How long does it take for Naproxen to kick in? 

How long does it take for Naproxen to kick in? 

Naproxen usually takes about an hour to start providing pain relief, but it can take much longer to manage your symptoms effectively. The actual time taken by this medication to manage your symptoms depends on the severity of your condition. 

Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is commonly used for the management of pain and inflammation(1)

Let’s say, you’re taking Naproxen for a headache, you will begin to feel better in about an hour or two. This is an occasional use of Naproxen. As such headaches are not too difficult to deal with, one Naproxen at times can be enough. 

However, this can not be the case for someone who’s dealing with chronic pain. If you’re taking Naproxen for long-term pain management, it can take weeks to manage your symptoms effectively(2)

Most people find a noticeable difference in their symptoms within 2-3 weeks, depending on the condition. Make sure you only use Naproxen for the long term if prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Naproxen can cause gastrointestinal damage, so it should be taken only when needed to protect your stomach from unnecessary adverse events. 

If you are a long-term user of Naproxen, I recommend taking it with food always and not lying down right away after taking this medication. In case you’re experiencing any painful side effects, reach out to your healthcare provider. 

It is also important to make sure that you take the right dose of Naproxen and that your medication is not expired or is fully potent to help you deal with your symptoms in an effective way.

Factors affecting the time Naproxen takes to kick in

There are some factors that may affect the time taken by Naproxen to start working. These include:

  • The dosage strength of Naproxen taken can affect the time it takes to work. 
  • The symptoms for which Naproxen is taken can also make a difference. Severe or chronic pain and inflammation do not respond to Naproxen right away.
  • The dosage form of Naproxen taken. Naproxen is commonly available in both oral solid and liquid dosage forms. 
  • Certain medical conditions can affect how quickly Naproxen takes effect, such as gastrointestinal issues.
  • Certain medications can affect how quickly Naproxen takes effect by interacting with it or affecting the body’s ability to absorb it.

How to take Naproxen for best results?

To make the most out of your Naproxen, you will have to take it in the best possible way. Let’s take a look at some useful tips:

  • Properly follow your doctor’s directions. If you are using OTC Naproxen, make sure you read the label or ask your pharmacist about the right way of using it.
  • Take the tablet with a full glass of water and do not lie down right after taking it. 
  • Take Naproxen with food to prevent gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Do not take Naproxen for longer than you should. If your pain hasn’t subsided yet, reach out to your provider. Do not start taking a higher dose on your own.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking Naproxen, as it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and liver damage.
  • You can crush Naproxen immediate-release tablets for ease of administration. However, never cut or crush extended-release dosage forms.
  • Inform your doctor if you experience any side effects, such as stomach pain or indigestion.
  • Store Naproxen in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.

It is always best to follow your healthcare professional’s directions for the safe and effective treatment with Naproxen or any other medication.

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Brutzkus JC, Shahrokhi M, Varacallo M. Naproxen. 2023 Mar 3. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30247840. Bookshelf ID: NBK525965. Available from:


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