What Are the Different Types of Naproxen Tablets?

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  • Written By: Cindy Quarters
  • Edited By: S. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 08 May 2018
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Naproxen belongs to the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDs. Other commonly used NSAIDs are aspirin and ibuprofen. Though related, each of these drugs has a different effect on the body. Naproxen tablets come in a wide range of strengths and are produced under several different brand names, most of which require a prescription.

Naproxen is used to treat inflammation and mild to moderate levels of pain. As with other NSAIDs, it is generally recommended that people use the smallest amount of naproxen that provides pain relief. Side effects of naproxen can include internal bleeding, ulcers, perforation of the stomach or intestinal lining, and in increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. Despite the long list of possible side effects, in clinical studies naproxen was found to have fewer side effects than aspirin.

EC-Naprosyn are pills are available by prescription only. The EC part of the name stands for enteric coating, a special coating that protects the stomach by preventing the tablets from being absorbed too soon. They are available in 375 and 500 mg strengths. Naprosyn tablets are the same product, but without the enteric coating. These tablets come in 250, 375, and 500 mg strengths and also require a prescription.

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Anaprox tablets are available by prescription only. They are available in 275 and 550 mg strengths. Naprelan, available in 375 and 500 mg tablets, is a controlled-release formulation of naproxen. These tablets are designed to release the medication over a period of time, increasing the overall effectiveness of the medicine and decreasing how often it must be taken.

Naproxen is available over-the-counter under the brand name Aleve. This formulation is similar to the prescription versions of naproxen tablets, but the strength is less, at only 220 mg. These tablets are available in pharmacies, discount stores and any other places where non-prescription pain medication is sold. The potential side effects of over-the-counter naproxen are the same as those listed for the prescription-strength formulas, but appear to occur less often due to the lower dosage of the NSAID medication.

Naproxen tablets are also sold in generic form. They are marketed under various names used by stores for their product lines, such as Equate and Kroger. These are the same strength as Aleve, 220 mg. Naproxen is also sold online, often touted as equivalent to Anaprox or Naprosyn. Buying medications from unknown sources is extremely risky, as lack of quality control can be a serious problem with this type of naproxen tablets.

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burcinc
Post 3

@ZipLine-- If you have a sensitive stomach, why aren't you using the enteric-coated tablets? And six tablets a day are definitely too many. I take enteric-coated naproxen, two 500 mg tablets a day and it's enough.

Enteric-coated naproxen isn't very good when there is a need for immediate pain-relief, like after an injury, because it takes a long time for it to start working. But once it starts working, it continues to work as long as the doses are not skipped. So enteric-coated is best for chronic pain.

ZipLine
Post 2

@anamur-- This is exactly why I take controlled-release naproxen medication for my arthritis pain.

I've also taken over-the-counter naproxen and prescription naproxen that was not controlled-release. Since I have chronic pain, I was taking six tablets a day which was very hard on my stomach. NSAIDs in general cause stomach issues and they can even cause stomach ulcers.

Controlled-release tablets are so much better for this reason. I don't have to take as many for pain relief and I don't get upset stomach.

serenesurface
Post 1

I used over-the-counter naproxen tablets when I had tendinitis. I know the dosage is not high, but it was enough to relieve my pain.

The only downside was that I had to take the maximum dose allowed for on the label. The affect of the medication wore out about every four to six hours.

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