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Fenoprofen

Generic Name: fenoprofen (fen oh PROE fen)
Brand Name: Nalfon, Profeno

Medically reviewed on September 10, 2018

What is fenoprofen?

See also: Orencia

Fenoprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Fenoprofen works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

Fenoprofen is used to treat mild to moderate pain, or to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Fenoprofen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Fenoprofen can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Do not use fenoprofen just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Fenoprofen may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using fenoprofen, especially in older adults.

Before taking this medicine

Fenoprofen can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Even people without heart disease or risk factors could have a stroke or heart attack while taking this medicine.

Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Fenoprofen may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using fenoprofen, especially in older adults.

You should not use fenoprofen if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease; or

  • a history of asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

To make sure fenoprofen is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Taking fenoprofen during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using fenoprofen.

It is not known whether fenoprofen passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Fenoprofen is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take fenoprofen?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take fenoprofen in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

You may take this medicine with food or milk.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

It may take up to 3 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since fenoprofen is sometimes used only when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking fenoprofen?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid taking aspirin while you are taking fenoprofen.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medicine. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or other medicines similar to fenoprofen. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.

Fenoprofen side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose; wheezing or trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Stop using fenoprofen and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • changes in your vision;

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • swelling or rapid weight gain;

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Fenoprofen dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoarthritis:

400 mg to 600 mg orally 3 or 4 times a day
-Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day

Comments:
-Dose adjustments should be made following initiation of therapy or during exacerbations of the disease.
-Patients with rheumatoid arthritis usually require larger doses than those with osteoarthritis; the lowest effective dose that yields acceptable control for either condition should be employed.

Use: For the relief of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

400 mg to 600 mg orally 3 or 4 times a day
-Maximum dose: 3200 mg/day

Comments:
-Dose adjustments should be made following initiation of therapy or during exacerbations of the disease.
-Patients with rheumatoid arthritis usually require larger doses than those with osteoarthritis; the lowest effective dose that yields acceptable control for either condition should be employed.

Use: For the relief of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Usual Adult Dose for Pain:

200 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed

Use: For the relief of mild to moderate pain

What other drugs will affect fenoprofen?

Ask your doctor before using fenoprofen if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use fenoprofen if you are also using any of the following drugs:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with fenoprofen, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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