Generic name: fenoprofen [ fen-oh-PROE-fen ]
Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 23, 2023.
NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use. Fenoprofen is contraindicated in the setting of CABG surgery. NSAIDs also cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events, including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events .
Uses for fenoprofen
Fenoprofen is 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. This medicine does not cure arthritis and will help you only as long as you continue to use it.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using fenoprofen
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 this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine 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 fenoprofen in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of fenoprofen in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving fenoprofen.
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 this medicine, 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 this medicine 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 this medicine 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
- Bismuth Subsalicylate
- Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate
- Choline Salicylate
- Dabigatran Etexilate
- Ethacrynic Acid
- Flufenamic Acid
- Magnesium Salicylate
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
- Phenyl Salicylate
- Potassium Citrate
- Protein C
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tenofovir Alafenamide
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
- Trolamine Salicylate
Using this medicine 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
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 this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anemia or
- Bleeding problems or
- Congestive heart failure or
- Dehydration or
- Edema (fluid retention or body swelling) or
- Heart attack, recent or
- Hyperkalemia (high potassium in the blood) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Hypovolemia (low blood volume) or
- Kidney disease, history of or
- Liver disease (eg, hepatitis) or
- Stomach ulcers or bleeding or
- Stroke, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Aspirin-sensitive asthma or
- Aspirin sensitivity, history of or
- Kidney disease, severe—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Heart surgery (eg, coronary artery bypass graft [CABG])—Should not be used to relieve pain right before or after the surgery.
Proper use of fenoprofen
For safe and effective use of this medicine, do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than ordered by your doctor. Using too much of this medicine may increase the chance of unwanted effects, especially in elderly patients.
This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
To lessen stomach upset, you may take this medicine with food or milk. .
Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, crush, divide, or chew it. .
When used for severe or continuing arthritis, this medicine must be taken regularly as ordered by your doctor in order for it to help you. This medicine 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 this medicine. .
The dose of this medicine 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 this medicine. 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 (capsules):
- For mild to moderate pain:
- Adults—200 milligrams (mg) every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor. .
- For rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis:
- Adults—At first, 400 to 600 mg three or four times a day. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose as needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 3200 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor. .
- For mild to moderate pain:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, 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.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using fenoprofen
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 use it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
This medicine 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 this medicine for a long time might also have a higher risk. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing or speaking, headache, nausea, unusual sweating, or faintness.
This medicine 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, are in poor health, or are using certain other medicines (a steroid or a blood thinner).
Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
Possible warning signs of some serious side effects that can occur during treatment with this medicine may include swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, severe stomach pain, black, tarry stools, or vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, unusual weight gain, yellow skin or eyes, decreased urination, bleeding or bruising, or skin rash. Also, signs of serious heart problems could occur such as chest pain, tightness in the chest, fast or irregular heartbeat, unusual flushing or warmth of the skin, weakness, or slurring of speech. Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.
This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Although this is rare, it may occur often in patients who are allergic to aspirin or other 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, or fainting. Other signs may include changes in skin color of the face, very fast but irregular heartbeat or pulse, hive-like swellings on the skin, and puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes. If these effects occur, get emergency help at once.
Using this medicine during the later part of a pregnancy can harm your unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, 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).
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Check with your doctor if you start having ringing in your ears or trouble hearing while you are using this medicine. Your doctor may want you to have your ears checked by an ear doctor especially when you are using this medicine for a long time.
Before having any kind of surgery or medical tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. 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.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. .
Side Effects of fenoprofen
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:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blurred vision
- continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
- decreased hearing
- difficult or labored breathing
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- hearing loss
- itching skin or rash
- rapid weight gain
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- unusual weight gain or loss
- Back, leg, or stomach pains
- black or red, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in vomit
- bloody or cloudy urine
- bloody stools
- burning feeling in the chest or stomach
- clay-colored stools
- coughing up blood
- dark urine
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty with swallowing
- dry mouth
- fever with or without chills
- frequent urge to urinate
- general body swelling
- greatly decreased frequency or amount of urine
- increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
- increased thirst
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- not able to pass urine
- pale skin
- pinpoint red or purple spots on the skin
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- red or dark brown urine
- redness of the skin
- severe or continuing stomach pain
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- stomach upset
- swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
- swelling of the hands, legs, and feet
- swollen or painful glands
- tenderness in the stomach area
- troubled breathing
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- yellow eyes or skin
Symptom of overdose
- Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- rapid, deep breathing
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- stomach cramps
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
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
- lack or loss of strength
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stomach discomfort
- Body aches or pain
- ear congestion
- increased sweating
- loss of voice
- mood or mental changes
- muscle aches
- stuffy or runny nose
- General feeling of discomfort or illness
- trouble sleeping
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- Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
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