Naproxen sodium is an internal analgesic available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that temporarily relieve minor aches and pains and reduce fever. It is also available in prescription medicines. Naproxen sodium is part of a group of pain relievers and fever reducers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It may be written as naproxen sodium or naproxen, but it is the same active ingredient.

Naproxen sodium can be the only ingredient in oral pain relievers and fever reducers. It is also available in medicines that treat multiple symptoms of the common cold or symptoms associated with menstruation.

Naproxen sodium is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label. You should never take more naproxen or for a longer period of time than the label instructs unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Certain health risks such as heart attack, stroke, and stomach bleeding may increase if you use more than directed or for longer than directed.

  • You are currently using another medicine containing an NSAID (e.g., aspirin, magnesium salicylate, naproxen, ibuprofen, or ketoprofen).
  • You are taking a blood thinner (anticoagulant), steroid, diuretic, or any other drug.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women in the last three months of pregnancy are specifically told not to use naproxen sodium or any NSAID without a healthcare provider’s permission.
  • You are over the age of 60.
  • You have had stomach ulcers or bleeding problems.
  • You drink three or more alcoholic drinks every day.
  • You are under a healthcare provider’s care for any serious condition.
  • You are preparing to have heart surgery or if you just had heart surgery.
  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to any other pain reliever or fever reducer.
  • You are a woman in the last three months of pregnancy unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to. Problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery could occur.
  • Tamper-evident packaging features such as seals, locks, and films are not clear or seem broken.
  • An allergic reaction occurs. Seek medical help right away.
  • Your fever gets worse or lasts more than three days, or if your pain gets worse and lasts more than 10 days.
  • You have signs of stomach bleeding, such as you feel faint, vomit blood, have stomach pain or upset that lasts or does not get better, or have bloody or black stools.
  • Redness or swelling is present in the painful area or if any new symptoms appear.
  • You have difficulty swallowing or if it feels like the pill is stuck in your throat.
  • You develop heartburn.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.
  • Do not give an OTC medicine containing naproxen sodium to a child under the age of 12 unless a healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Click here for more information on giving OTCs to children.