Relafen was a prescription medication that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991 to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. The manufacturer discontinued Relafen when generic versions of the drug became available, but it is still available under its drug name, Nabumetone. Nabumetone is used to treat pain, stiffness and discomfort caused by lupus in joints and other tissues.
Nabumetone should not be used by people who are allergic to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Nabumetone may not be appropriate for pregnant women, children, or people whose lupus affects their kidneys (lupus nephritis). Do not take Nabumetone while you are also taking aspirin or another NSAID drug. Nabumetone should be used with caution in smokers, diabetics, and people with a history of heart problems, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, or strokes.
Nabumetone is an NSAID. NSAIDs help reduce fever, pain and inflammation. Nabumetone is believed to work by inhibiting the production of chemicals that promote inflammation in the body.
How do I take it?
Nabumetone is taken orally as a tablet once or twice a day. Your doctor will prescribe a dosage based on your needs. When taking NSAIDs, it is important to use the lowest dose that is effective, and to take it for the shortest amount of time in order to avoid side effects.
Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure regularly while you are taking Nabumetone.
People with lupus who take NSAIDs regularly should have their kidney function tested every three or four months.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Nabumetone.
Studies have shown that as many as 75 percent of people with lupus take an NSAID every day. Of those, up to 3 percent experience gastrointestinal bleeds each year.
Rare but serious side effects of Nabumetone may include an increase in the risk of stroke, heart attack, fluid retention, edema (swelling) and gastrointestinal bleeding. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience pain in your chest or left arm, shortness of breath, numbness or swelling in your hands or feet, or sudden weakness on one side of your body.
Taking Nabumetone may raise your blood pressure.
Common side effects of Nabumetone include vomiting, constipation, nausea, gas, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, mouth sores, and drowsiness.
Contact your doctor if you experience severe stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, black stools that appear bloody or tarry, a change in the amount of urine you produce, yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), weight gain, skin problems such as rash or hives, hoarseness, flu-like symptoms, weight gain, loss of appetite, and fast heartbeat (tachycardia), or a stiff neck while taking Nabumetone.
Seek medical help immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, severe dizziness, rash, or itching or swelling of the face, tongue and throat.