Understanding naproxen's role in pain relief & reduces inflammation Understanding naproxen's role in pain relief & reduces inflammation

Even on the best of days pain can stop you in your tracks and keep you from being able to do the things you love most. That’s why when you’re in pain, you want medication that will provide fast and effective relief. If you see a GP or doctor about your pain and are given a prescription, one of the first lines of medicinal defence against pain is a medication called Naproxen.

Naproxen is a prescription pain relief medication that can treat a wide range of ailments including muscular pain, gout, arthritis pain, and menstrual cramps. Classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory relief medication (NSAID), it has proven effecting in treating mild to moderate pain and inflammation. It can be used in the short term and, in some cases, can be implemented in the long-term as part of a pain management plan.

How Does Naproxen Work?

Naproxen relieves pain by reducing swelling an inhibiting pain sensations. It does this by lowering hormones called prostaglandin that are associated with inflammation and chronic pain. Naproxen also blocks another substance in your body linked to pain called cyclooxygenase. 

It isn’t fully understood why these chemicals cause pain, but research shows that Naproxen is effective in blocking their ability to cause pain. 

Naproxen Uses

Several bone, muscle, and joint conditions can be treated with Naproxen due to its ability to block pain chemicals. These include: 

  • Gout: Gout is an extremely painful type of arthritis that causes sudden and intense attacks of pain in your joints. Attacks of gout can happen in any of your joints, but the big toe is the most affected joint.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Also known as RA, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to mistakenly attack your own healthy cells. This leads to very painful inflammation, usually in the joints.
  • Osteoarthritis: One of the most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a condition where cartilage and other tissues in the joint break down. This causes the joints to become painful and stiff and can severely restrict movement.
  • Headache: A headache is a type of pain that occurs in your head or face that can be throbbing, sharp, or dull. It can also sometimes feel like pressure in your head. They can vary in intensity and frequency.
  • Sprains: A sprain is a tear or extended stretching of the tendons. Tendons are the bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones together in your joints, such as in your ankle.
  • Strains: A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or to the tissue that connects muscles to bones called a tendon. Strains are often referred to as a “pulled muscle” and they most commonly occur in the hamstrings and in the lower back.
  • Menstrual Cramps: Menstrual cramps, or period pain, are the result of the muscular walls of the womb contracting. These contractions become more frequent and intense during your period to aid your womb in shedding uterine lining.
  • Tendonitis: Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that happens most often in the knees, wrists, shoulders, and elbows. This causes pain and tenderness around the joint.
  • Bursitis: Bursae are small, fluid filled sacs that cushion your muscles, tendons, and bones. When they become inflamed, they cause a painful condition called bursitis, usually in the hip, elbow, and shoulder.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the spine and other parts of the body. This results in back pain and back stiffness.
  • Juvenile Arthritis (JA): Also known as paediatric rheumatic disease, JA is a non-specific term for arthritis that develops in children aged 16 and under. Most cases of JA are caused by autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, similar to rheumatoid arthritis. 

Naproxen Side Effects

All medications and treatments have the potential to cause side effects, especially when you first start taking them. If you’ve been given a prescription for Naproxen as one of your treatment options, it’s because your prescriber has decided that the therapeutic benefit of the medication outweighs any risks. 

You should take the lowest dosage of Naproxen for the shortest amount of time possible to avoid experiencing any side effects. If you do need to take it long term, for instance to treat rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may also prescribe medication to offset any stomach upset- the most common side effect of taking naproxen.

Any side effects should be mild, but if they continue longer than you expect or become worse, speak to a GP or pharmacist right away. 

Commonly reported side effects of Naproxen include

While unlikely, there is a chance of experiencing more serious side effects when taking Naproxen. Stop taking the medication and seek medical help if you experience: 

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in urination 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the ankles or feet
  • Stiff neck

You should also get medical help if you show any signs of an allergic reaction like fever, rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat.

Who Shouldn’t Use Naproxen?

Naproxen may not be suitable for some people. Ensure you discuss your full medical history with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Naproxen, especially if you have a history of: 

  • Allergic reactions to naproxen or other NSAIDs
  • Stomach ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease 
  • Lupus
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • Blood clotting disorders 
  • Heart problems
  • Liver failure

Women who are pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding also should avoid taking Naproxen. 

Where Can I Get Naproxen?

Whether for arthritis pain relief, menstrual cramp relief, or other pain relief, our team at Pharmacy Planet can help by prescribing you with Naproxen. As a proven anti-inflammatory medication, Naproxen can help to reduce your pain and swelling so you can get back to your life. To get Naproxen for gout or for another painful condition, fill out a short assessment for our prescribers to review. Once approved, we’ll have your pain relief shipped safely and quickly to your door.