Naproxen side effects

I was prescribed Naproxen back in March for moderate OA in my knee. After a couple of weeks I noticed I had cloudy wee and I also developed thrush so stopped taking it.

I was referred to my local pharmacy who suggested the symptoms were more likely to be caused by the antibiotics I was also taking at the time but to speak to the doctor before restarting the Naproxen again.

I spoke to the doctor on 18th Apr and he was happy for me to start taking it again but again within 10 days I started getting side effects; worse this time than last: stomachache, constipation, signs of a water infection (my wee turned orange!), Nausea, lethargy and loss of appetite.

I stopped taking the Naproxen last Thu and the symptoms have eased. I again was sent to the pharmacy to have my urine checked but no sign of infection. I now have to wait until the 18th May to see the Doctor f2f to discuss treatment options. I really don't feel like I'm any further forward now than I was in January when the symptoms of OA started.

I suppose my questions are has anyone else experienced similar with Naproxen and what should I be saying to my GP when I eventually do see him?

Naproxen doesn't seem to have any affect on my OA at all neither did the steroid injection I had on 28th April; it only resulted in 48hrs relief. What's next in regards to pain relief options?


  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 213

    I had Naproxen for a while before I got an appointment at rheumatology. They had a slight effect tummy wise, but it was more that I had more frequent bowel movement. I found it difficult getting off to sleep whilst I was on them too. They did help take the edge off the pain I was in. There must be other pain killers they could try you on I am sure. Good luck.

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi Dansmam,

    There are other NSAI's your GP can prescribe instead of Naproxen so definitely worth asking the question.

    Steroid injections can be a bit hit and miss as the doctor explained to me. For some people, one course lasts for many months, others such as me (and you by the sounds of it), they have little or no effect. In my case I was told there is no cartilage left to inject into so that was the reason and it may be so in your case or the doctor is injecting into an area where the cartilage has worn away. The XRays ought to show if you have anything left.

  • Lorraine_24
    Lorraine_24 Member Posts: 25

    Hi @dansmam I had simular issues with naproxen and had to come off them, they caused me so many tummy issues and didn't help my pain at all, it really is hit and miss when trying to find medication that can help you without causing a lot of side effects, I would speak to gp and let them know they are not agreeing with you and see what else they can offer you

  • Cazm50
    Cazm50 Member Posts: 12
    edited 10. May 2023, 15:59

    I had to come off naproxen last year for reactive arthritis.I stick to what i know which is ibuprofen and paracetamol.I do as much exercise as possible as well.I was referred to rheumatology where i had bloods and xrays.Endless steroids and injections which have had no result,neither did dmards.I have discharged myself as i am sick of side effects.

  • dansmam
    dansmam Member Posts: 14

    @Cazm50 sorry to hear nothing has helped. Paracetamol and ibuprofen doesn't really help me, the side effects from the Naproxen outweighed the benefit. I had been hopeful that I'd get some form of relief from the steroid injection but it only lasted 48hrs. Hate the fact it appears to be trial and error.

    I see the GP on Thursday this will be the 3rd f2f appt and I can't remember how many telephone appts I've had since February and still no closer to getting on top of the pain. I push through it but I'm in a lot of pain when I have long (over 8hr) shifts at work.

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    There are some other things you can try out as alternatives and being non-prescription and more "natural" in nature, they may help.

    I take Bromelain capsules which is sourced from Pineapples, Black Walnut Husk capsules (another anti-inflammatory), CBD capsules (derived from Hemp as a pain killer), and use a TENS machine. In combo with FlexiSeq gel and Voltorol 12 hour gel, the pain in my knees is sufficiently dulled enough to enable me to exercise regularly and lead an almost normal life.

    I am mindful these won't work for everyone but as far as I know they are risk-free, if not they wouldn't be available to buy on the high street.

  • dansmam
    dansmam Member Posts: 14

    Thank you @jonr I'm open to alternative treatments I take turmeric supplements already, heat pad and heard acupuncture is beneficial for some but will have to research that more and look into the cost.

    I seem to be coping better with being in constant pain and more able to push through.

    I've been prescribed celecoxib and Lanszoprazole. I'm just in the process of finding out what works or doesn't for me but will certainly bear in mind the alternatives you've mentioned.