Naproxen is a painkiller best known under the brand name Aleve. Although easily available over the counter in pills of about 220 milligrams each, naproxen can still be prescribed by doctors in sizes of 500 to 750 milligrams. Although manufacturers of naproxen claim their product can kill pain for up to 12 hours, many people find it works for considerably less. Like all medications, naproxen has serious side effects, common side effects and uncommon side effects.
Serious Side Effects
If experiencing any of the following side effects, call a doctor immediately. Naproxen can be very rough on a person’s digestive system and even cause internal bleeding, which will be the cause of many of these symptoms. Eating or at least a glass of milk can deter some of these symptoms. These include vomiting up tiny black specks similar to coffee grounds but which is blood; blood in the stool; stool that resembles tar and stools that suddenly turn grey.
People can be allergic to naproxen. Unfortunately, there isn’t a test one can take beforehand to determine if one is allergic or not. Allergic side effects include breathing problems; sore throat; skin problems such as turning red or developing purple spots; sudden migraine and seizures. This is an emergency situation. Call an ambulance and then call a doctor.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effect of naproxen is nausea, even to the point of vomiting (but not vomiting up coffee-ground like material.) Taking with food usually helps prevent nausea. Being sure not to take more than the prescribed dose can also help prevent mild stomach upset. Other common side effects include flatulence, diarrhea or constipation and the cramps involved with either condition. Some people also experience ringing in the ears. Slight grogginess or dizziness is also common.
Unusual Side Effects
Another bothersome but very rare side effect is blurred vision. This side effect isn’t serious unless it is accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness in part of the body; slurred speech and severe headache. If you have never taken naproxen before, you may want to take the first does at home just so you know if your vision is effected. You still want to let your doctor know about this side effect.
One of the most unusual side effects is that, after a certain amount, which differs from patient to patient, is that of feeling stoned or “tripping.” Although this sensation may feel pleasant it can completely incapacitate the patient from working, from driving or from making even the slightest of decisions. This side effect should also be noted to your doctor.
Taking large amounts of naproxen in order to “trip” is not recommended because of the severe damage it can do to one’s digestive system.
National Institutes of Health. Medicine Plus. “Naproxen.” http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a681029.html
Drugs.com. “Naproxen.” http://www.drugs.com/naproxen.html
WebMD. “Naproxen Oral.” http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-1289-NAPROXEN+-+ORAL.aspx?drugid=5173&drugname=Naproxen+Oral