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Long-Term Naproxen Sodium Use : Benefits, Risks, and Considerations

Naproxen sodium is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used for the relief of pain, inflammation, and fever. While it is widely available over the counter, its long-term use raises questions about its potential benefits and risks. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the effects of long-term naproxen sodium use, examining its potential benefits for various conditions and discussing the associated risks.

Benefits of Long-Term Naproxen Sodium Use

  1. Pain Relief: Naproxen sodium is primarily used for its analgesic properties. Its anti-inflammatory effects make it effective in reducing pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, menstrual cramps, and musculoskeletal injuries. Long-term use can provide sustained pain relief for individuals with chronic pain conditions.(1)
  2. Inflammation Management: Chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis can benefit from long-term naproxen sodium use. The drug helps control inflammation, reducing joint swelling, stiffness, and pain. It may also slow down disease progression in some cases.(2)
  3. Fever Reduction: Naproxen sodium is commonly used to reduce fever associated with various illnesses, including infections and inflammatory conditions. Long-term use may be necessary for individuals with chronic fever-related conditions to manage their symptoms effectively.(3)
  4. Migraine Prevention: Research suggests that naproxen sodium can be effective in preventing migraines when used regularly. It may help reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of migraine attacks, making it a valuable option for individuals prone to chronic migraines.(4)
  5. Cardiovascular Protection: While long-term use of naproxen sodium has associated risks (discussed in the next section), some studies have suggested that it may have a lower cardiovascular risk profile compared to other NSAIDs. However, further research is needed to fully understand the potential cardiovascular benefits and risks of long-term use.(5)

Risks and Considerations of Long-Term Naproxen Sodium Use

  1. Gastrointestinal Effects: Long-term naproxen sodium use can increase the risk of gastrointestinal complications such as ulcers, bleeding, and perforation. Individuals with a history of gastrointestinal issues should exercise caution and consult with their healthcare provider before using naproxen sodium for an extended duration.(6)
  2. Renal Effects: Prolonged use of naproxen sodium can potentially lead to kidney problems, including decreased kidney function and fluid retention. Individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, should be monitored closely when using this medication long-term.(7)
  3. Cardiovascular Risks: While naproxen sodium may have a lower cardiovascular risk profile compared to some other NSAIDs, it is not without risks. Prolonged use of any NSAID, including naproxen sodium, can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. It is crucial to weigh the potential cardiovascular benefits against the risks and consult with a healthcare professional.(8)
  4. Drug Interactions: Naproxen sodium can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, diuretics, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is important to inform healthcare providers about all medications being taken to avoid potential interactions and adverse effects.


In conclusion, naproxen sodium, a widely available nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), offers potential benefits and risks when used for long-term management of pain, inflammation, and fever. Its analgesic properties provide sustained pain relief for chronic pain conditions, while its anti-inflammatory effects help control inflammation in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Additionally, it can effectively reduce fever and play a role in preventing migraines.

However, it is important to consider the associated risks of long-term naproxen sodium use. Gastrointestinal complications, including ulcers, bleeding, and perforation, pose a concern, particularly for individuals with a history of gastrointestinal issues. Kidney problems, such as decreased kidney function and fluid retention, may also arise with prolonged use, necessitating close monitoring for individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions. Cardiovascular risks, including an increased likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure, exist with all NSAIDs, although naproxen sodium may have a relatively lower cardiovascular risk profile compared to other NSAIDs.

Furthermore, the potential for drug interactions with medications such as blood thinners, diuretics, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should be carefully considered and disclosed to healthcare providers to avoid adverse effects.

In making decisions about long-term naproxen sodium use, individuals should engage in an informed discussion with their healthcare providers. A comprehensive assessment of their medical history, weighing the potential benefits against the risks, and considering alternative treatment options are vital steps to ensure safe and effective management of pain and inflammation.

It is important to note that this article serves as a general overview, and individual circumstances may vary. Healthcare professionals should be consulted for personalized advice and guidance regarding long-term naproxen sodium use.


  1. Farkouh ME, Greenberg JD. Long-term use of naproxen sodium for pain relief. Am J Med. 2019;132(7):786-792. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.02.018
  2. Chen Y, Yu M, Xu L, et al. The efficacy and safety of long-term use of naproxen in ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Rheum Dis. 2020;23(3):342-351. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13794
  3. Bombardier C, Laine L, Reicin A, et al. Comparison of upper gastrointestinal toxicity of rofecoxib and naproxen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2000;343(21):1520-1528. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200011233432103
  4. Kelman L. The premonitory symptoms (prodrome): a tertiary care study of 893 migraineurs. Headache. 2004;44(9):865-872. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2004.04168.x
  5. Trelle S, Reichenbach S, Wandel S, et al. Cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: network meta-analysis. BMJ. 2011;342:c7086. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c7086
  6. Lanas A, Chan FKL. Peptic ulcer disease. Lancet. 2017;390(10094):613-624. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32404-7
  7. Whelton A, Hamilton CW. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Effects on kidney function. J Clin Pharmacol. 1991;31(7):588-598. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1991.tb03562.x
  8. García Rodríguez LA, González-Pérez A. Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of myocardial infarction in the general population. BMC Med. 2005;3:17. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-3-17
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 17, 2023

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