NSAIDs may cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may be increased in patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Diflunisal is contraindicated for the treatment of perioperative pain in the setting of CABG surgery. NSAIDs can also cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events especially in the elderly, including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 28, 2019.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Analgesic
Pharmacologic Class: NSAID
Chemical Class: Salicylate, Non-Aspirin
Uses for diflunisal
Diflunisalis a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat mild to moderate pain, and helps to relieve symptoms of arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Diflunisal does not cure arthritis and will help you only as long as you continue to take it .
Diflunisal is available only with your doctor's prescription .
Before using diflunisal
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For diflunisal, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to diflunisal or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of diflunisal in children below 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established .
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of diflunisal in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require adjustment of dosage in patients receiving diflunisal .
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking diflunisal, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using diflunisal with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using diflunisal with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Dabigatran Etexilate
- Ethacrynic Acid
- Flufenamic Acid
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
- Protein C
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Using diflunisal with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Azilsartan Medoxomil
- Candesartan Cilexetil
- Olmesartan Medoxomil
- Perindopril Erbumine
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of diflunisal. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anemia or
- Asthma or
- Bleeding problems or
- Blood clots or
- Edema (fluid retention or body swelling) or
- Heart attack, history of
- Heart disease (e.g., congestive heart failure) or
- High blood pressure or
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease (e.g., hepatitis) or
- Stomach or intestinal ulcers or bleeding or
- Stroke, history of—Use with caution. Diflunisal may make these conditions worse .
- Aspirin sensitivity, history of—Diflunisal should NOT be used in patients with this condition .
- Heart surgery (e.g., coronary artery bypass graft [CABG] surgery)—Diflunisal should NOT be used to relieve pain right before or after the surgery .
Proper use of diflunisal
For safe and effective use of diflunisal, do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than ordered by your doctor. Taking too much of diflunisal may increase the chance of unwanted effects, especially in elderly patients .
When used for severe or continuing arthritis, diflunisal must be taken regularly as ordered by your doctor in order for it to help you. Diflunisal usually begins to work within one week, but in severe cases up to two weeks or even longer may pass before you begin to feel better. Also, several weeks may pass before you feel the full effects of diflunisal.
Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush or chew it .
To lessen stomach upset, you may take diflunisal with food.
The dose of diflunisal will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of diflunisal. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For mild to moderate pain:
- Adults and teenagers—1000 milligrams (mg) for the first dose, then 500 mg every eight to twelve hours as needed. Some people may need only 500 mg for the first dose, then 250 mg every eight to twelve hours as needed. Usually, no more than a total of 1500 mg a day should be taken.
- Children below 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .
- For osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
- Adults and teenagers—At first, 250 or 500 mg twice a day. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose as needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 1500 mg once a day.
- Children below 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .
- For mild to moderate pain:
If you miss a dose of diflunisal, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using diflunisal
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects .
Diflunisal may raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This is more likely in people who already have heart disease. People who use diflunisal for a long time might also have a higher risk .
Diflunisal may cause bleeding in your stomach or intestines. These problems can happen without warning signs. This is more likely if you have had a stomach ulcer in the past, if you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, if you are over 60 years old, if you are in poor health, or if you are using certain other medicines (a steroid or a blood thinner) .
Diflunisal can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome. It occurs mostly in children and teenagers, but can affect someone at any age. Do not give diflunisal to anyone who has chicken pox or symptoms of a virus or the flu, unless your doctor has told you to. If a child has behavior changes along with nausea and vomiting while using diflunisal, .
Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with diflunisal. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking diflunisal: blistering, peeling, loosening of skin, chills, cough, diarrhea, fever, itching, joint or muscle pain, red skin lesions, sore throat, sores ulcers, white spots in mouth or on lips, or unusual tiredness or weakness .
Possible warning signs of some serious side effects that can occur during treatment with diflunisal may include swelling of the face, fingers, feet, and/or lower legs; severe stomach pain, black, tarry stools, and/or vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds; unusual weight gain; yellow skin or eyes; decreased urination; bleeding or bruising; and/or skin rash. Also, signs of serious heart problems could occur such as chest pain, tightness in chest, fast or irregular heartbeat, unusual flushing or warmth of skin, weakness, or slurring of speech. Stop taking diflunisal and check with your doctor immediately if you notice any of these warning signs .
Diflunisal may also cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Although this is rare, it may occur more often in patients who are allergic to aspirin or to any of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention. The most serious signs of this reaction are very fast or irregular breathing, gasping for breath, wheezing, or fainting. Other signs may include changes in color of the skin of the face; very fast but irregular heartbeat or pulse; hive-like swellings on the skin; and puffiness or swellings of the eyelids or around the eyes. If these effects occur, get emergency help at once .
Using diflunisal while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using diflunisal, tell your doctor right away .
Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after your treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) .
Before having any kind of surgery or medical tests, tell your doctor that you are taking diflunisal. It may be necessary for you to stop treatment for a while, or to change to a different nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug before your procedure .
Diflunisal side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Stomach cramps or pain
- Back or leg pains
- bleeding gums
- blistering, peeling, loosening of skin
- bloody or black, tarry stools
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blurred or loss of vision
- burning feeling in chest or stomach
- burning while urinating
- clay-colored stools
- cough or hoarseness
- cracks in the skin
- dark-colored urine
- difficult or painful urination
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty swallowing
- disturbed color perception
- double vision
- facial swelling
- fast heartbeat
- feeling of warmth
- fever with or without chills
- flu-like symptoms
- general body swelling
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
- halos around lights
- increased blood pressure
- increased thirst
- joint or muscle pain
- large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
- light-colored stools
- liver function abnormalities
- loss of appetite
- loss of heat from the body
- lower back or side pain
- muscle aches, pains, or weakness
- nausea or vomiting
- night blindness
- noisy breathing
- overbright appearance of lights
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
- red, irritated eyes
- redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, swollen skin
- scaly skin
- severe or continuing stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips
- sore throat
- stomach upset
- swelling of face, fingers, feet or lower legs
- swollen lymph nodes
- tenderness in stomach area
- tightness in chest
- troubled breathing
- tunnel vision
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- upper right abdominal pain
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- weight gain
- yellow eyes or skin
Symptoms of overdose
- Change in consciousness
- confusion about identity, place, and time
- continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears
- decreased awareness or responsiveness
- deep or fast breathing with dizziness
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- hearing loss
- loss of consciousness
- numbness of feet, hands, and around mouth
- severe sleepiness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Acid or sour stomach
- stomach discomfort or upset
- Bloated, full feeling
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- dry mucous membranes
- excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- feeling sad or empty
- increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of interest or pleasure
- mood or mental changes
- passing gas
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- sensation of spinning
- severe sunburn
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- unable to sleep
- weight loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 2019 Truven Health Analytics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
More about diflunisal
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- Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
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