
  • The medication comes in tablet, caplet (capsule-shaped tablet), or liquid form. It is usually taken by mouth no more than twice daily or every 12 hours as needed (or as directed by your healthcare provider) for pain relief. It is best if you take it with food.
     
  • For naproxen to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.
     
  • It is important to take the lowest effective dose for the least amount of time in order to treat your condition. This will decrease the chances of developing serious side effects.
     

Dosing Information

The dose of naproxen your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
 
  • The medical condition being treated
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you may be taking.
     
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so. You should not take over-the-counter naproxen for more than ten days without talking to your healthcare provider.
 
(Click Naproxen Dosage for more information.)
 
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