Prescription Drug Information: Naproxen Sodium (Page 4 of 6)


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Use of NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium, during the third trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester).
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of naproxen sodium in pregnant women. Data from observational studies regarding potential embryofetal risks of NSAID use in women in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy are inconclusive. In the general U.S. population, all clinically recognized pregnancies, regardless of drug exposure, have a background rate of 2 to 4% for major malformations, and 15 to 20% for pregnancy loss. In animal reproduction studies in rats, rabbits, and mice no evidence of teratogenicity or fetal harm when naproxen was administered during the period of organogenesis at doses 0.13, 0.26, and 0.6 times the maximum recommended human daily dose of 1500 mg/day, respectively [see Data]. Based on animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors such as naproxen, resulted in increased pre- and post-implantation loss.

Clinical Considerations
Labor or Delivery
There are no studies on the effects of naproxen sodium during labor or delivery. In animal studies, NSAIDS, including naproxen, inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, cause delayed parturition, and increase the incidence of stillbirth.
Human Data
There is some evidence to suggest that when inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis are used to delay preterm labor, there is an increased risk of neonatal complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis, patent ductus arteriosus, and intracranial hemorrhage. Naproxen treatment given in late pregnancy to delay parturition has been associated with persistent pulmonary hypertension, renal dysfunction, and abnormal prostaglandin E levels in preterm infants. Because of the known effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the fetal cardiovascular system (closure of ductus arteriosus), use during pregnancy (particularly starting at 30-weeks of gestation, or third trimester) should be avoided.
Animal data
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats at 20 mg/kg/day (0.13 times the maximum recommended human daily dose of 1500 mg/day based on body surface area comparison), rabbits at 20 mg/kg/day (0.26 times the maximum recommended human daily dose, based on body surface area comparison), and mice at 170 mg/kg/day (0.6 times the maximum recommended human daily dose based on body surface area comparison) with no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to the drug. Based on animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors such as naproxen, resulted in increased pre- and post-implantation loss.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

The naproxen anion has been found in the milk of lactating women at a concentration equivalent to approximately 1% of maximum naproxen concentration in plasma.

The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for naproxen sodium and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the naproxen sodium or from the underlying maternal condition.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential


Based on the mechanism of action, the use of prostaglandin-mediated NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium may delay or prevent rupture of ovarian follicles, which has been associated with reversible infertility in some women. Published animal studies have shown that administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors has the potential to disrupt prostaglandin-mediated follicular rupture required for ovulation. Small studies in women treated with NSAIDs have also shown a reversible delay in ovulation. Consider withdrawal of NSAIDs, including naproxen sodium, in women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 2 years have not been established. Pediatric dosing recommendations for polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis are based on well-controlled studies [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. There are no adequate effectiveness or dose-response data for other pediatric conditions, but the experience in polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and other use experience have established that single doses of 2.5 to 5 mg/kg as naproxen suspension, , with total daily dose not exceeding 15 mg/kg/day, are well tolerated in pediatric patients over 2 years of age.

8.5 Geriatric Use

The hepatic and renal tolerability of long-term naproxen administration was studied in two double-blind clinical trials involving 586 patients. Of the patients studied, 98 patients were age 65 and older and 10 of the 98 patients were age 75 and older. NAPROXEN was administered at doses of 375 mg twice daily or 750 mg twice daily for up to 6 months. Transient abnormalities of laboratory tests assessing hepatic and renal function were noted in some patients, although there were no differences noted in the occurrence of abnormal values among different age groups.
Elderly patients, compared to younger patients, are at greater risk for NSAID-associated serious cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and/or renal adverse reactions. If the anticipated benefit for the elderly patient outweighs these potential risks, start dosing at the low end of the dosing range, and monitor patients for adverse effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.13)].
Studies indicate that although total plasma concentration of naproxen is unchanged, the unbound plasma fraction of naproxen is increased in the elderly. The clinical significance of this finding is unclear, although it is possible that the increase in free naproxen concentration could be associated with an increase in the rate of adverse events per a given dosage in some elderly patients. Caution is advised when high doses are required and some adjustment of dosage may be required in elderly patients. As with other drugs used in the elderly, it is prudent to use the lowest effective dose.
Experience indicates that geriatric patients may be particularly sensitive to certain adverse effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Elderly or debilitated patients seem to tolerate peptic ulceration or bleeding less well when these events do occur. Most spontaneous reports of fatal GI events are in the geriatric population [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Naproxen is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Geriatric patients may be at a greater risk for the development of a form of renal toxicity precipitated by reduced prostaglandin formation during administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

Caution is advised when high doses are required and some adjustment of dosage may be required in these patients. It is prudent to use the lowest effective dose [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Renal Impairment

Naproxen-containing products are not recommended for use in patients with moderate to severe and severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


Symptoms following acute NSAID overdosages have been typically limited to lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and epigastric pain, which have been generally reversible with supportive care. Gastrointestinal bleeding has occurred. Hypertension, acute renal failure, respiratory depression, and coma have occurred, but were rare [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2)]. Because naproxen sodium may be rapidly absorbed, high and early blood levels should be anticipated. A few patients have experienced convulsions, but it is not clear whether or not these were drug-related. It is not known what dose of the drug would be life threatening. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6)].
Manage patients with symptomatic and supportive care following an NSAID overdosage. There are no specific antidotes. Consider emesis and/or activated charcoal (60 to 100 grams in adults, 1 to 2 grams per kg of body weight in pediatric patients) and/or osmotic cathartic in symptomatic patients seen within four hours of ingestion or in patients with a large overdosage (5 to 10 times the recommended dosage). Forced diuresis, alkalinization of urine, hemodialysis, or hemoperfusion may not be useful due to high protein binding.
For additional information about overdosage treatment contact a poison control center (1-800-222-1222).


Naproxen sodium tablets, USP are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and available as light blue color tablets containing 275 mg of naproxen sodium and dark blue color tablets containing 550 mg of naproxen sodium for oral administration.

Naproxen sodium is a member of the arylacetic acid group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The chemical name for naproxen sodium is (S)-6-methoxy-α-methyl-2-naphthaleneacetic acid, sodium salt. Naproxen sodium has a molecular weight of 252.23 and a molecular formula of C14 H13 NaO3 . It has the following structural formula:

chemical structure
(click image for full-size original)

Naproxen sodium USP is a white to creamy crystalline powder, freely soluble in water at neutral pH.

Each naproxen sodium tablet, USP contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Blue #2, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, PEG 8000, povidone, talc, and titanium dioxide.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Naproxen has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties. Naproxen sodium has been developed as a more rapidly absorbed formulation of naproxen for use as an analgesic.
The mechanism of action of naproxen, like that of other NSAIDs, is not completely understood but involves inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2).
Naproxen is a potent inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis in vitro. Naproxen concentrations reached during therapy have produced in vivo effects. Prostaglandins sensitize afferent nerves and potentiate the action of bradykinin in inducing pain in animal models. Prostaglandins are mediators of inflammation. Because naproxen is an inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, its mode of action may be due to a decrease of prostaglandins in peripheral tissues.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

In a healthy volunteer study, 10 days of concomitant administration of naproxen 220 mg once-daily with low-dose immediate-release aspirin (81 mg) showed an interaction with the antiplatelet activity of aspirin as measured by % serum thromboxane B2 inhibition at 24 hours following the day 10 dose [98.7% (aspirin alone) vs 93.1% (naproxen and aspirin)]. The interaction was observed even following discontinuation of naproxen on day 11 (while aspirin dose was continued) but normalized by day 13. In the same study, the interaction was greater when naproxen was administered 30 minutes prior to aspirin [98.7% vs 87.7%] and minimal when aspirin was administered 30 minutes prior to naproxen [98.7% vs 95.4%].
Following administration of naproxen 220 mg twice-daily with low-dose immediate-release aspirin (first naproxen dose given 30 minutes prior to aspirin), the interaction was minimal at 24 h following day 10 dose [98.7% vs 95.7%]. However, the interaction was more prominent after discontinuation of naproxen (washout) on day 11 [98.7% vs 84.3%] and did not normalize completely by day 13 [98.5% vs 90.7%]. [see Drug Interactions (7)]. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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