Naproxen belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, generally referred to as "NSAIDs". Another common member of this class is Ibuprofen, found in Motrin.
These drugs are used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. They work by reducing the levels of prostaglandins, chemicals that are responsible for pain, fever, and inflammation. Naproxen was approved by the FDA in December 1991.
NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys, which may impair their function. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients with preexisting impairment of kidney function or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be done cautiously. Individuals with asthma are more likely to experience allergic reactions to naproxen and other NSAIDs.
NSAIDs also reduce the ability of blood to clot and therefore are likely to increase bleeding after an injury.
NSAIDs increase the risk of potentially fatal, stomach and intestinal adverse reactions (for example, bleeding, ulcers, and perforation of the stomach or intestines). Sometimes, stomach ulceration and intestinal bleeding can occur without any abdominal pain. Black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing may be the only signs of the bleeding.
NSAIDs, except low dose aspirin, may increase the risk of potentially fatal heart attacks, stroke, and related conditions. This risk may increase with duration of use and in patients who have underlying risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease. Therefore, NSAIDs should not be used for the treatment of pain resulting from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Naproxen is available by prescription or over the counter in Aleve.
This description is adapted from information sources found online, and is in no way meant to replace or substitute for professional medical advice. If you are in pain, or considering taking this or any other medicine, contact your medical professional for assistance rather than using the internet as your sole source of information.
My Personal Experience
I went to see the doctor and talked about the headaches I had been having on and off, at which point I was prescribed Naproxen. Since once of these pills can last an entire day, along with the bonus of not having to pop Advil all day? I'm game.
After taking one pill (a dose of 500mg), however, I found out that the headache itself was handled fairly well, but my stomach did not handle the medication all that well. It could have been because I hadn't eaten anything, so the next day, I tried again after having a hearty breakfast, and was just about floored when I then tried two pills (a dose of 1000mg) - and this time around, my head wasn't helped at all!
On the third day, with no help for my head, and not being able to keep any food down either, I finally gave up. Since the pills last so long in the system - usually around twelve hours - it takes so long to recover to the point where I can even keep something down, it's back to the drawing board.