Also Known As: Naproxen, Naprelan, Naproxen sodium, Naprosyn, Aleve, Proxen, Feminax Ultra, Anaprox

Naproxen sodium (INN) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used for the reduction of pain, fever, inflammation and stiffness.

Naproxen was originally marketed as the prescription drug Naprosyn by Syntex in 1976, and naproxen sodium was first marketed under the trade name Anaprox in 1980. It remains a prescription-only drug in much of the world. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug in 1994; OTC preparations in the U.S. are mainly marketed by Bayer HealthCare under the trade name Aleve and generic store brand formulations. In Australia, packets of 275 mg tablets of naproxen sodium are Schedule 2 pharmacy medicines, with a maximum daily dose of 5 tablets or 1375 mg. In the United Kingdom, 250 mg tablets of naproxen were approved for OTC sale under the brand name Feminax Ultra in 2008, for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea in women aged 15 to 50.[1] Aleve became available over-the-counter in most provinces in Canada on 14 July 2009;[2] it became available in Quebec during the summer of 2010 but can only be dispensed by a pharmacy employee after an assessment of the patient's needs.[citation needed] It became available in British Columbia in March 2011.[citation needed]

Naproxen is commonly used for the reduction of pain, fever, inflammation, and stiffness caused by conditions including migraine, osteoarthritis, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, menstrual cramps, tendinitis, and bursitis.[3] It is also used for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.[4]

Naproxen works by inhibiting both the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.[citation needed]

Risks and adverse effects

COX-2 selective and non-selective NSAIDs have been linked to increases in the number of serious and potentially fatal cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarctions and stroke. A 2011 meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal states that, of all NSAIDs evaluated, naproxen was associated with the smallest overall cardiovascular risks.[5] The drug had roughly 50% of the associated risk of stroke as compared with ibuprofen and was also associated with a reduced number of myocardial infarctions as compared to control groups.

As with other NSAIDs, naproxen can cause gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, and stomach bleeding[6] - persons with a history of ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease should consult a doctor before taking naproxen. Consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of gastrointestinal complications.

NSAID painkillers, such as naproxen, may interfere and reduce the efficiency of SSRI antidepressants.[7][8]

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