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I'm newly diagnosed Asthmatic and I've been told I can't take Naproxen, what else can I take for pain?

JonJo383 profile image

Hi everyone,

I've been taking Naproxen for a few months now due to chronic leg and foot pain, I was bumped up the highest dose 500mg twice a day and now since I've only been diagnosed with Asthma I've had my GP's surgery's pharmacist explicitly tell me I can't take Naproxen due to my Asthma, what other options do I have?



5 Replies

NSAIDs can be a problem for some people with asthma which is (I think) what Naproxen is and presumably why you've been told to avoid it.

However it's not a given thing that you can't take NSAIDs - some asthmatics are fine with them. I'm not suggesting you ignore the pharmacist or anything but it might be worth trying to speak to a GP because you've been on it for 2 months already which would suggest you are ok with it - unless of course that's how they discovered your asthma.

Ibuprofen is an NSAID so presumably the pharmacist would also say no that.

Aspirin has an advisory for asthmatics on it too.

Codeine some doctors advise caution, others say it's fine for asthmatics..... it's definitely not fine for me but others are ok with it.

Which kind of leaves paracetamol.... but many asthmatics do take the above as they don't react to them.

So you maybe need to speak to a GP about your situation .

I agree with Twinkly26. If you have been taking Naproxen prior to being diagnosed with asthma it makes no sense that suddenly purely on basis of asthma that you would have a difficulty with it.I am also adult onset asthmatic but can take occasional ibuprofen for joint issues.

Suggest you speak to gp about it and see what they think. Whilst I acknowledge the skills of a good pharmacist I am wondering if this is a “knee jerk” reaction. Also it would be helpful if either gp or pharmacist could advise and prescribe an alternative rather than just saying you can’t take something that helps another condition!

Hi Jonathan,

I'm on Naproxen as well as also having asthma. Thankfully I don't react to Naproxen and like you had been taking it before I was diagnosed with asthma.

I was told aswell that I wasn't allowed to have it yet once my asthma was initially controlled after diagnosis I had an appointment with GP and explained it doesn't make my asthma worse and that my pain and mobility is dramatically hard to manage without it, so they prescribed it again on condition I need to stop taking it if it starts to impact me.

Another alternative is diclofenac yet think it's in a similar category as naproxen yet its one that I have been given as an alternative before as well. Hope you manage to get sorted.

Did the asthma start once the dose of naproxen was increased, or perhaps only after you started naproxen anyway?I've always had asthma and used to be able to take the occasional ibuprofen for back problems but then my GP prescribed sustained release voltarol and after a few days , I think it was the build-up, I was struggling to breath and it took several weeks off them to get back to normal. I have avoided NSaids ever since, even the gels ( which do have an asthma warning on them). I resort to co-codamol which is not ideal, but the only thing available, and it is a decent pain killer.

Hi JonJo. It really depends on what sort of pain you are experiencing. There are other groups of pain meds those, for example for nerve pain. And as others have said, some people with asthma can take things like Naproxen and Ibuprofen with no problems but some can’t. Paracetamol is a an analgesic but it is not an anti inflammatory as Naproxen is. Your GP will be able to advise you on your best next steps so imho I think that you need to be asking your GP about this as none of us here know your medical history and what sort of pain you are having to manage and what sort of asthma you are living with. Best wishes to you.

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