Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis? Get answers from our expert.

Generic Name: nabumetone (nab-UE-me-tone)
Brand Name: Relafen

Relafen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It may cause an increased risk of serious and sometimes fatal heart and blood vessel problems (eg, heart attack, stroke). The risk may be greater if you already have heart problems or if you take Relafen for a long time. Do not use Relafen right before or after bypass heart surgery.

Relafen may cause an increased risk of serious and sometimes fatal stomach ulcers and bleeding. Elderly patients may be at greater risk. This may occur without warning signs.


Relafen is used for:

Treating rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Relafen is an NSAID. Exactly how it works is not known. It may block certain substances in the body that are linked to inflammation. NSAIDs treat the symptoms of pain and inflammation. They do not treat the disease that causes those symptoms.

Do NOT use Relafen if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Relafen
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, trouble breathing, growths in the nose, dizziness) to aspirin or an NSAID (eg, ibuprofen, celecoxib)
  • you have recently had or will be having bypass heart surgery
  • you are in the last 3 months of pregnancy

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Video: Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Doctor Ariel D. Teitel discusses several treatments that can help control the progression of the disease and help to alleviate the swelling and pain.

Before using Relafen:

Some medical conditions may interact with Relafen. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or stomach or bowel problems (eg, bleeding, perforation, ulcers)
  • if you have a history of swelling or fluid buildup, asthma, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), or mouth inflammation
  • if you have high blood pressure, a blood disorder, bleeding or clotting problems, heart problems (eg, heart failure), or blood vessel disease, or if you are at risk for any of these diseases
  • if you have poor health, dehydration or low fluid volume, or low blood sodium levels, you drink alcohol, or you have a history of alcohol abuse

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Relafen. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aspirin, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), heparin, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine) because the risk of stomach bleeding may be increased
  • Probenecid because it may increase the risk of Relafen's side effects
  • Cyclosporine, lithium, methotrexate, or quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Relafen
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril) or diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Relafen

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Relafen may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Relafen:

Use Relafen as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Relafen comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Relafen refilled.
  • Take Relafen by mouth. It may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach. This may not lower the risk of stomach or bowel problems (eg, bleeding, ulcers). Talk with your doctor if you have persistent stomach upset.
  • Take Relafen with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL) as directed by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Relafen and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Relafen.

Important safety information:

  • Relafen may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Relafen with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Serious stomach ulcers or bleeding can occur with the use of Relafen. Taking it in high doses or for a long time, smoking, or drinking alcohol increases the risk of these side effects. Taking Relafen with food will NOT reduce the risk of these effects. Contact your doctor or emergency room at once if you develop severe stomach or back pain; black, tarry stools; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds; or unusual weight gain or swelling.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Relafen is an NSAID. Before you start taking any new medicine, read the ingredients. If it also has an NSAID (eg, ibuprofen) in it, check with your doctor. If you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not take aspirin while you are using Relafen unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Relafen may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Relafen. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for any length of time.
  • Lab tests, including kidney function, complete blood cell counts, and blood pressure, may be done to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Relafen with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, including stomach bleeding and kidney problems.
  • Relafen should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Relafen may harm the fetus. Do not use it during the last 3 months of pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Relafen while you are pregnant. It is not known if Relafen is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking Relafen.

Possible side effects of Relafen:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; gas; headache; heartburn; nausea; stomach upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or black, tarry stools; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; depression; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; mental or mood changes; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent stomach pain or nausea; severe vomiting; shortness of breath; sudden or unexplained weight gain; swelling of hands, legs, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual joint or muscle pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision or speech changes; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include decreased urination; loss of consciousness; seizures; severe dizziness or drowsiness; severe nausea or stomach pain; slow or troubled breathing; unusual bleeding or bruising; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Proper storage of Relafen:

Store Relafen at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Relafen out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Relafen, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Relafen is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Relafen or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Relafen. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Relafen. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Relafen.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide
(web5)