Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Naproxen - any one elses skin falling off?


I have another docs appointment on Friday and wanted to see if I could get the doc to do something about the skin issue I have had since starting Naproxen.

I am not sure if these symptoms are due to Naproxen, but fairly sure - I have put a description below and a couple of questions - I hope someone can please help me figure this out :-)

for the feint hearted, please read no further - this reads like zombie film - apologies...

since starting naproxen I have had and issue - mainly on exposed areas of skin (face, head, hands - other body parts are dry - but not noticing these symptoms there, but they are covered so might not notice?).

my skin has become scaley and is falling off - like a really bad sunburn - but instead of peeling in strips it crumbles away, but it is happening all the time - I cannot imagine I had such an endless supply of skin.

my husband went to brush an eyelash away and came away with his finger covered in my skin - just gently brushing my face causes skinn to fall off all over the place in fine crumbly bits. I can scrub it and moisturise it as much as humanly possible but it is flakey again within an hour of moisturisation.

I also have something similar to cradle cap on my head - much thicker lumps of skin building up.

I also have a scaling on the back of my hands - but this is not flaking off.

I sound like a right mess :-) I suppose I really am.

I have never had a skin condition before so told the docs about this as soon as it happened and they said it was a side effect of the naproxen, and it would go away when I stopped taking it and there was nothing they could do- but that was months ago and they still have me on it.

I mentioned it again a while ago and they said it was a side effect of the Gabapentin, and would go away when I stopped taking it - I tried pointing out I had it since starting Naproxen (started Naproxen nearly 2 months before starting the gabapentin) but they did not listen.

Has anyone else had this with Naproxen?

- please let me know as I need some sort of info to tell the docs that the Naproxen is doing this (I want to stop taking it)

Has anyone else had this with Gabapentin?

- please let me know as I need to be able to rule this out for my doctor.

Has anyone else had this come on without the above drugs?

- please let me know - could it be related to my thyroid issues?

Thank-you for your help with this, I really do not think the Naproxen if doing anything - they gave it to me as an anti inflamatory for my slipped disc originally but said I had to keep taking it as my slipped disc had not fixed itself - I cannot possibly imagine if it has not fixed itself in nearly 4 motnhs of naproxen that the naproxen is working!

21 Replies


I take both of these and my skin has become very dry and flaky since starting to take them. I find that e45 helps a lot to keep the skin moisture there. By stopping taking these tablets is not the answer because you will get side effects with anything you take and if they help your Fibro then using e45 is a better option than suffer with pain .

Hope this helps

Gentle hugs



In short........... yes I took it for a day maybe two and rang the doctors because even my belly was peeling.

I would stop taking it and call your doctor :) I was told it was an allergic reaction to it. We are different but I thought it only happened to me :o

:) xxxsianxxx :)


Hi Zeb,

yes - I think you are probably right - it is probably just an allergic reaction to it - hasn't kille dme yet, so fingers crossed ti will go away - will be asking to stop taking it on Fridays telephone call witht he docs.


Wishing things go well with your chat to doc tomorrow and also hoping you're not getting any more really bad adverse reactions to the naproxen xx


Thank-you Zeb,

call went pants, but I am stopping the naproxen - fingers crossed the side effects will let off quickly.



Aw, I'm sorry to hear the call was pants but its good you're off the naproxen, I couldn't believe it when my belly peeled it's just somewhere you don't expect it to happen:o

Has he given you something different in its place?

:) xx


The doc has not given me any replacement pain medication or other antiinflamatories (NSIADS) they will not do anything until they have the info from the pain specilast,

Told me I have to chase that up ( which I have done - they have sent it, but goes viat internal mail and the person I spoke to mentioned that takes a while)

frustrated tht they simply ignore the fact you are in pain in the meantime whilst they sort out their postal issues.

But decided to be positive about the good things today and ignore the rubbish that has happened this morning. It is Valentines day and it makes me happy to send out love and hugs so tht is what I plan to do, to all my freinds and also to my fellow forum peeps.

Bigs gentle hugs :-)



Right back at you my friend xx

Hope you have a wonderful day :)

...... and yes it's a pain in the butt that they dismiss it but staying positive is always good as is smiling :) xx


Hi Mrs_Somerset

I am so sorry to read what is happening to you because of Naproxen, I must admit that I have never heard of it nor used it.

I think it sounds like a very serious allergic reaction and I would go and see your GP ASAP and stop using Naproxen. Were there any leaflets of allergies and side effects etc with the product when you got it?

I sincerely hope that you can get this sorted ASAP and please post and let us all know what happened please?

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


Hi Ken,

Thank-you for your reply.

Yes there is a patient information leaflet with the naproxen and it is so long a list of side effects when you open it up it is nearly as long as I am tall - so no chance of the docs paying attention to any issues as they are pretty much all listed there :-)

I could not get the appointment that I was told 2 weeks ago that I needed but have managed to wrangle a phone call with another doctor on Friday - hopefully they will be able to listen.

I cannot just stop taking hte naproxen, or at least that is what the patient info leaflet says - I am on 1,000mg a day and it states I should speak to my doctor before thining about stopping - but it is just a NSAID so not sure why that my be - it is not the same as my other pain killers that contain opiates etc - will ask on Friday how to stop it - I don't think it is working so why put up witht he side effects.



Wow! 1,000 mg daily, that really is a high dosage. good luck when you speak to the doctor. We will all be wishing you luck. Ken x


Thank-you Ken,

Fingers crossed :-)



Have you been checked for scelerderma

Just a thought ....


Hi angelicscripts,

Thank-you for your reply.

I have not been tested, but having looked it up ( no idea what it was ;-) - it does not look like what I have - my face looks normal - it is a bit red between my eyebrows where the skin peeling is worse - but the skin is not irritated just crumbly, no patches owther than where the skin has not dropped off yet - hence the dragon scales - but the scales are thin, not thick, there are just lots of them.

The issue on my head (scalp) could be - the skin patches are more yeppow - but he patches are many many small ones, rather than the big penny sized ones I have seen on the internet images for sclerderma, so don't think I have that ( which is good as it looks like a permanent kind of thing, rather than a temporary side effect)- but will be sure to ask the docs - have written it on my questions pad for Friday :-)

Thanks again for your reply ,



Hi angelscripts, I am afriad I did not get a chance to ask about the sclerderma today - doc pretty much ignored me, but I am stopping hte naproxen so fingers crossed my skin will be fixed soon.




I have had problems with my skin/scalp since taking Naproxen - my scalp has had permanent thick white cradle cap symptoms. My skin came up in itchy blisters. Now I am also allergic and react to other drugs so was not surprised when this happened with Naproxen. My GP has stopped the Naproxen and I am left with the symptoms not going yet. Am at my wits end to be honest. Hugs x


Hi Mistyang,

Oh no - that sounds awful - I had assumed, as Ii am sure you did, that once you stop taking it, that the symptoms would go away.

I am naturally a person that shies away from medications, so when they put me on these I was unhappy in the first place, let alone the many warnings about what they do to your Kidneys - and I only have the one that works properly ( ecoli infection from a doughnut at a funfair left the other kidney scarred and at less than 10% functionality - so if you have what you think is a persistent bladder infection and your back is hot and stabbing you - please do go and see the docs right away - cranberry juice does not help kidney infections!)

I have not found anything that helps yet - although I have just ordered some cream that is supposed to be the bees knees - pun intended - made from honey - will hopefully remember to let you know how I get on with it when it arrives. I have tried exfoliating, bio-oil, e45, advocado oil, argan oil, safflower oil, I have ordeered but nor recieved some coconut oil - will hopefully remember to post how / if that helps.

Also, just as I brush my eyes for what seems like the hundreth time today - what happened to eyebrows protecting your eye from falling debris??? my skin keeps landing on my eye lashes and it is most irritating! Its not even as though I have super long eyelashes. ARGH!

It is so embarrasing - isn't it - at least that is the way I feel - I am having to explain to people at the physio's / docs surgery / in the queue at the pharmacy - that I am NOT contagious, I am NOT a zombie - it is NOT dandruff, and I am actually a pleasant person not some hideous ogre - because they all shy away, if only a little, or maybe htat is in my mind becuase I know I look strange and diseased :-) - whichever way, that does nothing for the mood.

hubby says I should wear a T-shirt that says - " I am patient zero for the ZOmbie apocalypse" and carry a bell, "then they will start running for sure!" - LOL

If I find anything that helps - I will do my best to remember to post it here, just in case it does you any good, and if you find anything, please please do let me know.

big, gentle, and not at all infectious I promise, HUgs,



My GP told me I could only have a low dose of Naproxen as a few years ago I had a kidney removed due to illness. I have to have regular kidney function tests. I am allergic to penicillin, Ibuprofen, and other NSAIDS now I cannot have Naproxen either. I take antihistamine every day, thankfully I can tolerate that. I cannot tolerate Tramadol it makes me violently sick. I am fed up of struggling every day and being allergic to everything they give me.

I really hope you find something that helps Mrs S. It is a nightmare.

I lost my husband 13 months ago and my Mum 11 months ago and the stress has also had a negative effect on my health.

If I were a dog am sure the vet would put me down (only joking)

If I do find anything I will let you know too.... Mistyang



I have trialled the virgin coconut oil on half my face, unfortunately although it gives you very soft skin, it only lasts a short while and is a bit greasy, and did not stop the skin falling off.

I have also tried the "Manuka honey rescue cream" ( I cannot tell from the pot if it is by "bio-active", or "dr organic") on the other side- and so far it has softened my skin and unlike E45 it is not just sticking the dry skin to my face (if you ran a finger over the skin using E45 you would get a layer of e45 and skin come off) - I bought this one at Holland and Barrett and although a bit expensive ( £9/ pot) it is my favorite so far.

I just need to mention that I rarely wear make-up and normally only use a light moisturiser so my perception of what is too greasy may be different to other peoples :-)

I just thought I would mention this now - as I am stopping the naproxen today and cannot be sure that any benefits I might see in the future are not attributed to stopping the meds.

Big hugs,



Another unimpressive appointment with the doctor, and this time it was witht he doctor I have seen the most - rather upsetting.

I amnow stopping the naproxen - no alternatives offered, no advice about stopping other than jsut stop.

I am now stopping the tamazepam - no alternatives offered - other than to take an additional 300mg gabapentin at night ( which is the opposite of what the last doctor told me), no advice about stopping, other than to just stop.

She was not interested in my side effects, she was not interested in my pain levels other than to suggest I take more gabapentin if I am in pain ( what "IF" - I have jsut told you for the 100th time I am in pain - anyone listening - nope!)

She got cross with me when I told her I needed to write down what she was tellingme as I would forget because my brain is not working well, and she did not let me ask my questions - spoke over the top of my questions with info she had already given me ( a summary if you will) and said she did not have time to talk to me as she had other patients to speak to, and when I stated I had other questions about my meds including my thyroxine, she wtold me to call back next week.

for all the medical professionals on this site - please please ntoe that this sort of behaviour is really upsetting to a patient, I am now worried and upset and have no idea whether the doctor I jsut spoke to has any clue as to what treatment they are going to give me, I just feel like she was getting me off the phone from the beginning 0 again started the call with what can we do today - for goodness sake - READ the notes of the patient before calling them, especially if you are going to throw them off the phone hwen they then have to explain to you AH+GAIN what is wrong with them.

I asked again how long my slipped disc would take to repair - I asked 3 times as each time they avoided the question - I tried to ask about my diagnosis and was fobbed off with - they need to wait to hear from the pain specialist - I had just told her what the pain specialist had told me, but she told me that it was my responsibility to call the pan specilist and get them to hurry up with sending the notes to the doctors!

I feel totally unheard, I have no treatment plan, I have no fixed diagnosis ( other than periferal things like hte slipped disc) and I have no relief from the pain and no indiciation that the doctors care in any way shape or form that my life sucks.

Sorry for the rant - I am shaking whilst typing - I am so frustrated, and I know that you guys get it - you understand because this sort of thing happens to all of us, and it is just so demoralising.



So sorry you had a bad experience with your GP she did not sound to be very sympathetic I am in agony this week since I have stopped the Naproxen with no alternatives...Hugs


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