nabumetone, Relafen (Discontinued)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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

Nabumetone belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other members of this class include ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), 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 produced by the body that are responsible for pain, fever and inflammation. NSAIDs block the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. Since the response to different NSAIDs varies from patient to patient, it is not unusual for a doctor to try different NSAIDs for any given condition. The FDA approved nabumetone in December 1991.

Is nabumetone available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for nabumetone?

Yes

What are the side effects of nabumetone?

Most patients, benefit from nabumetone and other NSAIDs with few side effects. However, serious side effects can occur, and generally tend to be dose-related. Therefore, it is advisable to use the lowest effective dose to minimize side effects. The most common side effects of nabumetone involve the gastrointestinal system, and these include:

Sometimes ulceration and bleeding can occur without any abdominal pain. Black, tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing may be the only signs of internal bleeding. Some studies have shown that nabumetone may have a lower risk of gastrointestinal side effects than the other NSAID medications.

Other important side effects caused by nabumetone include:

NSAIDs reduce the ability of blood to clot and therefore increase bleeding after an injury. Nabumetone should be avoided by patients with a history of exacerbation of asthma, hives, or other allergic reactions to aspirin or other NSAIDs. Rare but severe allergic reactions have been reported in such individuals. Fluid retention (edema), blood clots, heart attacks, hypertension and heart failure have also been associated with the use of NSAIDs.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2015

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