Flurbiprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, used for pain relief. It works by stopping the effects of hormones that cause pain and inflammation.

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Flurbiprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, used for pain relief. It works by stopping the effects of hormones that cause pain and inflammation.

What is Flurbiprofen?

Flurbiprofen is one of a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs.) Flurbiprofen is used to treat pain and inflammation and control symptoms caused by joint problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Flurbiprofen is a prescription medication, used as a painkiller to treat acute and chronic conditions including strains and sprains, mild to moderate pain (e.g.period pain), migraine, back pain and dental pain.

Flurbiprofen is also known under the brand name Ansaid, although generic alternatives are also available.

Flurbiprofen is generally prescribed in tablet form for oral use, or as a gel or cream. It is also available as eye drops or throat lozenges. The type of Flurbiprofen you are prescribed will depend on your condition. Your doctor can advise you further.

For more information on flurbiprofen, please read the patient information leaflet.

How it works

Flurbiprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory which works to ease pain and inflammation such as redness, heat and swelling. It works in much the same way as other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Diclofenac and Ibuprofen, by reducing the effect of hormones responsible for the sensation of pain.

Flurbiprofen takes longer to work than other non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, usually taking effect within one week. In more severe cases, Flurbiprofen can take up to two weeks to begin working, and it may be several weeks before you feel the full effects of Flurbiprofen.

Before you take it

Flurbiprofen is not usually prescribed for patients who need it for long-term use (e.g. for several years). If you suffer from chronic pain, ask your doctor to discuss a more suitable treatment.

If you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, you must speak with your doctor to discuss alternative treatment. Flurbiprofen can affect fertility, making it more difficult to become pregnant.

It is important that you use effective contraception while taking Flurbiprofen, because if you become pregnant treatment must stop. If you take Flurbiprofen in the third trimester of your pregnancy, there is an increased risk of harm to your baby.

You should not take Flurbiprofen while breastfeeding. It is not known whether Flurbiprofen passes into breast milk, so you should speak with your doctor to discuss alternative treatments.

There are indications that anti-inflammatory medications such as Flurbiprofen can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This risk is higher among the elderly. You should not take Flurbiprofen just before or after coronary artery heart bypass surgery.

It is important that you don’t take Flurbiprofen and consult your doctor if you have experienced any of the following:

  • A history of heart disease or heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach bleeding, stomach pain or ulcers
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney problems, kidney disease or renal failure
  • An allergic reaction to Flurbiprofen or a similar non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, like Naproxen and Ibuprofen or others

You must consult your doctor before you use Flurbiprofen if you have a connective tissue disorder, such as SLE, you suffer from liver or kidney failure, you have had a heart attack, you have had a stroke or if you have asthma or have had a history of asthma.

Flurbiprofen may cause drug interactions with other medications, such as warfarin, methotrexate, lithium, blood pressure medications, aspirin or other NSAIDs. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications before you take Flurbiprofen.

Dosage Instructions

You should take Flurbiprofen exactly as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. Your doctor may periodically adjust your dose to more effectively manage your condition. Take the lowest effective dose that treats your condition, and refer to the patient information leaflet for further drug information.

The recommended dose of Flurbiprofen for adults is 150 mg to 200 mg daily, taken as two to four doses. The maximum recommended dose is 300 mg per day. You must exercise caution and not exceed this. The lowest amount available is Flurbiprofen 50 mg. Check with your doctor, who will tell you how many tablets to take and when to take them.

It’s important to take Flurbiprofen either with or just after food. You may take your doses between meals, although it is better to take your doses with or just after eating as Flurbiprofen can irritate an empty stomach.

Swallow Flurbiprofen tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not chew, crush or suck them.

Flurbiprofen should be stored at room temperature.

Common Side Effects of Flurbiprofen

Like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, it’s possible for Flurbiprofen to cause severe allergic reactions in some people. You must immediately seek medical advice from a healthcare professional if any of the following occur:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Hives
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the lips
  • Swelling of the face
  • Swelling of the tongue or a sore throat

Flurbiprofen can also cause adverse effects in some patients. If you experience these, you should generally not stop taking the medication without medical advice. However, you can report side effects to your doctor if they are persistent. Patients taking Flurbiprofen sometimes report the following mild to moderate side effects:

  • Headache
  • Tingling of the hands and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Issues with fluid retention
  • Constipation

If you feel dizzy, tired or drowsy after taking Flurbiprofen, or it is affecting your vision, you should avoid driving or operating machinery. If your symptoms are persistent, call your doctor right away and seek their advice.

There is also a risk of serious side effects related to taking Flurbiprofen. You must stop taking Flurbiprofen and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any of the following:

  • Upset stomach or abdominal pain (this is made worse by drinking alcohol)
  • Diarrhoea, wind or bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting (especially if your vomit looks like coffee grounds)
  • Fever
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Weight loss
  • Skin itching or rash (this may also indicate an allergic reaction - if you show signs of an allergic reaction seek medical advice immediately.)

For a full list of Flurbiprofen side effects, please refer to the medicine guide included with your medicine, or the patient information leaflet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Flurbiprofen suitable for children?

No. Flurbiprofen is unsuitable for children and should not be taken by anyone under 17 years old.

Do I need a prescription?

Yes. Flurbiprofen is prescription only medication.

I’m pregnant. Can I take Flurbiprofen?

Flurbiprofen is not recommended for use by pregnant women. Flurbiprofen can potentially harm an unborn baby if taken within the last three months of pregnancy, and can make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. If you become pregnant while using Flurbiprofen, treatment must stop. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you are pregnant.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take your dose as soon as you remember, but if it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as normal. Never double up to make up for a missed dose.

What happens if I take too much?

Taking high doses of Flurbiprofen can cause numerous health problems. These can include black, tarry stools, dizziness, drowsiness, intestinal bleeding and stomach bleeding. In rare cases, it may be fatal. You should always take Flurbiprofen exactly as prescribed. If you suspect you have overdosed on Flurbiprofen, you must contact your local hospital or A&E centre for help immediately.

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