Does anyone else get very good results with Naproxen? - NRAS


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Does anyone else get very good results with Naproxen?

15 Replies

Hi all, I used to take Naproxen alongside Mtx. It was prescribed for pain relief more than anything so as I didn't have much pain I only ever took 500 mg a day rather than the prescribed 1000mg. About 8 weeks ago I stopped taking it altogether for the same reason.

The Rheumy nurse who helped me so much when I phoned her last Monday recommended that I go back on 1000mg Naproxen mainly for its anti-inflammatory effects for now, at least. I started it again on Tuesday and the effect has been stunning - my hands felt stronger and more resilient almost immediately, my backache has all but gone & I'm walking more easily.

Maybe it always was Naproxen that made me relatively well - there were about 5 weeks between stopping it and going downhill so I didn't consider the connection. And of course I may just feel good because the nurse is putting things in place that will help me - mind linked to body and all that.

But I can say that Naproxen seems to have had an even better, swifter effect than steroid injections can ... and that really surprises me. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

Luce x

15 Replies

I have only used it a couple of times for my RA - it makes me retain fluid and I did well on Ibuprofen in the run up to diagnosis and for a few months after. Whenever I came off Ibuprofen to see if the MTX was working my hands would swell up as a sort of back lash effect and GP would tell me to take it again but in the end he took me off it when my gallstones flared up or tummy just got too sore despite Omaprazole. Then I was given Naproxen to use as and when. I returned last June from an epic journey down to Bristol and Wales and while in Edinburgh I suffered the last flare up that I've had. I got home unable to put weight on one foot and with both knees sore and swollen and took Naproxen that night. I took it again the next day and by night time I was dancing away at someone's 60th as bright and bushy tailed as anything. So it does work very well for some it seems.

It does sound to me as if the Naproxen and your sense of wellness are directly related? Hopefully the Sulpha will be just as good but I do recommend switching to injectable MTX if you want max effect from it too. Tilda xx

in reply to

I've just responded to you & it's disappeared - keeps happening lately. As it happens I'm meant to be going to some sort of party thingy on Friday & was not looking forward to it until Naproxen worked its magic. I will not be doing any dancing unfortunately unless I follow my late mother-in-law's example. In old age she'd dance conventionally until it all got too much then lie down on the floor and carry on - she claimed she was starting a new trend but I've never seen anyone else do it!

helixhelix profile image

I've always responded well to NSAIDS, certainly to start with although they seem to get less effective with me after a month or two. I never used to take pills of any kind at all, and the first Diclofenac I was prescribed were just magic and got me bending again fairly instantly. Since then I've tried a number of different ones with generally good results. Which is logical really, as it's the inflammation causing the pain and making it harder for joints to move like they're supposed to. So if you reduce the inflammation then it should help both. I think we do get a bit blasé about these drugs, especially when you can pick up things like ibuprofen at the supermarket, but they are really quite remarkable creations. Unlike loads of over the counter things, they really do work! But great that it's helped, be it mind, body or drugs. Pollyx

in reply to helixhelix

Thanks Polly. Yes it does seem that Naproxen is the key then, seeing as NSAIDs have worked their magic for both you & Tilda. I don't care what's helping either except in so far it's good to be able to repeat the trick!


Have never personally taken naproxen but most people get good results with relatively few side effects x

in reply to

Maybe give it a go Summer! Though hopefully you won't need such things soon. x

um my blood pressue says no. was on arcoxia .. not a good plan for me at moment x

in reply to

Was only joking - I know you know your meds x

Naproxen worked wonders for my pain and pretty much switched it off but gave me terrible water retention in my hands, legs and feet. I only take it very occasionally as I find I get equally good relief from ibuprofen without the swelling.

in reply to

Thanks Paulywoo. Well I've got a stack of Ibuprofen so that's good to know. I've not had any side effects from drugs since I've had RA & do not want to push my luck! So that's why I kind of quit while I was ahead with the Naproxen. But now it's so obvious that it helps me a lot that I just want to keep taking it ..... and I don't like the feeling of depending on things. But it's not a big deal, I should just take it & enjoy!

earthwitch profile image

NSAIDs are generally a first line treatment for spondyloarthritis and would be expected to show results within 24-48 hours of taking at full doses, with symptoms returning within a similar timeframe. I know I used to get really quite good results from NSAIDs but then I do have spondy rather than RA. Its just a shame I can't take them any more now as my stomach got too sensitive. If they are used to treat inflammation, then its reduction of inflammation that gives the pain relief, more than the relatively mild pain relieving effect of the drug itself.

in reply to earthwitch

I can now imagine feeling very cheesed off if I couldn't take NSAIDs any more. I recall you saying that spondy responded very well to NSAIDs - well that fits with me but my symptoms worsened quite a lot some weeks after stopping so that doesn't fit. Before I was diagnosed I'd occasionally take a Nurofen or two (that was the extent of my pill-popping) & I did feel strongly that they suited me.

Obviously quite a few people with RA have said that NSAIDs do wonders for them so wonder if the effect is especially restricted to spondy? I'm hoping that somebody who does not find them much use will reply.

Thanks Earthwitch x

earthwitch profile image

If you still have active spondyloarthritis and stop NSAIDs then you will get a recurrence of pain within 24-48 hours, however if you have been taking them for a while, and its knocked the inflammation you could well get a few good weeks before the pain returned.

If it was people with sero-neg RA who said they got brilliant results, then I'd wonder if they were mis-diagnosed and it should be spondy, though they are anti-inflammatory drugs, and RA is an inflammatory condition so no real reason why they wouldn't work well in RA. Its just that with RA it is better practice to use DMARDs because they really do modify the disease response, rather than just temporarily knocking inflammation like NSAIDs do.

NSAIDs are definitely the first line treatment for spondy, in the same way that MTX (or another DMARD) seems to be the firstline treatment for RA.

in reply to earthwitch

Thanks for explaining your thinking - it's very similar to how I'm thinking. Plus sero-neg RA could, I suppose, be closer to spondyloarthritis than sero-pos 'varieties'.

I'm obviously very pleased that NSAIDs work so well for me but I'm always looking for the most sustainable drugs & not sure that NSAIDs would come into that category for most people. Arguably the DMARDs are tolerated for longer on average but it's hard to know just from observation. A lot of distress seems to be caused by drugs that once worked well suddenly working less well or causing side-effects. I suppose we all want treatment that we can try to put to the back of our minds so we can get on with our lives & plan ahead.

Brick profile image

I have just commence a course on naproxen 500/750 per day how long before kick in have RA type pain wrist arm.? Hate taking will my immune system deteriorate ? Is this permanent medication I wonder

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