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All about: Naproxen sodium

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Generic name: Naproxen sodium
Brand names: Anaprox DS, Naprelan, Aleve, Anaprox

Why is Naproxen sodium prescribed?

Anaprox and Naprelan are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve mild to moderate pain and menstrual cramps. They are also prescribed for relief of the inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis), and for ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis), tendinitis, bursitis, acute gout, and other conditions. Anaprox also may be prescribed for juvenile arthritis.

The over-the-counter form of naproxen sodium, Aleve, is used for temporary relief of minor aches and pains, and to reduce fever.

Most important fact about Naproxen sodium

You should have frequent checkups with your doctor if you take Anaprox regularly. Ulcers or internal bleeding can occur without warning.

How should you take Naproxen sodium?

Your doctor may ask you to take Anaprox with food or an antacid to avoid stomach upset. Take Aleve with a full glass of water.

Take Naproxen sodium exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

If you are using Anaprox for arthritis, it should be taken regularly.

--If you miss a dose...

Anaprox: Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

Naprelan: Take the forgotten dose only if you remember within 2 hours after the appointed time. Otherwise, skip the dose and go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Anaprox.

  • Side effects of Anaprox may include:
    Abdominal pain, bruising, constipation, diarrhea, difficult or labored breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, hearing disturbances, heartburn, indigestion, inflammation of the mouth, itching, light-headedness, nausea, rapid, fluttery heartbeat, red or purple spots on the skin, ringing in the ears, skin eruptions, sweating, swelling due to fluid retention, thirst, vertigo, vision changes

Naprelan shares some of the above side effects, but also has some of its own:

  • Side effects of Naprelan may include:
    Back pain, flu symptoms, infection, nasal inflammation, sinus inflammation, sore throat, urinary infection

Why should Naproxen sodium not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Anaprox, aspirin, or similar drugs such as Motrin, if you have had asthma attacks caused by aspirin or other drugs of this type, or if you have ever retained fluid or had hives or nasal tumors, you should not take Naproxen sodium. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Naproxen sodium

Remember that peptic ulcers and bleeding can occur without warning.

This drug should be used with caution if you have kidney or liver disease. It can cause liver inflammation in some people.

Do not take aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medications while taking Anaprox, unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Anaprox and Naprelan contain sodium. If you are on a low sodium diet, discuss this with your doctor.

Use with caution if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. This drug can increase water retention. It also may cause vision problems. If you experience any changes in your vision, inform your doctor.

This drug makes some people drowsy or less alert. Avoid driving, operating dangerous machinery, or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness if you find that the drug has this effect on you.

Do not take Aleve for more than 10 days for pain or 3 days for fever. Contact your doctor if pain or fever persists or gets worse, if the painful area becomes red or swollen, or if you develop more than a mild digestive upset.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Naproxen sodium

If Anaprox is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Anaprox with the following:

ACE inhibitors such as the blood pressure medication Capoten
Antiseizure drugs such as Dilantin
Aspirin
Beta blockers, including blood pressure drugs such as Inderal
Blood thinners such as Coumadin
Certain water pills (diuretics) such as Lasix
Lithium (Lithonate)
Methotrexate
Naproxen in other forms, such as Naprosyn
Oral diabetes drugs such as Micronase
Other pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Motrin)
Probenecid (Benemid)

If you have more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day, check with your doctor before using painkillers.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Anaprox during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Avoid Anaprox, Naprelan, and Aleve during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Anaprox appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Naproxen sodium is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Naproxen sodium is finished.

Recommended dosage

ANAPROX: ADULTS

Mild to Moderate Pain, Menstrual Cramps, Acute Tendinitis and Bursitis

The starting dose is 550 milligrams, followed by 275 milligrams every 6 to 8 hours or 550 milligrams every 12 hours. You should not take more than 1,375 milligrams a day to start, or 1,100 milligrams a day thereafter.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Ankylosing Spondylitis

The starting dose is 275 milligrams or 550 milligrams 2 times a day (morning and evening). Your physician can adjust the doses for maximum benefit. Symptoms should improve within 2 to 4 weeks.

Acute Gout

The starting dose is 825 milligrams, followed by 275 milligrams every 8 hours, until symptoms subside.

ANAPROX: CHILDREN

Juvenile Arthritis

The usual daily dosage is a total of 10 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into 2 doses. Dosage should not exceed 15 milligrams per 2.2 pounds per day.

The safety and effectiveness of Anaprox have not been established in children under 2 years of age.

ANAPROX: OLDER ADULTS

Your doctor will determine the dosage based on your particular needs. Adjustments in the normal adult dosage may be needed.

NAPRELAN

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Ankylosing Spondylitis

The usual dose is two 375- or 500-milligram tablets taken once a day. Your doctor will adjust your dose. You should not take more than three 500-milligram tablets daily.

Pain, Menstrual Cramps, Acute Tendinitis and Bursitis

The starting dose is two 500-milligram tablets taken once a day. For a short time, the doctor may increase the dose to three 500-milligram tablets daily.

Acute Gout

The usual dose is two to three 500-milligram tablets taken together on the first day, then two 500-milligram tablets once daily until the attack subsides.

It is not known whether Naprelan is safe for children.

ALEVE

1 tablet or caplet every 8 to 12 hours, to a maximum of 3 per day. For those over age 65, no more than 1 tablet or caplet every 12 hours. Not recommended for children under 12.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can cause symptoms of overdose. If you suspect an overdose of Anaprox, seek medical attention immediately.

  • The symptoms of Anaprox overdose may include:
    Drowsiness, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting

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