The mechanism of action of naproxen, like that of other NSAIDs, is believed to be associated with the inhibition of cyclooxygenase activity. Two unique cyclooxygenases have been described in mammals. The constitutive cyclooxygenase, COX-1, synthesizes prostaglandins necessary for normal gastrointestinal and renal function. The inducible cyclooxygenase, COX-2, generates prostaglandins involved in inflammation. Inhibition of COX-1 is thought to be associated with gastrointestinal and renal toxicity while inhibition of COX-2 provides anti-inflammatory activity.
Naproxen is a member of the arylacetic acid group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Naproxen has analgesic and antipyretic properties. As with other NSAIDs, its mode of action is not fully understood; however, its ability to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis may be involved in the anti-inflammatory effect.
Naproxen is extensively metabolized to 6-0-desmethyl naproxen and both parent and metabolites do not induce metabolizing enzymes.
ORAL (LD50): Acute: 248 mg/kg [Rat]. 360 mg/kg [Mouse]. Symptoms of overdose include drowsiness, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.