Naproxen for Pain: When and How to Use It

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Naproxen for pain relief that lasts all day

Pain is common and everyone has to deal with it sometime in their life. During such situations, painkillers come to the rescue. However, pain intensity and types can differ. Back pain is very different from a toothache. The pain a chronic disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause is far beyond the formerly discussed scenarios. So, is there any one-fits-all option?

One of the popular choices you can consider is Naproxen. It may not be ideal in all situations, but it is a multipurpose painkiller. To learn how and when to use Naproxen for pain, read this article till the end. You will also explore its prescription and OTC uses, along with safety and precautions, which will help you determine if it is the best option. 

Naproxen: The Ultimate Painkiller

Naproxen belongs to the category of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). It can relieve mild to medium pain. Prescription Naproxen is used to treat pain caused by Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Bursitis, Tendinitis, Gouty Arthritis, and Primary Dysmenorrhea.

On the other hand, Over-the-counter (OTC) Naproxen is used to relieve mild pain such as headache, muscle aches, Arthritis, backaches, toothaches, or those caused by common cold or fever. 

Naproxen for tooth pain

Naproxen is effective for toothache. According to a 2017 study, Naproxen is a commonly used NSAID in treating and reducing postoperative dental pain and swelling. It can manage both acute and chronic pain associated with third lower molar extraction.  A dosing regimen of 500 mg of Naproxen is well-studied in managing acute pain. 

The study also found that Naproxen alone was faster-acting than when combined with Esomeprazole. However, the other drug can minimize gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea. Moreover, Naproxen with and without Esomeprazole has equal efficiency in relieving pain. Both also had a comparable score to other recommended pain relievers like Ibuprofen.

Naproxen for back pain

Naproxen is also effective in relieving backache. Normally, NSAIDs are recommended with muscle relaxants or opioids to alleviate back pain. However, a 2016 study found that Naproxen alone may be the best choice to deal with acute lower back pain and improve function while reducing adverse events. The dosage of Naproxen to relieve back pain was 500 mg twice daily for ten days. 

Besides, NSAIDs are also the exclusive first-line treatment for chronic low back pain. In comparison with other NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Aspirin, Naproxen is superior in giving long-lasting pain relief. 

In the US, the OTC dosage of Naproxen Sodium is 220-440 mg every eight to twelve hours, with the maximum dosage not exceeding 660 mg a day to relieve backache for adults and children above 12. You can buy Naprosyn 500 at WowRxPharmacy at reasonable prices. 

About 84 percent of the people are affected by low back pain, with one-year prevalence being 22-65 percent. 

Naproxen for nerve pain

Naproxen is not effective for certain types of pain, such as nerve pain. Consult your doctor to confirm if you have nerve pain. In such cases, they may be able to recommend the right painkiller for you. However, if you are misinterpreting inflammation or other types of pain as nerve pain, then Naproxen can be an effective option for you. 

In case of joint pain, the recommended dosage of Naproxen is 500-1000 mg a day in one to two doses, for other types of pain like period pain, bone or muscle pain, 500mg at first, then 250 mg every 6 to 8 hours as needed. 

Naproxen for muscle pain

A woman suffering from muscle pain
A woman suffering from muscle pain

Naproxen can reduce swelling and pain in muscles. However, in case of strains or sprains, waiting 48 hours before taking Naproxen is recommended as it may slow down recovery. If you do not feel better, you can use Naproxen for the shortest time and lowest dose possible. 

Naproxen for knee pain

Naproxen can effectively minimize joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. So, it can be a great option to relieve knee pain. A clinical trial published by the National Library of Medicine suggests that Naproxen can effectively manage knee, hip, and spine pain in Osteoarthritis patients. It is also superior to Ibuprofen in relieving night pain, resting and movement pain, and interfering with daily activities. The dose regimen used was 500 mg of Naproxen twice a day. 

Naproxen for headache

Naproxen can work to relieve mild pain like headaches. Its off-label uses also include treating acute migraine and migraine prophylaxis, where it is an abortive first-line remedy to treat acute migraine and prevent chronic migraine with the use of other medicines like antidepressants. So, you can take Naproxen for headaches, be it mild or severe. If the pain does not improve, you can ask your doctor for an alternative. 

NSAIDs like Naproxen may increase the risk of Gastrointestinal complications, cardiovascular issues, and renal side effects. So, you must avoid long-term high-dose use to avoid complications. 

Naproxen warnings

Naproxen is a safe NSAID. However, you should not consume it if you:

  • Have an allergy to Naproxen, Aspirin, or other NSAIDs
  • Have or had stomach ulcers or bleeding
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have heart, kidney, and liver failure or problems
  • Have Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative  Colitis
  • Have Lupus
  • Have blood-clotting disorder
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are child under 12 and do not have a prescription


Naproxen is an effective painkiller used to relieve mild-to-medium pain in low doses. OTC Naproxen can ease tooth pain, headache, backache, muscle pain, and knee pain. Prescription Naproxen can also be used in case of more severe pain caused by conditions like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Arthritis, etc. 

Despite being a safe pain reliever, it is not suitable for people with allergies to Naproxen or other NSAIDs, children under 12 without prescription, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those having high blood pressure or conditions like Lupus. Keeping these precautions in mind and adhering to the recommended dosage, Naproxen can be your multipurpose relief companion with a faster-acting, long-lasting effect. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can you take Naproxen for pain? 

Generally, Naproxen is taken every 8-12 hours. For period pain, bone or muscle pain, 500mg at first, then 250 mg every 6 to 8 hours as per need. However, low doses for the shortest period are mostly recommended. For OTC Naproxen, the daily maximum dosage should not exceed 660 mg. 

Will Naproxen work for tooth pain? 

Yes, Naproxen can effectively work for dental pain. It is even used to treat postoperative dental pain and swelling after molar extractions. The well-studied Naproxen dosage for managing acute pain is 500 mg. You can buy Naprosyn 500 at WowRxPharmacy at reasonable prices.

Can Naproxen be used for lower back pain? 

Naproxen is the best choice for acute low back pain. It is also the exclusive first-line treatment for chronic low back pain. In the US, the OTC dosage of Naproxen Sodium is 220-440 mg every eight to twelve hours, with the maximum dosage not exceeding 660 mg a day. 

How much Naproxen for menstrual pain? 

For menstrual pain, the initial dosage is 1000 mg (two 500 mg tablets) daily. Some may also need 1500 mg for the initial period. However, usually it does not exceed 1000 mg a day. You can buy Naprosyn 500 at WowRxPharmacy at affordable prices.

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