Naproxen Tablets (250mg & 500mg)

  • Treats a variety of pain related conditions
  • Fast acting pain relief
  • Available in 250mg & 500mg strengths

Please note brand received may vary

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Disclaimer: The prices displayed should only be used as a reference of our prices for this medicine. If you are approved for treatment, our prescribers will decide on a suitable treatment for you to jointly consider.

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What are Naproxen tablets?

Maximum quantity per treatment - 112 tablets 

Naproxen has been used to treat a variety of pain and inflammation conditions since 1976, it is considered the first line treatment for gout, musculoskeletal pain, inflammation, and dysmenorrhea (period pain).

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 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

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

How does naproxen work?

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

Naproxen works by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes that help the body produce another natural chemical called prostaglandins. As part of the body’s natural healing process, prostaglandins are responsible for causing pain and inflammation at the source of an injury.

However, this natural healing response by the body can sometimes lead to excessive production of prostaglandins and contribute to unwanted pain and inflammation in certain parts of the body. Excessive production of prostaglandins is directly linked to conditions such as arthritis, painful menstrual cramps, and heavy menstrual bleeding.

By inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, the production of prostaglandins is decreased, as a result; pain and inflammation is also reduced.

Naproxen Dose

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 Naproxen dose as per the NICE guidelines:


Naproxen Dose

Rheumatic Diseases 500mg - 1g Daily in 1-2 divided doses
Pain and Inflammation (muscoskeletal disorders) 500mg followed by 250mg every 6-8 hours
Dysmenorrhoea (Period Pain) 500mg followed by 250mg every 6-8 hours
Gout 750mg followed by 250mg every 8 hours
Acute Migraine 500mg combined with Sumatriptan
Source NICE

Taking Naproxen tablets with other pain relief medicine

Naproxen must not be taken with any other type of NSAID, however it is safe to take Naproxen with paracetamol in certain circumstances.

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.

In other instances, your doctor may decide that the prescription strengths of Naproxen are not needed and instead recommend over the counter Naproxen which is typically a lower strength version of the medicine.

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.

Is Naproxen 500mg a strong painkiller?

Naproxen 500mg is the strongest dose of Naproxen available. It is typically prescribed for moderate to severe pain and inflammation. Naproxen 500mg is not available over the counter, it is a prescription only medicine and will need to be prescribed by a doctor.

Is Naproxen available over the counter?

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. 

Take a look at our about us page to learn more about our company and who we are regulated by.

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 Indications and 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.

Naproxen FAQ's

Can you buy Naproxen over the counter (OTC)?

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 a strong painkiller?

Yes, Naproxen 250mg and 500mg are considered to be strong painkillers and are only available on prescription.

Is it safe to take Naproxen every day?

It is recommended to only 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.

How long does Naproxen take to work?

After taking naproxen, you should start to feel better within one hour. However, for some conditions it may take up to 3 days to feel it's full effects.

Can you take Naproxen with Paracetamol?

Yes, Naproxen and paracetamol can be taken together for a short period of time.

Is Naproxen addictive?

No, Naproxen is not addictive and will not give you a high.

Is Naproxen stronger than Ibuprofen?

Naproxen and Ibuprofen both belong to the NSAID family of drugs and are used to treat very similar conditions.They are also very similar in strength with the main differences being how often each drug is to be taken.

Can you take Naproxen and Ibuprofen together?

No, you must not take Naproxen and Ibuprofen together. Both medicines are very similar and belong to the same family of drugs, taking both together at the same time can increase your risks of side effects and overdose.

Can you drink alcohol whilst taking Naproxen

Drinking alcohol whilst taking naproxen is considered to be safe, however it is also recommended to stick to the recommended daily alcohol intake to reduce the risks of adverse side effects

When should you take Naproxen?

It is best to take Naproxen with, or after a meal. This is because it can damage the lining of the stomach when taken on an empty stomach.

How much does Naproxen cost in the UK?

Prices for Naproxen start from £11.99 when you buy online from UK online pharmacy Medicine Direct.

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)

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

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.

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

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

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Naproxen 250/500mg

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

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
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
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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