Naproxen Tablets (250mg & 500mg)
- Treats a variety of pain related conditions
- Fast acting pain relief
- Available in 250mg & 500mg strengths
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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
- muscle/joint pain
- back pain
- 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.
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.
Can you buy Naproxen over the counter?
Is Naproxen 500mg a strong painkiller?
Is it okay to use Naproxen every day?
When will I feel better?
How long will I take naproxen for?
Can I take naproxen for a long time?
Is naproxen addictive?
Are there any other painkillers I can try?
Why do I need to be careful of stomach ulcers?
Can naproxen cause heart failure?
Does naproxen cause kidney failure?
Does naproxen cause an irregular heartbeat?
Does naproxen cause hearing loss?
Will it affect my fertility?
Will it affect my contraception?
Can I drink alcohol with it?
What's the difference between Naproxen and other pain treatments?
How long does it take to work?
Will Naproxen affect my driving?
Can you get high from taking Naproxen?
What should not be taken with Naproxen?
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
- Ringing of the ears
- Changes in vision
- Feeling sleepy or tired
- Feelings of dizziness
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
- 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
- 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.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow
- 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 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).
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
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- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.