diflunisal (Dolobid)

What is diflunisal? What is diflunisal used for?

Diflunisal is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is effective in treating fever, pain, and inflammation in the body. Other members of this class include ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, 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 that are responsible for pain, fever, and inflammation. Diflunisal blocks the enzymes that make prostaglandins (cyclooxygenases), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. Diflunisal was approved by the FDA in April 1982.

What brand names are available for diflunisal?

Dolobid (This brand is no longer available in the U.S.)

Is diflunisal available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for diflunisal?


What are the side effects of diflunisal?

Most patients benefit from diflunisal and other NSAIDs with few side effects. However, serious side effects can occur and generally tend to be seen at higher doses. Therefore, it is often desirable to use the lowest effective dose to minimize side effects. The most common side effects of diflunisal involve the gastrointestinal system. It can cause ulcerations, abdominal burning, pain, cramping, nausea, gastritis, and even serious gastrointestinal bleeding and liver toxicity. Sometimes, stomach 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. Rash, kidney impairment, ringing in the ears, and lightheadedness also may occur.

What is the dosage for diflunisal?

For mild to moderate pain, an initial dose of 500 to 1000 mg followed by 250 to 500 mg every 12 hours is recommended for most patients. For osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the suggested dosage range is 250 mg to 500 mg twice daily. The maximum dose is 1.5 g/day. Tablets should be swallowed whole, not chewed. Dosing under the age of 12 has not been determined.


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Which drugs or supplements interact with diflunisal?

Concomitant use of NSAIDs with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as enalapril (Vasotec) or angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs) such as irbesartan (Avapro) may reduce the blood pressure response to the antihypertensive agent since prostaglandins are important in controlling blood pressure.

Diflunisal may increase the blood levels of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity.

When diflunisal is used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), the blood levels of methotrexate may increase, presumably because the elimination from the body is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate related side effects.

Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants, for example, warfarin, (Coumadin) should avoid diflunisal because diflunisal also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to bleeding.

Persons who have more than three alcoholic beverages per day may be at increased risk of developing stomach ulcers when taking dilfunisal or other NSAIDs.

Is diflunisal safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Diflunisal is excreted in human milk and has a potential for adverse events to infants.

What else should I know about diflunisal?

What preparations of diflunisal are available?

Tablets: 500 mg.

How should I keep diflunisal stored?

Diflunisal tablets should be stored in well-sealed containers at a temperature less than 40 C (104 F), preferably at 15 C to 30 C (59 F 86 F).


Diflunisal (Dolobid) is a NSAID drug used to treat mild to moderate the fever, pain, and inflammation, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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