Is Naproxen addictive? 

Is Naproxen addictive?

No, Naproxen is not addictive. This is because Naproxen is not a controlled substance and is neither structurally nor chemically related to them. This medication does not have a high potential for addiction and abuse. 

In fact, Naproxen is available over the counter in many countries of the world and it does not affect your psychological functions. Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is used for the management of mild to moderate pain and inflammation. 

How is Naproxen different from drugs of abuse?

Naproxen is quite different from drugs of abuse. It is an OTC anti-inflammatory drug that works by blocking the synthesis of Prostaglandins, which are important mediators of pain and inflammation (1). 

Naproxen does not cause any type of addiction or get you high no matter how long you use it, and it doesn’t need to be tapered off when you want to stop taking it. Drugs that have a high potential for addiction and abuse directly affect your psychological functions.

They change the way you think, respond to different things, and the way you interact with different things and situations around you. These drugs induce euphoria and detach you from reality by altering the availability of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. Naproxen does nothing like that. 

Can Naproxen affect your health in any other way? 

Naproxen may not cause addiction, but it is associated with some side effects. Although not psychological in nature, these side effects can significantly affect the quality of your life. These are: 

  • Gastrointestinal adverse events: Naproxen is well-known for causing GI side effects like stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, indigestion, and diarrhoea. Naproxen can also cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach or intestines, which can be serious.
  • Kidney damage: Naproxen can cause kidney damage or failure, especially in people with pre-existing kidney problems.
  • Cardiac complications: prolonged use of high doses of Naproxen can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • CNS effects: high doses of Naproxen can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches.
  • Blood disorders: Rarely, naproxen can cause low blood cell counts, which can lead to anaemia or bleeding disorders.

If you experience any such side effects, you should report them to your healthcare provider. The over-the-counter availability of Naproxen does not make it a safe drug for every other individual. 

If you have any underlying health condition that can alter the way meds work in your body, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 156391, Naproxen; [cited 2023 Mar. 06]. Available from: