Is Naproxen a Muscle Relaxer? [EXPLANATION]3 min read

Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by reducing the hormones causing pain and inflammation in the body.

It works by preventing the effect of chemicals in your body called cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes.

The enzymes are useful in making other chemicals in the body known as prostaglandins.

Some prostaglandins are produced at sites of damage or injury and result in inflammation and pain.

By preventing COX enzymes’ effect, naproxen allows fewer prostaglandins to be produced, which means no pain and inflammation.

While naproxen is a pain reliever:

That can help reduce muscle spasms; it does not possess any direct muscle relaxant properties, which means it does not belong to muscle relaxers.

The drug is used for treating inflammation and pain caused by conditions such as:

  • ankylosing
  • arthritis
  • spondylitis
  • bursitis
  • tendinitis
  • gout
  • menstrual cramps.

It is available as the brand-name drugs Naprelan, Naprosyn, Anaprox, and Mediproxen.


Although naproxen is used for relieving pain, it may cause some problems to certain individuals in certain conditions.


Extra care is required when taking medicine.

 Before you consume your first dose:

Make sure that your doctor is aware of any other allergic disorder, high blood pressure, a heart condition, or ever experienced blood clotting problems.

 Also, inform your doctor if you are expecting or breastfeeding.

Side Effects

The common side effects of naproxen include:

  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • stomach pain.

Other than these

You might also experience some serious side effects, upon which you need to contact your doctor immediately.

 The severe side effects are

  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty in breathing
  • chest pain
  • swelling of the throat or face
  • high blood pressure
  • a problem in speaking
  • asthma attacks
  • yellowing of skin
  • whites of the eyes
  • swelling of any part of the body
  • unusual weight gain
  • skin rash
  • blisters


Naproxen intake can also cause an ulcer in the intestines and stomach.

The symptoms of this are

  • stomach pain
  • vomiting blood
  • blood in your stool
  • sticky black stool

Weakness, fatigue, and lethargy after taking the drug can also sign a lower count of red blood cells.


Naproxen is reported to cause an asthma attack.

If your asthma triggers with aspirins or other NSAIDs, naproxen is not for you.

People with a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding or ulcer should avoid the drug.

It can also cause damage to the kidney if used for a very long time.

Patients with high blood pressure problems are advised not to take naproxen because it can worsen the condition and make their high blood pressure medications not work.

The drug can also result in severe allergic reactions.

If you notice:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of your tongue or throat
  • Trouble in breathing

Do not retake medicine as it could be fatal.

Naproxen comes in category C pregnancy drugs.

According to the research conducted in animals:

The drug can have adverse effects on the fetus when the expectant mother takes it.


There are no adequate studies done in humans to ensure if the drug is safe.


It is suggested to stop naproxen intake during the third trimester of pregnancy as it may be harmful to the unborn baby.

The drug can also be passed through breast milk and can cause side effects in a breastfeeding child, so it is recommended not to breastfeed while taking this medication.

Be cautious when taking naproxen if you are older than sixty-five years as your body may process the drug slower.

Your doctor is more likely to start you on a lowered dose to not build up in your body.

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