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|Type of medicine||A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)|
|Used for||Relief of pain and inflammation, particularly in arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions|
|Also called||Larafen®; Oruvail®; Tiloket®; Valket® |
Also Axorid® (a combination of ketoprofen with omeprazole)
|Available as||Prolonged-release capsules|
Anti-inflammatory painkillers like ketoprofen are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or sometimes just 'anti-inflammatories'. Ketoprofen eases pain and swelling (inflammation) in conditions like arthritis, sprains and strains, and gout, and it may also be used for pain relief for period (menstrual) pain, and after surgical operations.
Ketoprofen works by blocking the effect of natural chemicals called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help to make other chemicals, called prostaglandins, in the body. Some prostaglandins are produced at sites of injury or damage, and cause pain and inflammation. By blocking the effect of COX enzymes, fewer prostaglandins are produced, which means pain and inflammation are eased.
Ketoprofen is available on prescription. It can be combined with a medicine called omeprazole (in a brand called Axorid®) which helps to protect against stomach irritation, which can be a common side-effect.
Ketoprofen is also available as a gel which can be applied directly to your skin to help relieve muscle and joint pain. There is more information about this in a separate leaflet called Ketoprofen gel for pain relief.
Before taking ketoprofen
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking ketoprofen, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.
- If you have ever had a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have a heart condition or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have any blood clotting problems.
- If you have high blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
- If you have a connective tissue disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus. This is an inflammatory condition which is also called lupus or SLE.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other NSAID (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and indometacin), or to any other medicine.
How to take ketoprofen
- Before you start taking ketoprofen, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the capsules and provide a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking them.
- Take ketoprofen exactly as your doctor tells you to. Ketoprofen prolonged-release capsules release the medicine slowly over the day to give an even and prolonged effect. Take one dose a day. There are two strengths of prolonged-release capsule available: 100 mg and 200 mg. Your doctor will prescribe the strength of capsule which is right for you.
- Take the capsule with a snack or just after eating a meal. Swallow the capsule whole - do not chew or open the capsule.
- Try to take the capsule at the same time of day each day as this will help you to remember to take it.
- If you forget to take the capsule at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Can ketoprofen cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the more common ones associated with ketoprofen. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common ketoprofen side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Indigestion, heartburn, tummy (abdominal) discomfort||Remember to take the capsule after a meal. If the discomfort continues, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid fatty or spicy foods. If it continues, speak with your doctor|
|Other less common side-effects: constipation, diarrhoea, wind, headache, feeling dizzy or sleepy, itchy rash, swollen feet||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience any of the following less common but possibly serious symptoms, stop taking ketoprofen and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- If you have any breathing difficulties such as wheeze or breathlessness.
- If you have any signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling around your mouth or face, or an itchy skin rash.
- If you pass blood or black stools, bring up (vomit) blood, or have severe tummy pains.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store ketoprofen
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
How to use ketoprofen gel
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about ketoprofen and will provide you a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from using it.
- Apply a thin layer of the gel and gently massage it into the affected area. Wash your hands well after using the gel (unless you've applied it to treat your hands).
- Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how often to use the gel. This will be between two and four times a day, usually for up to seven days. The directions will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what was said to you.
- If you forget to apply the gel at your usual time, don't worry, just apply it when you remember and then continue as before.