Naproxen Tablets (250mg & 500mg)

  • Treats a variety of pain related conditions
  • Fast acting pain relief
  • Available in 250mg & 500mg strengths
From As low as £11.99

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What are Naproxen tablets?

Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is used to provide pain relief for a variety of conditions ranging from arthritis to Gout.

Naproxen tablets are available to buy in a number of different strengths, ranging from 250mg to 500mg. Naproxen 500mg is typically the strongest strength of Naproxen available.

For more information, read our guide to Naproxen which explains everything you need to know.

What are Naproxen tablets used to treat?

Naproxen 500mg is usually prescribed when over the counter options such as paracetamol have failed to relieve symptoms. 

It is used to treat the below conditions:

  • period pain 
  • arthritis
  • muscle/joint pain
  • back pain
  • Gout
  • Sprains and strains

Like most anti-inflammatory drugs, it works by reducing the hormones in your body that cause pain and inflammation.

In most cases, paracetamol is the most effective pain relief medicine for treating mild to moderate pain. Naproxen over the counter is available in lower doses, without a prescription, and may be a treatment option before moving onto the higher strength doses such as Naproxen 500mg and 250mg tablets.

It is also safe for children when taken under medical supervision to treat the following:

  • Period pain for girls of any age
  • Diseases of the joints in children aged 2 years old and over
  • Muscle and bone disorders in babies who are older than 1 month

Taking Naproxen tablets with other pain relief medicine

Read our detailed guide on the differences between Naproxen, Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and if they can be taken together.

Who can take Naproxen tablets?

Naproxen tablets may not be a suitable pain relief medicine for everyone. It is also possible that certain Naproxen doses may not be suitable for your condition. For example, your doctor may choose to prescribe Naproxen 500mg tablets instead of the lower 250mg dose if your condition is more severe. Likewise, if your condition does not require the stronger dose of Naproxen you may be prescribed Naproxen 250mg tablets.

Naproxen tablets are not suitable for you if you have any of the below:

  • You are in the late stages of pregnancy
  • You have had bleeding or perforation in your stomach while previously taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
  • You have severe liver, kidney, or heart problems
  • You have ever had, or currently have, any stomach problems, such as an ulcer or bleeding

If any of the following conditions apply to you, you should make sure you tell your doctor before you start taking Naproxen tablets:

  • You have any kidney or liver problems
  • You have any problems with blood clotting
  • You have lumps in your nose (polyps), you sneeze a lot, have a runny, blocked, or itchy nose
  • You are an elderly person
  • You have asthma
  • You have any allergies, such as hay fever, or have had swelling of the face, lips, eyes, or tongue in the past
  • You feel weak
  • You have high levels of fat in your blood
  • You are a smoker
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have diabetes
  • You suffer from any autoimmune conditions
  • You have problems with blood vessels anywhere in your body

Seek a doctor's guidance if you are not sure whether Naproxen 500mg or 250mg is a suitable treatment for you.

Can you buy Naproxen 500mg over the counter in the UK?

You can buy lower doses of Naproxen over the counter, however Naproxen 500mg is a prescription only medicine and will need to be prescribed to you by a doctor or pharmacist. If you wish to buy naproxen over the counter, you will need to opt for a lower dose that is lower than the 500mg and 250mg prescription only doses.

Can you buy Naproxen Online in the UK?

Yes, you can buy Naproxen 500mg and 250mg tablets online in the UK. You will be required to complete an online consultation where a doctor, pharmacist or prescriber will assess your condition. If you are looking to buy naproxen online you should always ensure that the online pharmacy you are purchasing from is a fully licensed UK regulated pharmacy. 

How long does Naproxen last?

Naproxen will stay in your system for approximately 93.5 hours. This may seem like a very random number; however, it is calculated using the half-life of Naproxen, which is 12 to 17 hours, typically the body will require 5.5 half-lives to remove the active ingredient from the body. In this case, we take the half-life of Naproxen which is 12 to 17 hours and multiply it by 5.5 to get to the 93.5 hours until Naproxen is removed by the body.

Naproxen Dose

Always take Naproxen tablets exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start taking it. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure of how to use Naproxen.

If you have purchased Naproxen over the counter, this will not come with any doctors’ instructions, however there will be instructions on how to take the medicine on the back of the box, and in the patient information leaflet located inside the medicine box.

To make sure you don't suffer a stomach upset, Naproxen should be taken either with or after a meal.

Naproxen tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets.

All of our doctors and pharmacists follow the NICE guidelines when prescribing Naproxen.

The dosage you require will depend on the kind of pain you are taking Naproxen for, as well as your age and whether you have any pre-existing conditions. The usual doses are:

  • Gout pain: 750mg, then 250mg every 8 hours until the pain is gone
  • For arthritis pain relief: 500mg to 1,000mg each day in either 1 or 2 doses
  • Muscle/bone pain and period pain: 500mg to start with, then 250mg every 6 to 8 hours when needed

For elderly people, or people who have liver, kidney or heart problems, these doses will normally be lower.

For children, your doctor will base the recommended dose on their weight.

For period pain

On the first day of taking Naproxen, you should take 2 tablets as soon as the pain starts. If this dose is not sufficient, you can take 1 more tablet 6 to 8 hours later.

On the second day and the following days, the dose is 1 tablet every 6 to 8 hours if you need it.

Do not take more than 3 tablets in the same 24 hours for period pain.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

Contact your doctor immediately if you have taken too many Naproxen tablets. Taking too much of this medicine may cause common side effects.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take Naproxen, just take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose.

If it is nearly time for your next dose, just skip the dose you missed and continue to take Naproxen as usual.

Never double dose any medicine in an attempt to make up for missing a previous one.

Try to be consistent in taking this medicine at the same time each day, to remind you to take it. Some people find it helpful to set an alarm as a reminder to take it.

Naproxen FAQ's

Can you buy Naproxen over the counter?

Yes, Naproxen is available over the counter in a lower dose, typically anything below 250mg can be purchased over the counter. The higher dosages of naproxen, 250mg and above can not be purchased over the counter and instead will need a valid UK prescription.

Is Naproxen 500mg a strong painkiller?

Yes, this dose of Naproxen is a prescription-strength painkiller, meaning it is stronger than over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. Your doctor will prescribe you Naproxen 500mg if they deem it necessary to relieve your pain.

Is it okay to use Naproxen every day?

It is recommended to online use Naproxen on a short term basis. When taken over a long period of time, or in large doses, Naproxen can cause an ulcer in your stomach or gut. There is also a risk of kidney failure and/or heart failure. To prevent these risks, you should do your best to consume the lowest possible dose, for the shortest period of time possible.

When will I feel better?

After taking naproxen, you should start to feel better within one hour. However, if you take this medication regularly twice a day, it may take up to 3 days for it to work effectively.

How long will I take naproxen for?

You may only need to take this medicine for a short period of time. The length of time you are required to use Naprosyn EC for will depend on the condition you are taking it for. For example, if you are taking it for period pain, you will only need to use it for a short time. Your doctor will instruct you on how long you should use it.

Can I take naproxen for a long time?

When taken over a long period or in large doses, this medicine may cause stomach or gut ulcers. There is also a risk of heart or kidney failure. Ideally, you should take the lowest dose possible, for the shortest time possible.

Is naproxen addictive?

There is no evidence to suggest that this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is addictive, although you should still only take it as instructed by your doctor.

Are there any other painkillers I can try?

Naproxen 250mg and 500mg tablets do not work for all types of pain. You may require a different dosage or a new medication altogether. Various painkillers exist to try for different types of conditions. However, you should not switch medicines without speaking to your doctor or pharmacist first. They will be able to prescribe a different medicine for you to buy as an alternative to Naproxen.

Why do I need to be careful of stomach ulcers?

If taken in large doses or for a long period of time, naproxen medications can cause stomach or gut ulcers. You may be advised to not use this medicine if you already have a stomach ulcer, or have had one previously. If a naproxen medicine is vital for you but comes with the risk of a stomach ulcer, you might be prescribed a second medicine such as Omeprazole or Lansoprazole to take at the same time to help lessen the risk.

Can naproxen cause heart failure?

Although the risk of this problem is very small, it has been suggested that anti-inflammatory medicines like naproxen can increase the risk of heart failure. If you are taking higher doses than you are supposed to, or you find that you need to take naproxen on a regular basis, you should speak to your doctor. They may wish to find out more about the pain you are experiencing.

Does naproxen cause kidney failure?

If you have any kidney problems, you must make sure you inform your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking naproxen. NSAIDs might cause an increased risk of sudden kidney failure and kidney damage over a period of time.

Does naproxen cause an irregular heartbeat?

Certain anti-inflammatory medicines, including naproxen, are believed to increase your chances of an irregular heartbeat, although these chances are very small. If you are given a prescription to take naproxen for a long-term health problem, you should keep taking it and consult your doctor if you have any concerns. If you buy naproxen without a prescription, it is safe to use it in occasional or short courses.

Does naproxen cause hearing loss?

Some women who have taken naproxen twice a week for longer than one year reportedly have a higher risk of hearing loss. However, there is no evidence to show that anti-inflammatory medicines like naproxen will cause you to lose your hearing. Hearing loss is a common result of aging in many people, but there are things you can do to protect it. These include turning down the volume when you wear headphones, avoiding noisy places and wearing hearing protection when you must go to a noisy place.

Will it affect my fertility?

Taking this medicine in large doses or over a long period of time can affect ovulation in women, making it harder for a woman to become pregnant. There is no real evidence that a man's fertility will be affected when he takes naproxen. You are advised to not take this medicine if you are trying to become pregnant. Take paracetamol instead.

Will it affect my contraception?

No, naproxen medicines will not affect your contraception; this includes the contraceptive pill and emergency contraception.

Can I drink alcohol with it?

It is safe to drink alcohol while using naproxen. Nonetheless, drinking a lot of alcohol can cause stomach irritation.

What's the difference between Naproxen and other pain treatments?

Naproxen 500mg tablets are a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory drug, making them stronger than painkillers you can purchase over the counter, such as paracetamol. It is also believed to have a decreased risk of adverse effects. Because Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory, it is a more effective pain relief for conditions that cause inflammation, such as painful periods or back pain.

How long does it take to work?

You should start to feel better within one hour of taking this medication. However, if taken twice a day, it may take up to 3 days for Naproxen to work properly. If your pain does not improve after 3 days, speak to your doctor for advice.

Will Naproxen affect my driving?

Naproxen can cause changes in vision or dizziness. If you experience either of these effects when you use this medicine, you should not drive, ride a bike, or operate machinery until you feel better.

Can you get high from taking Naproxen?

No, Naproxen does not get you high

What should not be taken with Naproxen?

Certain medicines may interact with Naproxen. For a list of medications you should not combine with Naproxen, please refer to the Warnings and Drug Interactions tab on this page.

Naproxen side effects

As is the case with all medicines, Naproxen does come with the risk of certain adverse effects, although not everyone who takes it will get them.

Common side effects of Naproxen include:

  • Feeling confused
  • Headaches
  • Ringing of the ears
  • Changes in vision
  • Feeling sleepy or tired
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Rashes

You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if any of these symptoms bother you or do not go away.

Uncommon side effects

If you experience any of the following side effects while using this medication, you should stop taking it and seek medical attention immediately:

  • Stroke (muscle weakness and numbness, altered sense of taste, smell, hearing, vision, or confusion)
  • Heart attack (chest pain that may spread to your left arm, neck and shoulders)
  • Blood in your urine, a decrease in how much you urinate, or feeling or being sick (could be kidney damage or an infection)
  • Heartburn, severe indigestion, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Irregular or slow heartbeat, caused by high levels of potassium in the blood
  • Chest pain, feeling breathless or fainting
  • A frequent sore throat, nose bleeds or infections

Stomach problems

  • Anal bleeding, which will appear as bloody diarrhoea or black, sticky stools
  • Pancreas problems (symptoms may include severe stomach pain that spreads to your back)
  • Worsening of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • Ulcers or holes form in your stomach (symptoms may include stomach pain, feeling sick, vomiting, or a fever)
  • Bleeding from your stomach (symptoms will be bloody vomit or vomit with what looks like coffee granules in it)

Consistent use of Naproxen will wear away the stomach lining and can lead to Gastritis. When taking naproxen, it is recommended to take a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI's) used to treat excessive stomach acid such as Omeprazole 20mg or Lansoprazole to give the stomach a layer of protection and reduce and excess stomach acid caused as a result of naproxen consumption.

Liver problems

  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Pale stools
  • Problems shown in blood tests

Serious allergic reaction

In some cases, you may suffer a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to Naproxen and require immediate treatment in hospital.

You should either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you experience any of the following:

  • You are wheezing
  • You have tightness in the chest or throat
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You have swelling in your face, throat, lips, tongue, or mouth
  • You are finding it hard to breathe or speak

Always read the patient information leaflet for Naproxen 250 and 500mg tablets for a comprehensive list of potential side effects you may suffer.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your doctor.


Naproxen Warnings and drug interactions

If you are taking Naproxen on a consistent basis, it is highly recommended to also take Omeprazole to ease the symptoms of acid reflux/heartburn, which is a side effect when taking Naproxen. Other Proton Pump Inhibitors used to treat acid reflux (GERD) include Lansoprazole which will also provide effective relief from acid related symptoms.

PPI's also offer a layer of protection to the lining of the stomach and can help with long term side effects such as gastritis.

Naproxen may interact with other medicines you are taking at the same time, which can hinder its effectiveness and increase your risk of experiencing adverse effects.

Before you take Naproxen, you should always inform your doctor and pharmacist of any other medications you are already taking. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

In particular, your doctor should be aware if you are currently taking any of the following medicines:

  • Any other NSAID's (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
  • Any medications used for heart problems
  • Any medications for high blood pressure
  • Any medicines for arthritis treatment, such as methotrexate
  • Any steroids
  • Any blood thinning medicines, such as warfarin
  • Any medicines that make you urinate more frequently (diuretics)
  • Any antidepressants

If you have any questions as to whether Naproxen is suitable for you to use, please talk to your pharmacist before you start using it.

Never order any medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, like Medicine Direct.

All of our doctors are also registered with the General Medical Council, meaning they can prescribe medicines just like your local GP.

If you place an order with us before 2pm, we can also offer you next day delivery.

For more information on Naproxen Drug Interactions

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Unless prescribed, is not recommended that pregnant women use this medicine, particularly if you are more than 30 weeks gone. Paracetamol is a recommended alternative to control pain during pregnancy

Naproxen has been linked to certain birth defects in unborn babies, particularly to a baby's heart and blood vessels.

Naproxen may also be linked to miscarriages when taken in early pregnancy.

Speak to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks associated with taking Naproxen while pregnant.

If you are currently pregnant, think that you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant, you should make sure that your doctor is aware.

If you are currently breastfeeding, you should also tell your doctor before they prescribe you this medication. Alternative anti-inflammatory medicines may be more suitable for you to use while breastfeeding, such as ibuprofen.

Before you start using any form of painkiller, please inform your doctor if your baby was born premature, had a low birth weight, or any other underlying medical conditions.

For more information about using Naproxen in pregnancy, visit the BUMPS (Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy)

Naproxen and Alcohol

It is generally considered safe to drink alcohol whilst taking Naproxen, however this should be done so in moderation. For more information on alcohol and naproxen, visit our guides page.

Naproxen Ingredients

Naproxen is theactive substance contained in this medicine.

Depending on the dose you are prescribed, when you buy naproxen online from medicine direct, the tablets will either contain Naproxen 500mg or 250mg per tablet.

Inactive ingredients also contained in Naproxen tablets are: lactose monohydrate, maize starch, polyvinylpyrrolidone (povidone K 30), magnesium stearate (E572).

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
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DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Written by: Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Published on: 12/10/2020

Updated on: 07/05/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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