Does Naproxen Cause You To Be Tired?

The pharmacist discusses whether or not sedation or being tired is a side effect of naproxen.

Question

I was recently taking flexaril and stopped because it made me constantly tired. Now my doctor has put me on naproxen. Will it have he same effect?

Asked by Keisha On Jul 13, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jul 13, 2018

Naproxen, in most cases, should not cause you to be tired like Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) does. Flexeril is a muscle relaxant and is considered a CNS (central nervous system) depressant. Naproxen is a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and is not considered a CNS depressant.


Nevertheless, dizziness and drowsiness are potential side effects of naproxen, although they occur less commonly than with Flexeril. In addition, as naproxen is not a CNS depressant, there is no risk of more severe CNS side effects like respiratory depression.


According to the prescribing information for prescription strengths of naproxen, the following are possible side effects that relate to drowsiness:

  • Drowsiness (3—9%)
  • Vertigo (<3%)
  • Lightheadedness (<3%)
  • Dizziness (<3%)
  • Malaise (<1%)
  • Confusion (<1%)


So while you may experience some sedation with naproxen, it isn't overly common and is generally better tolerated in that regard than Flexeril.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

About Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine)

Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a skeletal muscle relaxant approved for the relief of muscle spasm associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions. It has a complex mechanism of action and is thought to have anticholinergic activity, potentiate norepinephrine, and may also possess serotonin augmenting effects. Flexeril can be taken with or without food, but food may reduce any stomach irritation that may occur. The onset of muscle relaxant action occurs in about 1 hour, and duration of action ranges from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the individual.

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