Prescription Drug Information: Naproxen Sodium

NAPROXEN SODIUM- naproxen sodium tablet, film coated
Preferred Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINTESTINAL EVENTS

Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Naproxen sodium tablets are contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Naproxen sodium tablets are indicated for:

the relief of the signs and symptoms of:

rheumatoid arthritis
osteoarthritis
ankylosing spondylitis
Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
tendonitis
bursitis
acute gout

the management of:

pain
primary dysmenorrhea

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 General Dosing Instructions

Carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of naproxen sodium tablets and other treatment options before deciding to use naproxen sodium tablets. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5)].

After observing the response to initial therapy with naproxen sodium tablets, the dose and frequency should be adjusted to suit an individual patient’s needs.

Naproxen-containing products such as naproxen sodium tablets, and other naproxen products should not be used concomitantly since they all circulate in the plasma as the naproxen anion.

2.2 Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis

The recommended dosages of naproxen sodium tablets are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Recommended dosages for naproxen sodium tablets

Naproxen sodium tablets

275 mg (naproxen 250 mg with 25 mg sodium)550 mg (naproxen 500 mg with 50 mg sodium)

twice daily

During long-term administration, the dose of naproxen may be adjusted up or down depending on the clinical response of the patient. A lower daily dose may suffice for long-term administration. The morning and evening doses do not have to be equal in size and the administration of the drug more frequently than twice daily is not necessary.

The morning and evening doses do not have to be equal in size and administration of the drug more frequently than twice daily does not generally make a difference in response.

In patients who tolerate lower doses well, the dose may be increased to naproxen sodium 1650 mg (equivalent to 1500 mg naproxen) per day for limited periods of up to 6 months when a higher level of anti-inflammatory/analgesic activity is required. When treating such patients with naproxen sodium 1650 mg/day, the physician should observe sufficient increased clinical benefits to offset the potential increased risk.

2.3 Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Naproxen solid-oral dosage forms may not allow for the flexible dose titration needed in pediatric patients with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A liquid formulation may be more appropriate for weight-based dosing and due to the need for dose flexibility in children.

In pediatric patients, doses of 5 mg/kg/day produced plasma levels of naproxen similar to those seen in adults taking 500 mg of naproxen [see Clinical Pharmacology (12)]. The recommended total daily dose of naproxen is approximately 10 mg/kg given in 2 divided doses. Dosing with naproxen tablets is not appropriate for children weighing less than 50 kilograms.

2.4 Management of Pain, Primary Dysmenorrhea, and Acute Tendonitis and Bursitis

The recommended starting dose of naproxen sodium tablets is 550 mg followed by 550 mg every 12 hours or 275 mg every 6 to 8 hours as required. The initial total daily dose should not exceed 1375 mg of naproxen sodium. Thereafter, the total daily dose should not exceed 1100 mg of naproxen sodium. Because the sodium salt of naproxen is more rapidly absorbed, naproxen sodium tablets are recommended for the management of acute painful conditions when prompt onset of pain relief is desired.

2.5 Acute Gout

Naproxen sodium tablets may also be used at a starting dose of 825 mg followed by 275 mg every 8 hours.

2.6 Non-Interchangeability with Other Formulations of Naproxen

Different dose strengths and formulations (e.g., tablets, suspension) of naproxen are not interchangeable. This difference should be taken into consideration when changing strengths or formulations.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Naproxen Sodium Tablets USP, 275 mg are light blue color, oval shaped, film-coated tablets engraved with “T 21” on one side & plain on the other side.

Naproxen Sodium Tablets USP, 550 mg are dark blue color, modified capsule shaped, film-coated tablets engraved with “T & 22” on either side of scoreline on one side & with scoreline on the other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Naproxen sodium tablets are contraindicated in the following patients:

Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to naproxen or any components of the drug product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)]
History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)]
In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.

There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as naproxen, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10 to14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see Contraindications (4)].

Post-MI Patients

Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.

Avoid the use of naproxen sodium in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If naproxen sodium is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including naproxen, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs.

Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3 to 6 months, and in about 2% to 4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.

Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.

Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:

Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue naproxen sodium until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

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