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What Factors Affect Naproxen Dosage?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most appropriate naproxen dosage depends on why a patient needs the drug and relevant aspects of a patient's medical history. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can be useful for management of acute pain as well as chronic issues like arthritis. It is usually safe for use in patients older than five, although geriatric patients can be at increased risk of acute side effects. If patients have questions about how to use the drug safely, they should consult a doctor or pharmacist.

For acute pain, it is usually appropriate to take 500 milligrams of naproxen and to repeat this dose every 12 hours, depending on pain levels. It is important to avoid controlled release capsules with acute pain. These drugs have a coating to slow their breakdown in the stomach, and they will not take effect immediately. Once the pain resolves, the patient can stop using the naproxen.

Naproxen dosage for inflammation like bursitis and episodes of gout may be higher. For gout patients, naproxen dosage starts with 750 milligrams of the drug, and 250 milligrams every eight hours to control pain until the attack ends. If the gout persists or is accompanied with other symptoms, the patient may need to see a doctor. Cases of bursitis can involve doses of 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams daily.

Patients with arthritis may ramp up their naproxen dosage to address breakthrough pain, but usually start with 250 milligrams twice a day. They can increase this to 500 milligrams if the drug is not effective. For periods of six months or less, it is possible to increase the dose to 1,500 milligrams daily. These patients may opt to take a single time release capsule rather than two daily doses if they feel this will meet their needs more effectively.

The pediatric naproxen dosage is based on weight, and a doctor should calculate it; it usually starts around 2.5 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) and can increase if this is not effective for pain management. The safety of this drug in children under five is not known, and patients should discuss pain management options for very young patients with a doctor.

It is important to keep naproxen out of the reach of young children and pets, as they may overdose on the medication and become sick. If a patient experiences a bad reaction after taking the drug, this may be the result of an allergy, and it will be necessary to switch to a different medication for pain management.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By burcidi — On Jun 06, 2013

Can I use the naproxen dosage limits for children to calculate the naproxen dosage for my dog?

He hurt his leg and I can't take him to the vet right now.

By bluedolphin — On Jun 06, 2013

@donasmrs-- Are you taking one 1000mg capsule or two 500mg capsules daily? How long have you been taking naproxen for?

I would recommend switching to two 500mg capsules daily if you're currently taking 1000mg at once. This will reduce the side effects. Also, make sure to take it on a full stomach and with a glass of milk to reduce the drug's effects on the stomach.

If you've been taking this medication for a long time, I don't think there is any point in trying to adjust naproxen sodium dosage. It's not a good idea to take NSAIDs for long periods, it can cause serious problems. See your doctor and ask him to prescribe you a different medication for your arthritis pain.

By donasmrs — On Jun 05, 2013

I'm at a dilemma. I take 1000mg of naproxen sodium daily for arthritis which gives me upset stomach, nausea, cramps and heart burn. I've tried reducing the dose to 500mg and 750mg which reduce the side effects, but these doses don't relieve my pain. I'm not sure what to do.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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