Naproxen(C14H14O3) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is often taken to relieve pain. It works by by decreasing hormones that cause pain and inflammation. People can purchase this drug over-the-counter in brands such as Aleve and also by prescription in higher-dose tablets. The medication is most often taken as a pill or a liquid, and goes by the brand names Aleve, Midol Extended Relief, Naprosyn, and Anaprox.
Naproxen, like other NSAIDs, reduces the levels of prostaglandins in the body, chemicals that cause pain, inflammation and fever. It blocks cyclooxygenase, the enzyme that makes these chemicals. The mechanism of action of naproxen is the same as other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some other medications in this class include ibuprofen, indomethacin, and ketorolac. They work by suppressing the action of the cyclooxygenase enzyme, which results in decreased production of a variety of chemical compounds that cause pain, inflammation, and blood clots. It is available over the counter or by prescription.
One of the most common uses of naproxen is to treat pain. It is often used to alleviate symptoms associated with musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis. Doctors prescribe this medicine to relieve the stiffness, swelling and more intense pain associated with various disorders. These include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis and tendinitis. Patients with gout, a condition that causes swelling, pain, and inflammation of the joints, can also be treated with this medication. Many women take the drug to treat abdominal cramping pain associated with their menstrual cycles. Additionally, the medication can be used as a fever reducer in patients with elevated body temperatures due to acute illness.
Common side effects can include nausea, constipation, headache, abdominal pain, and dizziness. The medication is known to irritate the stomach and harm the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore, patients using this drug for a long time can have an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Some patients have an allergic reaction to the medication, which can be mild and cause a skin rash, or can be more severe and cause the sudden onset of shortness of breath and swelling. Taking large amounts of naproxen(CAS No. 22204-53-1) can cause problems with the function of the kidneys and the liver.
Patients with diseases such as high blood pressure or heart failure could experience increased problems with their cardiovascular function if they take this medication. Other coexistent diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, and asthma can be worsened by taking the medication, and patients with these conditions should talk to their doctors or health care providers before taking this medication. Although naproxen is a safe medication for many, it is not recommended for use in some patients. Pregnant women, for example, are discouraged from taking this medication because it could have negative effects on the developing baby.