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Uses|Dosage|Directions|Side effects|Precautions/Warnings|Interactions


What is Naproxen used for?

Naproxen is commonly used to treat pain or inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tendinitis, bursitis, gout, or menstrual cramps.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Naproxen for an adult?


Initial dose: 500 mg, then 250 mg every 6-8 hours; not to exceed 1250 mg/day on the first day.

Pain or muscle and skeletal injuries:

The usual recommended adult dose of naproxen is 250 mg, 2 or 3 times a day.

Acute gout:

Initial dose: 750 mg, then followed by 250 mg every 8 hours until attack subsides.


Initial dose: 750 mg, may give additional 250-500 mg if necessary; not to exceed 1250 mg in 24 hours.

Menstrual pain and cramps:

The recommended first dose is 500 mg followed by 250 mg every 6 to 8 hours as needed. No more than 1,250 mg should be taken in one day. Alternatively, one 500 mg tablet may be taken twice daily as recommended by your doctor.

What is the dose of Naproxen for a child?

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Children over 5 years: 10 mg/kg daily, taken in 2 divided doses every 12 hours. Max: 1,000 mg daily.

Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


How should I take Naproxen?

To use tablets properly, it comes as a tablet to take by mouth, with or without food, swallow a tablet with a glass of water.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use medication.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

It is also important to carry a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking with you in case of emergencies.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Naproxen, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Naproxen?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Naproxen may cause these side effects, such as:

  • Belching;
  • Difficult or labored breathing;
  • Feeling of indigestion;
  • Headache;
  • Itching skin;
  • Diarrhea or constipation;
  • Heartburn;
  • Stomach pain;
  • Large, flat, blue, or purplish patches in the skin;
  • Pain in the chest below the breastbone;
  • Skin eruptions;
  • Swelling;
  • Wheezing.


What should I know before using Naproxen?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Naproxen or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot; history of stomach ulcers or bleeding; asthma; liver or kidney disease; or fluid retention.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Is it safe in specific conditions (e.g. pregnancy, breastfeeding, or surgery)?


Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).


There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C; D if used for prolonged periods or after 31-32 weeks of gestation; according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk;
  • B=No risk in some studies;
  • C=There may be some risk;
  • D=Positive evidence of risk;
  • X=Contraindicated;
  • N=Unknown.


Drug excreted in breast milk; effect on infant unknown; not recommended.

Always consult your health care provider prior to using Naproxen if you are pregnant, breastfeeding.


What drugs may interact with Naproxen?

Naproxen may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug include:

  • Aliskiren;
  • ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril);
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan);
  • Cidofovir;
  • Corticosteroids (such as prednisone);
  • Lithium;
  • Water pills (diuretics such as furosemide).

Does food or alcohol interact with Naproxen?

Naproxen may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increasing the risk for serious side effects. Do not take this medication with alcohol as it may increase gastrointestinal discomfort and bleeding risk. This medication should be taken with food to reduce the risk of stomach pain. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

How do I store Naproxen?

Naproxen is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Naproxen in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Naproxen that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Naproxen down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

How is Naproxen available?

Naproxen is available in the following brands, dosage forms, and strengths:

  • Flanax/Flanax Forte tablet: 275 mg, 550 mg
  • Ritemed Naproxen tablet: 500 mg
  • Skelan tablet: 220 mg, 550 mg

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Picture of the author
Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD on May 02, 2020
Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD