1 What is Relafen?

Brand: Relafen

Generic: Nabumetone

Relafen is a NSAID or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is used in treating mild to moderate pain and relieving arthritis symptoms, such as joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation.

This drug is not a cure for arthritis. It only works as long as you take it. Nabumetone is only available with a doctor’s prescription.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Relafen, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. The risks and benefits the medicine offer must be weighed.

Before using this, you and your doctor must consider the following:

  • Allergies: If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - food, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Pediatric: There are no appropriate studies done to establish safety and efficacy of rifabutin use in children.
  • Geriatric: Studies show that old age would not limit the usefulness of this drug. Nonetheless, the use of nabumetone in the elderly must be done with utmost care, since elderly patients are more prone to age-related problems, such as liver diseases. Dose adjustment and caution may be required.
  • Pregnancy: No adequate studies done in pregnant women to demonstrate efficacy and safety of use in expecting mothers.
  • Breastfeeding: Although there are no adequate studies in lactating mothers that determine potential risk in an infant when breastfeeding, the benefits should be weighed against the risks before taking this medication.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take other medicines when taking nabumetone. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary.Using this medicine with certain medicines needs utmost caution because the combination may result in certain side effects. Using this medicine with other drugs, may not be advisable. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are taking other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as vitamins and herbal supplements.
  • Other Medical Problems: The use of this medicine may be affected if you have other medical conditions. Taking this medicine may make certain conditions worse, particularly, anemia, bleeding problems, blood clots, edema, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach ulcers, or stroke.You should not use this drug if you have aspirin sensitivity and not be used as a pain reliever right after having a heart surgery. If any other medical conditions are present, consult your doctor first before taking this drug.

3 Proper Usage

To use Relafen properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. If you take more of this medicine, take it more often, or do not take it for how long your doctor has prescribed, chances of side effects may be increased.

Relafen usually begins working one week after you started using it. Several weeks may pass before full effects of the medicine. This drug may be taken with or without food.


Follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to dosage. The following information is only for the average dosage of this drug. The number of doses, the number of hours between doses, and how long you will take this drug depend on your health condition, your progress, and how well you react to this medicine.

For treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults, the usual initial dose is 1000 mg to be taken once a day or 500 mg twice a day. If needed, dosage may be increased as per your doctor’s instructions, with a maximum of 2000 mg per day.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. In case it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and follow your regular dosing schedule. Never take double doses.


Keep the medicine in an airtight container at normal room temperature. Keep it away from direct light, heat, and moisture. Do not let it freeze. Keep the medicine out of children’s reach. Throw away any outdated medicine or medicine that are not in use. Keep the medicine in its original package until needed.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Relafen, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits to the doctor are important while taking this drug. This will help determine if the medicine is working properly and if you need to continue taking it. Your doctor may request for blood and urine tests to check for any adverse effects.

Taking this drug may increase your chance of having a stroke or heart attack. Moreover, taking this drug may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can manifest without any warning signs. The incidence of the stomach or intestinal bleeding is higher if you have a history of stomach ulcers, or regularly smoke or drink, are 60 years old and above, or are in poor health condition.

Serious allergic reactions in the skin may occur while taking this drug. If you have peeling, blistering, loosening of the skin, cough, chills, diarrhea, itching, fever, red skin lesions, muscle or joint pain, sore throat, mouth ulcers, or unusual weakness, consult your doctor immediately.

During treatment, serious side effects may occur, which may include swelling of the face and different parts of the body, severe pain in the stomach, black, tarry stools; vomiting of blood or coffee grounds-like material, yellowing of the skin or eyes, unusual weight gain, decreased urination, skin rash, or unusual bleeding or bruising.

Serious heart problems may occur during treatment, as well. The symptoms include chest pain and tightness, irregular or fast heartbeat, flushing or unusual warmth of skin, slurring of speech, or weakness. If any of these are present, stop intake and see your doctor right away.

Taking this drug while you are pregnant can be harmful to the unborn baby. Inform your doctor immediately if you think you have become pregnant during nabumetone treatment.

Using this medicine may make the skin more sensitive to UV rays. When going outdoors, wear sunscreen and protective clothing and hats. Avoid using tanning beds and sunlamps.

Inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine before having any kind of surgical or medical procedures, including diagnostic tests.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Relafen to avoid unwanted potential side effects. Not all of the side effects listed below may occur, but if they do, you may need to get medical attention.

If any of the side effects take place, consult your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Itching skin
  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Burning feeling in chest or stomach
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach upset
  • Inflammation of the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness in stomach area
  • Blistering, peeling, loosening of skin
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chills
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Changes in vision
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools
  • Burning upper abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Cough
  • Constipation
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Labored breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry cough
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Hives or welts
  • General feeling of weakness
  • Fluid-filled skin blisters
  • Greatly decreased frequency of urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  • Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • Light-colored stools
  • Large, hive-like swelling on face, and other parts of the body
  • Pain in lower back or side
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pinpoint red spots on skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
  • Red irritated eyes
  • Swelling of face, fingers, feet or lower legs
  • Redness or other skin discoloration
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • Severe or continuing stomach pain
  • Severe sunburn
  • Skin thinness
  • Vaginal bleeding

Some of the side effects may take place and may not need special medical attention and usually go away as the body adjusts to the medicine during treatment.

Some patients may experience other side effects not listed above. If you want to report side effects, you may do so by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.