Naproxen substitute?

Hi all, I was diagnosed with RA and fibromyalgia about 15 months ago. I was told that there us no treatment available for the fibromyalgia so my consultant is concentrating on the RA. I have recently been put on methotrexate injections as the tablets upset my stomach. So far, so good. However, I was also taking naproxen to help with the pain. My consultant advised me not to use naproxen but was a bit vague as to why. In the last 10 days, I have daily episodes of cystitis type symptoms with worsening lower back pain which feels very tender even to touch. My GP took a urine sample which tested positive for blood but did not show any infection. I have to repeat this next week. I was pre scribed antibiotics. I have stopped taking naproxen as I am concerned re my kidneys but really need some type of anti inflammatory drug as when I don't take any I am in considerably pain. Has anyone any suggestions please?

21 Replies

  • There are a whole lot of different NSAIDs, and it might be worth talking to your GP about whether they think one is less risky than another in your circumstances. I know I found that I tolerated some better than others as they are all a bit different. In general though, they all seem to carry risks to kidneys, liver, and heart. The only other really effective antiinflammatory are steroids, but they have even more risks. I suppose another option that puts less NSAID into your bloodstream is to use one of the NSAID gels (ibuprofen or voltarol/diclofenac). If used regularly over the same areas I find they can be quite effective and very little if any actually gets into your bloodstream.

    Have you actually had your kidney function checked (eGFR blood test)? That might help inform you and your GP about your own risk levels, though I think doctors are more worried about the potential cardiac risks.

  • Thanks for that..I'll discuss it with my GP at my next appointment.

  • I think "no treatment for fibromyalgia" is a slightly old-fashioned view - it might be worth doing some research of your own to discuss with your rheumatologist. I know it's not easy to treat but there are treatments out there.


  • Thanks for the info - i will def look into fibromyalgia a bit more

  • I used diet foods that helped inflamation

  • hi, thanks for the reply but I'm not sure what you mean...

  • Google any thing and everything. Foods that help inflamation.

  • Ok will do, thanks

  • I'm sick of being sick from meds So true. Good luck. It's work but it's food . Right

  • I know exactly what you mean..think it's time to re evaluate the situation!

  • Turmeric is a good natural anti inflammatory . Try looking at herbs and spices

  • I have both too. On 4th Dmard now leflunomide and that is for both if you Google it. Been on it a week and so far so good no side effects?!!

    Good luck

  • Hi,

    my sympathies, it can be so frustrating trying to work out what works for you and your body and in my experience it is trial and error. Which I know isn't much help. I found Gabapentin helps me with the fibromyalgia symptoms and etoricoxib (cox 2) with the R.A. I am surprised the consultant hasn't advised your G.P. re drugs which may help you, there is also celebrex which is a cox 1 (better for the heart apparently). I really think you should get in touch with your R.A. nurse who will hopefully advise you. It is worth taking a summary of your symptoms when you see nurse or consultant in written form so they can build a picture of your condition. Personally, it is just as difficult for the health profession to find the right course for R.A suffers because it effects all of us so differently, but eventually they and you will get there by working together and being proactive in your care. It may be a good idea to contact NRAS and have a chat. Good luck and I do hope they get it sorted for you.

    Best wishes L

  • Thanks. My ra nurse said she was only available to me for 6 months after the initial diagnosis so I don't have contact with her anymore. Is that correct or should I try and ring her? GPs are on a locum basis so I never see the same one twice.. It's very difficult to get a complete picture of what's going on.. I must thank everyone as the replies have spurred me to take a step back and to be more proactive in this.

  • Hi,

    I personally think that it is pretty poor service that your r.a. nurse is only available to you in the initial six months. When I was first diagnosed, like you my nurse was unavailable, my consultant not to be seen even though I wasn't getting on with my drugs and in so much pain. I felt I was banging my head against the wall, which didn't help me one bit. Therefore, I took the decision to move Hospitals and since, never looked back. I was lucky I have a good G.P. who supported me in that decision. I personally would get hold of her as she has a duty of care and request to see her or the consultant, you could ring the consultant's secretary and explain the situation. I am really sorry and I wish you all the best.


  • Thanks - I'm in a lot of pain at the moment and feel exhausted so am grateful for your support. I will ring the nurse and also chase my GP as my appointment is not until next Thursday..

  • I have had fibromyalgia (and migraines) for many years. My doctors (internist and rheumatologist) and I have hit upon a simple treatment which keeps both pains at bay most of the time, a low dose nortriptyline HCl, 50mg at bedtime. I tried another Med earlier but found that I gained quite a bit of weight with it as I heard voices coming from my refrigerator saying "Eat me, eat me!" When I've tried weaning myself off the nortriptyline the pain returns, so I'm ok with my nighttime dose for the rest of my life, particularly since I have no side effects.

  • Oh! I hear the same voices (on or off meds)!

  • Tee-hee!

  • I haVe RA and my Fibromyalgia started when I was put on Methotrexate and after a year I stopped taking it and low and behold the Fibromyalgia stopped. I have a spinal condition as well and know only too well of the damage Naproxen can do.....I use Indocid Suppositories which don't affect the organs as the Antiinflamatory effects are distributed through fine blood vessels......have been using Indocid for about 10 years with no bad side effects......I wish you luck, Fibromyalgia is a mongrel condition. Hugs

  • I had side effects from naproxen but not from ibuprofen Have been taking it for a few years now with no problem as long as I take it with food

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