Naproxen is licensed to reduce pain and inflammation caused by various conditions, such as injury, arthritis, and menstrual cramps. It works by inhibiting the action of certain hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Naproxen is available as either an over-the-counter or prescription drug, and comes in tablet, caplet, or liquid form. Common side effects include nausea, heartburn, and constipation.
Naproxen (brand names include Aleve®, Naprosyn®, EC-Naprosyn®, Anaprox®, Anaprox® DS, and Naprelan®) is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by many conditions, including injury, arthritis, gout, and menstrual cramps, as well as other types of bone, muscle, or tendon pain. It is also combined with other medications in several cold, allergy, and flu products.
Naproxen uses include:
- Pain relief, such as for pain following a medical procedure, from straining a muscle, or because of inflammation in a tendon (tendonitis) or bursa (bursitis). It can also be used to treat general pain, such as lower back pain, neck pain, or knee pain.
- Treatment of arthritis symptoms, including pain, stiffness, and swelling. Naproxen can be used to treat several different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis (also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), ankylosing spondylitis, and gout. However, the medication does not cure these types of arthritis.
- Treatment of painful menstrual periods.
Naproxen may also be combined with other medications in several common cold, allergy, and flu products to help relieve common cold symptoms, such as fever and aches and pains.
(Click What Is Naproxen Used For? for more information on these uses, as well as possible off-label uses.)