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Naproxen sodium overdose

Naproxen sodium is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve mild to moderate aches and pains and swelling. Naproxen sodium overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medicine. People with kidney or liver disease are more likely to develop serious side effects or worsening of their disease from NSAIDs.

As a group, and because of their common use, NSAIDs are responsible for more serious drug-related side effects than any other class of pain-relieving drugs.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.

Poisonous Ingredient

Naproxen

Where Found

Naproxen sodium is sold under a variety of brand names, including:

  • Aleve
  • Anaprox
  • Anaprox DS
  • Naprelan
  • Naprosyn

Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.

Symptoms

Symptoms of naproxen sodium overdose include:

  • Agitation, confusion, incoherence (the person is not understandable)
  • Blurred vision
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness, unsteadiness, movement problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache -- severe
  • Heartburn, stomach pain (possible bleeding in the stomach and intestines)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Rash
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slow, labored breathing, wheezing

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • If a doctor prescribed the medicine for the person

However, DO NOT delay calling for help if this information is not immediately available.

Poison Control

Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This hotline will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.

Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Airway support, including oxygen, breathing tube through the mouth (intubation), and ventilator (breathing machine)
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • ECG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Fluids through a vein (IV)
  • Laxatives
  • Medicines to treat symptoms

In rare, serious cases, more treatments may be needed, including kidney dialysis. Most people will be discharged from the emergency department after being observed for a period of time.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Recovery is likely.

References

Aronson JK. Naproxen and piproxen. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs. 16th ed. Waltham, MA: Elsevier; 2016:27-32.

Hatten BW. Aspirin and nonsteroidal agents. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 144.

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Review Date: 12/21/2018

Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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