Naproxen gel is the topical form of a type of oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medication is used to relieve pain associated with injuries, arthritis, and menstrual cramps, along with other health conditions that are marked with discomfort. Naproxen gel is generally safe when used as directed, but patients should check with their doctors before use to ensure that the medicine will not interact with other types of drugs. Certain side effects warrant the discontinued use of the gel.
type of NSAID works by decreasing hormones in the body that are directly related to inflammation, which is a common cause of pain. Naproxen is traditionally an oral medication taken by mouth to relieve inflammation, some of which are sold in stores. The gel form is preferable for patients who have pain in one small area of the body, as in an athletic injury. Aside from common aches and injuries, naproxen gel is also used for some patients with bursitis, gout, and tendinitis.
Naproxen gel is generally obtained with a doctor’s prescription, and is often used for several days until pain decreases. At the same time, this medication is not intended for use prolonged use, such as every day for weeks at a time. If pain does not improve, patients usually have to obtain a different ongoing treatment plan. Taking too much naproxen can increase the chances of side effects, but the gel version tends to pose less of a risk than the oral version of the medication. Topical naproxen usually contains up to 10% of the medication, which is generally less than that found in the tablet form.
NSAIDs like naproxen are classified as pain relief medications, some of which might be obtained over-the-counter. No matter how naproxen gel is purchased, there are potential life-threatening side effects associated with this medication, including heart attack and stroke. Patients should immediately discontinue using the product if their pain worsens, or if they experience chest pain, breathing difficulties, and fainting. Pain relief medications can also cause non-life threatening side effects, including gastrointestinal ailments, skin rash, and headaches.
This medication is not intended to be used in conjunction with other similar pain medications, because this can potentially cause dangerous drug interactions. Over-the-counter medications can contain naproxen or even have properties that mimic NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. Blood thinners, steroids, and diuretics all have the potential to interact with naproxen gel, so it may be best to avoid taking such medications at the same time. Naproxen is usually not recommended for the use in pregnant women.