Q: Can naproxen be used for inflammation of the tooth?

A: Naprosyn (naproxen) is anti-inflammatory medication commonly used to treat mild to moderate pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, and fever. Naprosyn (naproxen) could be used to relieve dental pain caused by inflammation and swelling. Common side effects of Naprosyn (naproxen) are constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, dizziness, and drowsiness. This is not a complete list of possible side effects for Naprosyn (naproxen). Naprosyn (naproxen) should be taken with milk or food as prescribed by your physician. Naprosyn (naproxen) should not be taken with any other blood thinners (e.g. Coumadin) or other anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen, or Aleve) unless directed by a physician. When your doctor prescribes a new medication, be sure to discuss all your prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals, and herbals, as well as the foods you eat. Always keep a current list of the drugs and supplements you take and review it with your health care providers and your pharmacist. If possible, use one pharmacy for all your prescription medications and over-the-counter products. This allows your pharmacist to keep a complete record of all your prescription drugs and to advise you about drug interactions and side effects. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action.

Q: Does Naproxen have a generic equivalent?

A: Your question regards if Naprelan (naproxen) has a generic equivalent. To the best of my knowledge, there is no generic equivalent available for Naprelan. However, the active medication in Naprelan is naproxen. The medication Naprosyn also has naproxen as the active ingredient and that product is available in a generic. The medications have a different release into the body. Naprelan is usually dosed once daily, and it is a controlled release tablet while Naprosyn is dosed more often. As always, talk with your health care provider about questions you have about your medications.

I’ve been taking naproxen for about 5 weeks. My doctor wants to give me a lower dose and have me take it one day on and two days off. His concern is that it will burn out my stomach. I have not had any adverse abdominal problems to date. The lower dose does not relieve enough of the pain to be worth it to me.

Is this the best approach? Is there a test to check if there is a problem developing?

A: Naproxen (Naprosyn) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that blocks substances in the body that normally cause pain and inflammation. Naproxen is indicated for pain associated with headache, cramps, and other pain. Naproxen is also used for pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and used as a fever reducer. Some of the common side effects associated with naproxen include constipation, diarrhea, headache, nausea, and stomach upset. According to the prescribing information, there are warnings associated with the use of naproxen. Long-term used of naproxen can increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks. The risk of a serious adverse event can increase with the duration of treatment with naproxen. Naproxen should not be used just before or after coronary artery surgery. People with cardiovascular risk factors, those who are 60 years of age or older, have stomach ulcers or bleeding problems, take blood thinners or drink alcoholic drinks while taking naproxen are at a greater risk of a complication. Naproxen can increase the risk of serious stomach and intestine problems including bleeding or forming a hole (perforation). Talk to the doctor if signs and symptoms of bleeding occur. These symptoms include black, tarry or bloody stools or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds. Alcohol can increase the risk of stomach bleeding caused by naproxen. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Naproxen can worsen existing hypertension (high blood pressure), so talk to your doctor if you have hypertension. The lowest dose and shortest duration of treatment with NSAIDs for effective therapy is usually recommended. However, talk to your doctor if naproxen is not relieving the pain. Do not stop taking naproxen or take more medicine than what is prescribed. For more specific information and guidance on your current treatment based on your medical condition, consult with your healthcare provider.

Q: Does naproxen cause anemia?

A: Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs work by blocking substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation. Naproxen is used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation caused by a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, bursitis, gout, headache, ankylosing spondylitis, tendonitis, menstrual cramps, and minor injuries. Common side effects of naproxen include nausea, stomach upset, heartburn, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears. A search of a drug database shows that anemia can occur in up to 10 percent of patients taking NSAIDs, including naproxen. This would be considered a frequent or common side effect. Consult with your doctor if you are concerned about anemia or if you are experiencing symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, pale skin, coldness, or dizziness. This is not a complete list of risks or side effects that can occur with naproxen or any other NSAID. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or local pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action.