Does Naproxen belong to strong painkillers?

Experiencing pain can make your everyday activities difficult to carry out without a feeling of discomfort and unease. Luckily, you can alleviate the pain with the help of pain medications and go back to your regular tasks. There are different types of painkillers, treating different conditions and symptoms. Naproxen belongs to anti‐inflammatory medicines used in treating inflammation and the accompanying pain. It is applied in the treatment of cramps, muscle pain, muscle aches, and headaches as well. To find out more about Naproxen, have a look at the frequently asked questions covered below. 

Is Naproxen 500mg a strong pain medication?

Naproxen successfully relieves pain associated with a lot of chronic health issues, such as gout, bursitis, and arthritis. It belongs to the type of drugs called non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

How strong is Naproxen compared with Ibuprofen?

While Ibuprofen is usually applied in the treatment of temporary pain, Naproxen is applied in treating pain associated with chronic issues. Ibuprofen is also a medication efficient in the treatment of localised pain, while Naproxen efficiently treats pain affecting multiple areas. 

What use does Naproxen have?

The following is the list of symptoms that Naproxen is usually prescribed for:

  • chronic pain
  • menstrual cramps
  • arthritis
  • tendon inflammation
  • rheumatic disease
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • bursitis
  • gout
  • joint damage
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • joint inflammatory disease in young adults and children
  • muscle pain
  • toothache
  • fever
  • head pain
  • Non‐Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis 
  • Minor Musculoskeletal Injury

Can Naproxen affect kidneys?

Prolonged use of painkillers (Naproxen, Ibuprofen, and high doses of Aspirin) can result in interstitial nephritis which is a chronic kidney condition. Even with regular kidney function, painkillers should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor or on the prescription label.

Does Naproxen work as a muscle relaxant?

Although Naproxen is used to treat muscle pain, it does not belong to the category of muscle relaxants. If your condition requires a muscle relaxer, you will usually be prescribed Naproxen for pain and inflammation, and a muscle relaxant as well to help relax your muscles. Consult your doctor in case you need a muscle relaxant prescription.

Muscle relaxants are used in the treatment of muscle spasticity or spasms. Muscle cramps or spasms are involuntary, sudden contractions of a single muscle or a muscle group. They usually cause pain and are the result of increased muscle strain. The spasm tendency is usually caused by dehydration, holding one position for a long time, overuse or strain. There are cases when spasm is caused by an underlying medical condition or the reason is unknown.   

Does Naproxen work the same way Ibuprofen does?

Naproxen and Ibuprofen work in different ways as painkillers. The differences are many:

  • Ibuprofen is better for treating children than Naproxen
  • Naproxen is longer‐acting and it works better for chronic diseases, while Ibuprofen works better for acute conditions
  • Naproxen is usually prescribed twice a day whereas Ibuprofen is usually taken in intervals of four to six hours
  • Both painkillers may result in gastrointestinal side effects, but these are more usual with Naproxen since it is a long‐acting medication
  • When taken in high doses (up to 2400mg a day), Ibuprofen has been linked to cardiovascular side effects, while Naproxen taken in doses of 1000mg a day has not 

Does Naproxen cause sleepiness? 

Naproxen may cause drowsiness. It is not recommended to drive or operate heavy machinery with the initial doses of the medication, until you are able to understand the response of your body to the medication and are sure that it does not affect your performance.

How long does it take until Naproxen starts working?

Naproxen usually kicks in about an hour after you have taken it. However, for Naproxen to be completely effective, it usually takes up to three days when taken regularly, two times per day. 

Can Naproxen cause gas?

Naproxen side effects related to gastrointestinal issues are the most common ones. These are indigestion, heartburn, stomach ache or feeling sick. However, stomach irritation can be avoided if Naproxen is taken with food or a sip of milk. Taking this medication may also result in gas, constipation or diarrhoea. 

Can you gain weight when you take Naproxen?

Naproxen does not cause weight gain. Weight gain is usually not a side effect of pain medications. However, make sure to talk to your doctor in case you do gain weight unexpectedly.

Is Naproxen harmful?

Just like any other medication, Naproxen may cause certain side effects. However, not every patient taking Naproxen will experience them. These are the most common side effects:

Common side effect

  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • stomach pain
  • heartburn 
  • gas
  • dizziness
  • vomiting and nausea

Serious side effects

In case any of these side effects occur while you are taking Naproxen, talk to your doctor immediately.

  • trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • difficulty speaking
  • the feeling of weakness in a part of your body
  • high blood pressure
  • throat or face swelling
  • bleeding ulcers