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A Comparative Study on Naproxen Formulations


Naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is widely used to alleviate pain, inflammation, and fever. Over the years, various formulations of naproxen have been developed to enhance its therapeutic efficacy and improve patient compliance. In this blog, we embark on a comparative journey through different naproxen formulations, shedding light on their unique characteristics and potential advantages.

Introduction to Naproxen:

Naproxen belongs to the class of NSAIDs and works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, chemicals in the body that contribute to pain and inflammation. It is commonly prescribed for conditions such as arthritis, menstrual cramps, and migraines.

Traditional Oral Tablets:

Traditional oral tablets are the classic formulation of naproxen. They offer simplicity and convenience, typically requiring dosing two to three times daily. However, some patients may experience gastrointestinal side effects, such as stomach upset or ulcers.

Enteric-Coated Tablets:

Enteric-coated tablets are designed to bypass the stomach and dissolve in the small intestine, reducing the risk of gastric irritation. This formulation is particularly beneficial for individuals prone to gastrointestinal issues or those requiring long-term NSAID therapy.

Liquid Suspension:

Liquid suspension formulations of naproxen offer flexibility in dosing, making them suitable for pediatric or geriatric populations who may have difficulty swallowing tablets. They also allow for more accurate dose adjustments, although they may have a shorter shelf life than solid formulations.

Topical Formulations:

Topical formulations of naproxen, such as gels or creams, provide localised relief for musculoskeletal pain. They offer a non-systemic approach, minimising the risk of systemic side effects associated with oral administration. Topical naproxen is favoured for its targeted action and reduced potential for drug interactions.

Extended-Release Formulations:

Extended-release formulations of naproxen are designed to prolong drug release, allowing for less frequent dosing and improved patient compliance. This formulation may benefit individuals requiring around-the-clock pain relief, such as those with chronic conditions like osteoarthritis.

Combination Formulations:

Sometimes, naproxen may be formulated with other medications to enhance its therapeutic effects. For example, combination formulations with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) are available to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding associated with NSAID use. These combination products offer convenience by addressing multiple aspects of therapy in a single dosage form.

Specialised Dosage Forms:

In addition to traditional dosage forms, naproxen is available in specialised formulations tailored to specific patient populations or preferences. For instance, chewable tablets may be preferred by individuals with difficulty swallowing, while effervescent tablets offer a convenient option for those who prefer a fizzy drinkable form.

Considerations for Geriatric and Pediatric Patients:

Geriatric and pediatric patients often have unique considerations regarding medication administration. Formulations that minimise the risk of adverse effects, such as enteric-coated tablets or topical preparations, may be preferred for older adults. Pediatric patients, on the other hand, may benefit from liquid suspensions or chewable tablets that are easier to swallow and dose accurately based on weight or age.

Bioavailability and Pharmacokinetics:

The bioavailability and pharmacokinetic profiles of different naproxen formulations can vary, impacting factors such as onset of action and duration of effect. Understanding these differences is essential for optimising therapeutic outcomes and minimising the risk of under- or overdosing. For example, extended-release formulations may exhibit a slower onset of action but provide prolonged pain relief compared to immediate-release formulations.

Patient Adherence and Compliance:

Patient adherence to medication regimens plays a crucial role in achieving treatment success. Factors such as dosing frequency, ease of administration, and tolerability influence patient compliance. Formulations that offer simplified dosing schedules or reduced side effects may improve adherence and overall treatment outcomes.


In conclusion, the diverse range of naproxen formulations offers healthcare providers and patients a spectrum of options to tailor treatment regimens to individual needs. From traditional oral tablets to innovative extended-release formulations, each formulation presents unique benefits and considerations. Factors such as dosing frequency, gastrointestinal tolerance, and targeted pain relief should be considered when selecting the most suitable formulation for a patient. Healthcare providers can optimise therapeutic outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction by understanding the characteristics and differences among naproxen formulations.

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