What is flurbiprofen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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  • Flurbiprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) effective in treating fever, pain, and inflammation in the body. It is similar to ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn), and others. As a group, NSAIDs are non-narcotic relievers of mild to moderate pain of many causes, including injury, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions. They work by reducing the levels of prostaglandins, chemicals that are responsible for pain, fever, and inflammation. Flurbiprofen blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced.
  • The FDA approved flurbiprofen in October 1988.

What brand names are available for flurbiprofen?

NONE

Is flurbiprofen available as a generic drug?

Yes

Do I need a prescription for flurbiprofen?

Yes

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What are the uses for flurbiprofen?

What are the side effects of flurbiprofen?

Most patients benefit from flurbiprofen and other NSAIDs with few side effects. However, serious side effects can occur, and generally tend to be dose related. Therefore, it is often desirable to use the lowest effective dose to minimize side effects. The most common side effects of flurbiprofen involve the gastrointestinal system. These are:

Sometimes, stomach ulceration and bleeding can occur without any abdominal pain. Black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing may be the only signs of internal bleeding.

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Other important side effects include:

Flurbiprofen should be avoided by patients with a history of asthma attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions to aspirin or other NSAIDs. Rare but severe allergic reactions have been reported in such individuals.

It also should be avoided by patients with peptic ulcer disease or poor kidney function, since this medication can aggravate both conditions.

Like other NSAIDS flurbiprofen may cause heart attacks and strokes; accumulation of fluid and worsen heart failure; cause or worsen hypertension and kidney failure.

What is the dosage for flurbiprofen?

  • The recommended dose is 50-100 mg 2 to 4 times daily.
  • The maximum daily dose is 300 mg.
  • Flurbiprofen should be taken with food to reduce stomach upset.

Which drugs or supplements interact with flurbiprofen?

  • Flurbiprofen is generally used with caution in patients taking blood thinning medications (anticoagulants), such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), because of the increased risk of bleeding. Patients taking lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith) can develop toxic blood levels of lithium because flurbiprofen may inhibit the elimination of lithium from the body by the kidney.
  • Side effects from methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex) and cyclosporine also may be increased by flurbiprofen.
  • Flurbiprofen may reduce the effectiveness of medications that are used for treating high blood pressure because it causes or worsens high blood pressure. NSAIDs may diminish the blood pressure-lowering effects of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Combining NSAIDs with angiotensin receptor blockers (for example, valsartan [Diovan], losartan [Cozaar], irbesartan [Avapro]) or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (for example, enalapril [Vasotec], captopril [Captoen]) in patients who are elderly, volume-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function, including kidney failure. These effects usually are reversible.
  • Persons who have more than three alcoholic beverages per day are at increased risk of developing stomach ulcers when taking flurbiprofen or other NSAIDs.

Is flurbiprofen safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Flurbiprofen is generally avoided during pregnancy.
  • Flurbiprofen is excreted in breast milk. To avoid adverse effects in the infant, nursing mothers should decide whether to stop nursing or stop flurbiprofen.

What else should I know about flurbiprofen?

What preparations of flurbiprofen are available?

Tablets: 50 and 100 mg

How should I keep flurbiprofen stored?
  • Flurbiprofen should be stored at room temperature 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F) in a sealed, moisture-free container.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/20/2019

References

Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information