Naproxen sodium is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which can have certain advantages for some patients and situations. Like all medications, however, this drug comes with some precautions which must be observed to ensure that it is used effectively and appropriately. For patients with certain conditions and patients on some medications, the use of naproxen sodium is contraindicated and could in fact be dangerous. A doctor can provide specific advice and recommendations about dosages, frequency, and duration of use after going over a patient's history and medications list to confirm that naproxen sodium is safe to use.
This drug was initially released in prescription form in the 1970s, and in some regions of the world, it continues to be available by prescription only. In other regions, a weaker over the counter version is available to patients who want more pain relief options, while a prescription-strength version can be ordered by a doctor. This drug is commonly recommended for issues such as menstrual pains, aches, muscle strains, and so forth. It can be a useful item to keep in the medicine cabinet.
The active ingredient in naproxen sodium is the naproxen, which blocks the actions of certain enzymes in the body to bring down inflammation. This in turn reduces pain levels. The sodium in the medication helps the body absorb the naproxen more quickly so that the drug will take effect rapidly.
One of the advantages of naproxen sodium is rapid action, along with long-lasting relief. For patients with pain which can be managed by naproxen sodium, the drug lasts for hours and the pain relief remains very consistent. This drug has also been shown to be useful in post-operative pain management. Patients who are given a dose of the drug before surgery experience less inflammation and pain after surgery, which keeps them more comfortable and can speed the healing time from surgery.
There are some precautions for naproxen sodium. It has been linked with adverse cardiovascular events, including clots and strokes, which make it inadvisable for patients with a history of cardiovascular problems. It has also been linked with liver disease, making it important to avoid overdosing, and it can contribute to gastrointestinal problems including ulcers. Before this drug is used, it is a good idea to consult a doctor to confirm that it is safe.
Some names under which naproxen sodium is sold include: Aleve®, Feminax Ultra®, Anaprox®, Narocin®, Flanax®, and Naprosyn®.