What Is Naproxen Sodium?
Naproxen sodium is a type of medication called a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Up until 1994, naproxen sodium could only be dispensed to those who had a prescription from a doctor, but since that time, an over-the-counter FDA approved version of the drug has become available for purchase. Currently, naproxen sodium is the most powerful over-the-counter NSAID drug available. It is commonly found under the brand name Aleve. It is often recommended by physicians for temporarily relieving fevers, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain.
Why Take Naproxen Sodium?
One benefit of naproxen sodium is that its effects often last longer than those associated with other over-the-counter pain and fever relievers, meaning that fewer pills can be taken per day to provide ongoing relief.
How Does Naproxen Work?
NSAIDs like naproxen work by interrupting the process used to produce a type of natural chemical manufactured by the body called prostaglandins. These chemicals are released to help the body heal when it is injured or has developed an infection, but they also play a role in fevers, pain and inflammation. When you take naproxen sodium, the over-the-counter medication disrupts one of the two processes that lead to the production of prostaglandins. As a result, fewer prostaglandins are produced by the body, leading to lower body temperatures and a reduction in pain and inflammation.
How Long Does Naproxen Last?
Typically, naproxen sodium continues to reduce prostaglandin levels in the body for 8 to 12 hours. If the body has not healed sufficiently during that time, pain, fever and inflammation may reoccur once the drug has worn off.
How Much Naproxen Can I Take?
Naproxen sodium comes in many different varieties, making it important that you carefully compare products to ensure that you purchase the ideal formula for your needs. One major point of comparison is the number of milligrams of naproxen sodium that a product contains. Your doctor can advise you as to which strength of naproxen sodium is ideal for your needs. You should also consider the form of the drug. Naproxen sodium comes in tablets, which can be easily cut in two to reduce the dosage, and in caplets and liquid gels, which are easy to swallow.
Is Naproxen Safe?
Before taking naproxen sodium, talk to your medical doctor to find out whether this NSAID is the right choice for your needs. Some people may not be able to take naproxen sodium safely. The medication can cause stomach bleeding in some individuals. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, scheduled for surgery, at risk for heart disease or suffer from stomach problems, you may not be able to use naproxen sodium for pain or fever relief. The drug can also interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medications. Use the medication as directed on the packaging unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
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