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fenoprofen (Nalfon): Arthritis Drug Side Effects & Dosage

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

Fenoprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is effective for treating
the fever,
pain, and swelling caused by inflammation. Fenoprofen belongs to a class of
drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other members of the
NSAID class of drugs include
ibuprofen
(Motrin),
indomethacin (Indocin),
nabumetone
(Relafen), naproxen
(Aleve) and several others. These drugs are used for the management of mild to
moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. They work by reducing the levels of
prostaglandins, chemicals that are responsible for the pain, fever, and swelling
of inflammation. Fenoprofen blocks the enzymes that make prostaglandins
(cyclooxygenases), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a
consequence, inflammation, swelling, pain and fever are reduced. Fenoprofen was
approved by the FDA in March 1976.

What brand names are available for fenoprofen?

Nalfon 200

Is fenoprofen available as a generic drug?

Yes

Do I need a prescription for fenoprofen?

Yes

What are the side effects of fenoprofen?

Common side effects include: 

NSAIDs reduce the ability of blood to clot and therefore increase bleeding after an injury. Fenoprofen also may cause stomach and intestinal bleeding and ulcers. Sometimes, stomach ulceration and intestinal bleeding may occur without any abdominal pain. Black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension) may be the only signs of the bleeding.

People who are allergic to other NSAIDs should not use fenoprofen. NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and impair function of the kidneys. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients with preexisting impairment of kidney function or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be done cautiously. Individuals with asthma are more likely to experience allergic reactions to fenoprofen and other NSAIDs. Fluid retention, blood clots, heart attacks, high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart failure also have been associated with the use of NSAIDs.

What is the dosage for fenoprofen?

The recommended adult dose for mild to moderate pain is 200 mg every
4-6 hours.

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are treated with 300 to 600
mg 3-4 times daily (every 6 to 8 hours). The maximum daily dose is 3200 mg
daily.

Fenoprofen should be administered with meals in order to avoid stomach
upset.

The safety and effectiveness of this drug in patients under age 18 has
not been examined.

Which drugs or supplements interact with fenoprofen?

Fenoprofen is associated with several suspected or
probable interactions that affect the action of other drugs. The following
examples are the most commonly suspected interactions.

  • Fenoprofen may increase the blood levels of
    lithium (Eskalith,
    Lithobid) by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels
    of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity.
  • Fenoprofen may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of

    blood pressure medications. This may occur because prostaglandins play a
    role in the regulation of blood pressure.

  • When NSAIDs are used in combination with
    methotrexate
    (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or aminoglycosides (for example, gentamicin) the blood
    levels of the methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because
    their elimination from the body is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate
    or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
  • Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants, for example,
    warfarin,
    (Coumadin), should avoid fenoprofen because fenoprofen also thins the blood, and
    excessive blood thinning may lead to bleeding.
  • Persons who have more than three alcoholic beverages per day are at increased
    risk of developing
    stomach ulcers when taking fenoprofen or other

    NSAIDs.

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

It is not known if fenoprofen is excreted in
breast milk.

What else should I know about fenoprofen?

What preparations of fenoprofen are available?

Capsule: 200, 400 mg; Tablet: 600 mg

How should I keep fenoprofen stored?

Fenoprofen should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C
(68 F to 77 F), in a sealed container to avoid moisture.

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