What you need to know about Nabumeton


Nabumetone is a generic version of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) under the brand name Relafen, which is currently discontinued. Used to relieve mild to moderate pain, nabumetone reduces the levels of hormones in the body that cause inflammation and pain.

It is especially effective in relieving arthritis symptoms (such as joint inflammation, swelling, and pain). Nabumetone is available in pill / tablet form and by prescription only.

Nabumetone has a black box warning from the FDA. Black box alerts alert patients and healthcare professionals to potentially dangerous drug-induced side effects.

PORNCHAI SODA / iStock / Getty Images


Nabumetone is used to reduce pain, joint stiffness, and swelling caused by certain types of arthritis, most commonly osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .

Use not indicated on the label

Nabumetone is generally prescribed for people with arthritis. It is usually not prescribed by healthcare providers for other purposes, but it can also be prescribed if other NSAIDs do not work for non-arthritic joint pain. It is sometimes prescribed for gout attacks.

Before drinking

When you decide to use nabumetone for pain management, you should weigh the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. When prescribing this medication for pain relief, it is important to take it exactly as prescribed to help relieve your symptoms.

In some cases, it may take two weeks or more to feel relief from symptoms. Nabumetone is often a second-line treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and is prescribed if other NSAIDs are not effective in relieving pain.

Before you start taking nabumetone, tell your doctor if you are allergic to aspirin or other NSAIDs (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen). This medicine may contain inactive ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction.

Precautions and contraindications.

Before taking this medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have:

  • Asthma
  • You have had trouble breathing after taking NSAIDs or aspirin in the past.
  • Bleeding / clotting problems
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Stomach / intestinal problems (eg, ulcers, bleeding, recurrent heartburn)

Nabumetone can increase the risk of:

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding (especially if you are over 60, smoke, or drink alcohol regularly)
  • Skin reactions (eg, blisters, scaly skin, sore throat, sores)
  • Swelling of the face, fingers, legs and / or feet.
  • Decreased urination

People with kidney disease should not take nabumetone, as it can make their condition worse. Caution is advised for people 60 years of age and older to use this drug with caution, as this group of people may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially kidney problems and stomach bleeding.

Other NSAIDs

Over-the-counter NSAIDs include Advil (ibuprofen) , aspirin, and naprosin (naproxen) . There are several other prescription NSAIDs that can be prescribed for arthritis pain, including:


The dose of nabumetone you take depends on your medical condition and will vary from patient to patient. It is important to follow your healthcare professional's instructions and the directions on the medicine label. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed without first checking with your healthcare professional and / or pharmacist.

The recommended adult dose varies depending on the condition for which it is prescribed, but most often it is initially given at 1000 milligrams (mg) orally (tablet / pill) once daily or divided into two 500 mg doses. twice daily.

Your healthcare professional can increase your dose to 2000 mg per day if necessary. Doses above 2000 mg have not been carefully studied and therefore may not be safe.

The dose and frequency of nabumetone can be adjusted if your starting dose does not work or causes unwanted side effects.

How to take and store

Take this medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Most of the time, this happens once or twice a day. Drink with a full glass of water. To prevent indigestion, take it with food or an antacid. Avoid lying down for 10 minutes or more after ingestion to prevent heartburn.

Store the medicine in a cabinet at room temperature, away from sources of heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not store the medicine beyond the expiration date. Talk to your doctor about safely removing excess doses you don't need.

Side effects

Some side effects can occur as a result of taking nabumetone. Most of these side effects are mild and do not require medical attention; they usually go away as soon as your body gets used to the medicine.


Common side effects can include :

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Skin itch
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Upset stomach, indigestion, or gas
  • Tinnitus

If any of these effects persist or get worse, talk to your doctor.

Severe form

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these serious (but less common) side effects:

  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Changes in hearing or ringing in the ears.
  • Humor changes
  • Symptoms of heart failure (eg, swelling of the ankles or feet, unusual lethargy, sudden weight gain)

See your doctor right away if you experience any of these rare but very serious side effects:

  • Signs of kidney problems (eg, changes in urine output, swelling of the feet or ankles)
  • Signs of liver problems (eg, nausea, abdominal pain, itching, flu symptoms, jaundice, loss of appetite)
  • Signs of stomach bleeding (eg, tarry stools, coughing up blood)
  • Stiff neck muscles

In rare cases, nabumetone can cause serious liver disease. If you notice any of the following serious side effects, contact your doctor and / or pharmacist immediately:

  • Dark urine
  • Persistent nausea and / or vomiting.
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

Some people may have a severe allergic reaction to this drug. See your doctor right away if you notice signs of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • Rash
  • Itching / swelling (especially in the face / throat)
  • Severe dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing

In addition to talking to your doctor, you can also report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Warnings and interactions

Talk to your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications and herbal products you are taking before nabumetone is prescribed for you, as it can interact with other medications and change the way medications work or increase your risk. of side effects. Some medications that can interact with nabumetone include:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Aspirin
  • Corticosteroids (eg, Prednisone)
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Other NSAIDs
  • 'Water tablets' (diuretics)
  • Warfarin

This list is not complete. Other medications can affect nabumetone, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products.

Do not take nabumetone with other NSAIDs, as this can increase the risk of stomach bleeding or other serious side effects.

Black box warning

Nabumetone oral tablet comes with a black box FDA warning due to the increased risk of heart attack or stroke with this drug and other NSAIDs. See your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, weakness. in the body or difficulty speaking.

Related Articles
Thyroid adenoma: Causes, Treatment, and Diagnosis

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your throat that produces hormones affecting a number of Read more

NSAIDs and You Thyroid Function

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most frequently taken over-the-counter medications. Due to their systemic or whole body effects, it's Read more

How Doctors Are Failing Thyroid Disease Patients

The thyroid disease community has continually mentioned the lack of support they experience and the difficulty they have navigating the Read more

How the Family Deductible Works in an HDHP

If your family’s health insurance is a high-deductible health plan, your family deductible may work differently than it did when Read more