Nabumetone vs Ibuprofen - Comparison of Side Effects & Uses

Nabumetone (Relafen)

It is the generic name of a brand name medication called Relafen. It belongs to a group of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Mechanism of Action

It works by reducing the levels of prostaglandins, chemicals produced by the human body which are responsible for fever, pain, and inflammation.

The US Food and Drug Administration originally approved it in 1991.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to relieve the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Dosage

For rheumatoid arthritis, the usual initial recommended dose is 1000 mg orally once per day. The maintenance dose is 1500 to 2000 mg orally a day in 1 or 2 divided doses.

For osteoarthritis, the usual recommended initial dose is 1000 mg orally once per day. The maintenance dose is 1500 to 2000 mg orally a day in 1 or 2 divided doses.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • skin rash;
  • indigestion;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • stomach pain;
  • headaches;
  • swelling in your hands and feet;
  • excessive gas;
  • constipation;
  • diarrhea.

Rare side effects may include:

  • upper stomach pain;
  • shortness of breath;
  • feeling tired;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • trouble concentrating;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash;
  • coughing up vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • burning in your eyes;
  • bloody or tarry stools;
  • swelling of your face, tongue, feet or ankles;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • feeling light-headed;
  • painful or difficult urination;
  • clay-colored stools.

Contraindications

Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • asthma;
  • if you smoke tobacco;
  • kidney disease;
  • a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;
  • diabetes;
  • liver disease;
  • a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clot;
  • fluid retention;
  • high LDL and total cholesterol;
  • high blood pressure;
  • heart disease.

Alcoholalcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Lithium (Eskalith);
  • anticoagulants, like – warfarin (Coumadin);
  • Phenytoin (a drug used as an anti-seizure medication);
  • aspirin;
  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex);
  • other NSAIDs, like – naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn);
  • oral medications for diabetes;
  • flovent;
  • oral steroids, like – methylprednisolone (Medrol), dexamethasone (Dexone), and prednisone (Deltasone);
  • diuretics (water pills);
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, like – fosinopril (Monopril), benazepril (Lotensin), perindopril (Aceon), moexipril (Univasc), and trandolapril (Mavik).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Taking nabumetone during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medication.

Ibuprofen

It is the generic name of a few brand medicines, such as – Motrin or Advil. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which works by reducing the production of prostaglandins.

It is produced by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, an American medical products company that belongs to the Johnson & Johnson healthcare group. The US Food and Drug Administration first approved this medication under the Motrin brand in 1974.

Uses

This medication is used to lower a high temperature, relieve the symptoms of fever and arthritis, and some types of pain, including:

  • muscular pain;
  • a toothache;
  • sprains and strains;
  • menstrual pain;
  • backaches;
  • headaches;
  • nerve pain (neuralgia);
  • migraines.

Dosage

To reduce pain, the usual recommended dosage for an adult is 200 to 400 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as required.

The maximum dose for adults is 3200 mg a day, divided into 3 or 4 doses.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • nervousness;
  • vomiting;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • mild heartburn;
  • bloating;
  • nausea;
  • upset stomach;
  • excessive gas;
  • mild itching or rash;
  • diarrhea;
  • dizziness.

Less common side effects may include:

  • a sore throat;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • swelling of the ankles, face, tongue, or feet;
  • changes in your vision;
  • skin pain followed by a purple skin rash;
  • bloody or tarry stools;
  • painful urination;
  • shortness of breath;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • little or no urinating;
  • loss of appetite;
  • coughing up blood;
  • dark urine;
  • trouble concentrating;
  • feeling light-headed;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • burning in the eyes;
  • rapid heart rate.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • antidepressants, like – Paxil (paroxetine) and Lexapro (escitalopram);
  • Stirbild (elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir);
  • cancer drugs, like – Alimta (Pemetrexed);
  • Eliquis (an anticoagulant medication that is used in the treatment of venous thromboembolic);
  • water pills, such as – Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide) or Diuril (chlorothiazide);
  • beta blockers, such as – Zebeta (bisoprolol) or Coreg (carvedilol);
  • blood thinners, such as – Pradaxa (dabigatran) or Coumadin (warfarin);
  • other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as – Celebrex (celecoxib), Naprosyn, Relafen (nabumetone), or Toradol (ketorolac);
  • aspirin (both pill and suppository forms).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Since there are no well-controlled clinical studies in pregnant women, this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is best to be avoided especially in late pregnancy because of the risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus in the fetal heart.

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medication.

Alcohol

It is not recommended to drink alcoholic beverages if you are taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Doing so could trigger potentially serious side effects.

Bottom Line – Nabumetone vs Ibuprofen

Nabumetone (brand-name – Relafen) is in a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is used to treat pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.

Ibuprofen (brand names – Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprin) belongs to a group of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It works by inhibiting prostaglandins, chemicals that can cause inflammation in the body and is used to lower a high temperature, relieve the symptoms of fever and arthritis, and some types of pain.

In conclusion, they are both anti-inflammatory medications useful in treating pain. Ibuprofen is usually taken for acute pain conditions (for short-term use), like – muscle pain, headache, or menstrual cramps.

On the other hand, nabumetone is commonly prescribed for chronic pain conditions, like -arthritis where an individual would take the medication daily. Both medications can cause stomach irritation.

According to a 1993 study that was done at the Department of Medicine, Houston, Texas, nabumetone was as effective as ibuprofen for the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis. But, in rheumatoid arthritis, nabumetone was considerably more effective than ibuprofen.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 60 tablets of nabumetone 500mg is $18, while the average retail price for 90 tablets of ibuprofen 800mg is $12.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10688389
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15456329
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3318431

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