NSAIDs, including naproxen and naproxen sodium, can lead to onset of new hypertension or worsening of pre-existing hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking thiazides or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs. NSAIDs, including naproxen and naproxen sodium, should be used with caution in patients with hypertension. Blood pressure (BP) should be monitored closely during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.
Fluid retention, edema, and peripheral edema have been observed in some patients taking NSAIDs. Naproxen and naproxen sodium should be used with caution in patients with fluid retention, hypertension, or heart failure. Since each naproxen sodium tablet contains 25 mg or 50 mg of sodium (about 1 mEq per each 250 mg of naproxen), this could be considered in patients whose overall intake of sodium must be severely restricted.
NSAIDs, including naproxen and naproxen sodium, can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal.
These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients, who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy, is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occur in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3-6 months, and in about 2-4% of patients treated for one year. These trends continue with longer duration of use, increasing the likelihood of developing a serious GI event at some time during the course of therapy. However, even short-term therapy is not without risk. The utility of periodic laboratory monitoring has not been demonstrated, nor has it been adequately assessed. Only 1 in 5 patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic.
NSAIDs should be prescribed with extreme caution in those with a prior history of ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding. Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or gastrointestinal bleeding who use NSAIDs have a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients with neither of these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk for GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include concomitant use of oral corticosteroids or anticoagulants, longer duration of NSAID therapy, smoking, use of alcohol, older age, and poor general health status. Most spontaneous reports of fatal GI events are in elderly or debilitated patients and therefore, special care should be taken in treating this population. To minimize the potential risk for an adverse GI event in patients treated with an NSAID, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible duration. Patients and physicians should remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy and promptly initiate additional evaluation and treatment if a serious GI adverse event is suspected. This should include discontinuation of the NSAID until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out. For high risk patients, alternate therapies that do not involve NSAIDs should be considered.
Epidemiological studies, both of the case-control and cohort design, have demonstrated as association between use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. In two studies, concurrent use of an NSAID or aspirin potentiated the risk of bleeding (see PRECAUTIONS — Drug Interactions). Although these studies focused on upper gastrointestinal bleeding, there is reason to believe that bleeding at other sites may be similarly potentiated.
NSAIDs should be given with care to patients with a history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease) as their condition may be exacerbated.
Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, salt depletion, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors, and the elderly. Discontinuation of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state (see WARNINGS: Advanced Renal Disease ).
No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of naproxen or naproxen sodium in patients with advanced renal disease. Therefore, treatment with naproxen and naproxen sodium is not recommended in these patients with advanced renal disease. If naproxen or naproxen sodium therapy must be initiated, close monitoring of the patient’s renal function is advisable.
As with other NSAIDs, anaphylactoid reactions may occur in patients without known prior exposure to naproxen or naproxen sodium. Naproxen and naproxen sodium should not be given to patients with the aspirin triad. This symptom complex typically occurs in asthmatic patients who experience rhinitis with or without nasal polyps, or who exhibit severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS: Preexisting Asthma). Emergency help should be sought in cases where an anaphylactoid reaction occurs. Anaphylactoid reactions, like anaphylaxis, may have a fatal outcome.
NSAIDs, including naproxen and naproxen sodium, can cause serious skin adverse events such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Patients should be informed about the signs and symptoms of serious skin manifestations and use of the drug should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity.
In late pregnancy, as with other NSAIDs, naproxen and naproxen sodium should be avoided because it may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.
Naproxen-containing products such as naproxen, naproxen sodium tablets and other naproxen products should not be used concomitantly since they all circulate in the plasma as the naproxen anion.
Naproxen and naproxen sodium cannot be expected to substitute for corticosteroids or to treat corticosteroid insufficiency. Abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids may lead to disease exacerbation. Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should have their therapy tapered slowly if a decision is made to discontinue corticosteroids and the patient should be observed closely for any evidence of adverse effects, including adrenal insufficiency and exacerbation of symptoms of arthritis.
Patients with initial hemoglobin values of 10 g or less who are to receive long-term therapy should have hemoglobin values determined periodically.
The pharmacological activity of naproxen and naproxen sodium in reducing fever and inflammation may diminish the utility of these diagnostic signs in detecting complications of presumed noninfectious, noninflammatory painful conditions.
Because of adverse eye findings in animal studies with drugs of this class, it is recommended that ophthalmic studies be carried out if any change or disturbance in vision occurs.
Borderline elevations of one or more liver tests may occur in up to 15% of patients taking NSAIDs including naproxen and naproxen sodium. Hepatic abnormalities may be the result of hypersensitivity rather than direct toxicity. These laboratory abnormalities may progress, may remain essentially unchanged, or may be transient with continued therapy. The SGPT (ALT) test is probably the most sensitive indicator of liver dysfunction. Notable elevations of ALT or AST (approximately three or more times the upper limit of normal) have been reported in approximately 1% of patients in clinical trials with NSAIDs. In addition, rare cases of severe hepatic reactions, including jaundice and fatal fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis and hepatic failure, some of them with fatal outcomes have been reported.
A patient with symptoms and/or signs suggesting liver dysfunction, or in whom an abnormal liver test has occurred, should be evaluated for evidence of the development of more severe hepatic reaction while on therapy with naproxen or naproxen sodium.
If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (eg, eosinophilia, rash, etc.), naproxen or naproxen sodium should be discontinued.
Chronic alcoholic liver disease and probably other diseases with decreased or abnormal plasma proteins (albumin) reduce the total plasma concentration of naproxen, but the plasma concentration of unbound naproxen is increased. Caution is advised when high doses are required and some adjustment of dosage may be required in these patients. It is prudent to use the lowest effective dose.
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