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Relafen Prescription
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Generic Name: nabumetone (na BUE me tone)
Brand Names: Relafen
Generic Name: nabumetone (na BUE me tone)
Brand Names: Relafen
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30 tablets of Relafen 40 mg
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Relafen Drug Information:

Relafen (Nabumetone) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Nabumetone works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Relafen is used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Relafen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Relafen 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 this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG). Learn more

Relafen Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about nabumetone. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Relafen.

For the Consumer

Applies to nabumetone: oral tablet


Oral route (Tablet)

NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious or fatal cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Nabumetone is contraindicated in the setting of CABG surgery. NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events.

Along with its needed effects, nabumetone (the active ingredient contained in Relafen) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking nabumetone:

More common

  • Headache
  • itching skin
  • nausea
  • rash
  • stomach pain
  • swelling

Less common

  • Burning feeling in chest or stomach
  • indigestion
  • stomach upset
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • tenderness in stomach area
  • vomiting


  • Bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, loosening of skin
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • burning upper abdominal pain
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • constipation
  • cough
  • dark-colored urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dry cough
  • dry mouth
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • fluid-filled skin blisters
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • high blood pressure
  • hives or welts
  • increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  • increased thirst
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain
  • pain in lower back or side
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
  • rapid breathing
  • red irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • redness or other discoloration of skin
  • severe or continuing stomach pain
  • severe sunburn
  • shortness of breath
  • skin thinness
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips
  • stomach bloating, burning, or cramping
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet or lower legs
  • tightness in chest
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vaginal bleeding
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • weight gain or loss
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin

Symptoms of overdose

  • Agitation
  • blurred vision
  • coma
  • confusion
  • depression
  • hostility
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • irritability
  • muscle twitching
  • nervousness
  • pain or discomfort in chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • seizures
  • severe stomach pain
  • slow heartbeat
  • stupor
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness

Some side effects of nabumetone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloated full feeling
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears
  • excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
  • hearing loss
  • indigestion
  • mild diarrhea
  • passing gas

Less common

  • Increased sweating
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sleeplessness
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep


  • Anxiety
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • increased appetite
  • lack or loss of strength
  • lightheadedness
  • sensation of spinning
  • shakiness in legs, arms, hands, feet
  • trembling or shaking of hands or feet

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to nabumetone: oral tablet


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (14%), dyspepsia (13%), abdominal pain (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, flatulence, nausea, positive stool guaiac, dry mouth, gastritis, stomatitis, vomiting

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Duodenal ulcer, GI bleeding, gastric ulcer, GI disorder, melena, stomatitis

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pancreatitis

Frequency not reported: Anorexia, dysphagia, gastroenteritis, duodenitis, eructation, glossitis, rectal bleeding


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Elevated liver function tests

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hepatic failure, jaundice

Frequency not reported: Liver function abnormalities, gallstones


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Renal failure, nephrotic syndrome

Frequency not reported: Albuminuria, azotemia, interstitial nephritis, renal stones


Common (1% to 10%): Sweating increased, pruritus, rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Photosensitivity, urticaria

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Bullous eruptions, pseudoporphyria cutanea tarda, acne, alopecia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, angioedema

Frequency not reported: Purpura


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Thrombocytopenia

Frequency not reported: Anemia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, neutropenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, headache, somnolence

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Paresthesia

Frequency not reported: Tremor, syncope, drowsiness


Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, nervousness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Confusion, anxiety

Frequency not reported: Agitation, depression, nightmares, hallucinations


Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension/blood pressure increased

Frequency not reported: Vasculitis, angina, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, palpitations, thrombophlebitis, cardiac failure


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea, respiratory disorder, epistaxis

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Interstitial pneumonitis

Frequency not reported: Asthma, cough, aggravated asthma, bronchospasm

Postmarketing reports: Eosinophilic pneumonia, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, idiopathic interstitial pneumonitis


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, tinnitus, edema, ear disorder

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Asthenia, fatigue

Frequency not reported: Malaise, vertigo, weight gain, gingivitis, taste disorder, fever, chills, weight loss, aseptic meningitis

Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported, especially in patients with autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or mixed connective tissue disease. Symptoms have included stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, and disorientation.


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary tract disorder

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Menorrhagia

Frequency not reported: Bilirubinuria, dysuria, hematuria, impotence

Postmarketing reports: Vaginal bleeding


Frequency not reported: Appetite increased, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia

Postmarketing reports: Hyperuricemia


The most frequently reported adverse effects were gastrointestinal (GI) in nature and included diarrhea, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain.


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myopathy


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal vision, eye disorder

Frequency not reported: Optic neuritis

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/27/2021.

Source: Drugs.com Relafen (www.drugs.com/relafen.html).