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Relafen is a pain medication used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Nabumetone is a nonacidic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that offers anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic effects to help relieve pain associated with inflammatory conditions. These actions allow Relafen to provide effective relief of arthritic symptoms by decreasing inflammation and numbing pain.

This NSAID medication has been found as effective as other similar pain relievers but has a significantly lower incidence of adverse gastrointestinal effects, including gastroduodenal ulcers. Relafen is well-tolerated even in elderly patients and is an effective alternative pain relief medication for those with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis who can’t take ibuprofen, diclofenac, and others.

Uses and Dosage

The dose of Relafen that is prescribed will vary depending on the individual and arthritic condition being treated. Follow all your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully to ensure the best results.

  • Swallow tablets whole
  • Take with or without food
  • Most adults start by taking 1,000mg
  • Doses may be taken once or twice each day
  • Adults should not have more than 2,000mg daily
  • When using long term, you may need regular medical tests and checkups
  • Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture
  • Keep away from children and pets

Side Effects

Relafen may cause some side effects to develop while reducing inflammation and relieving pain related to arthritis. Speak with your doctor for more information regarding any symptoms you may experience when taking nabumetone.

Common Relafen side effects:

  • Stomach pain, indigestion, nausea
  • Diarrhea, constipation, gas
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Itching, skin rash
  • Ringing in your ears

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious side effects may also occur when taking nabumetone. Stop using Relafen and call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling or rapid weight gain
  • First sign of a skin rash
  • Signs of stomach bleeding (bloody or tarry stools, coughing blood, vomit that looks like coffee grounds)
  • Liver problems (nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, jaundice)
  • Kidney problems (little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath)
  • Low red blood cell count (pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet)

Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms include chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side, slurred speech, shortness of breath.

Allergic Reactions

Do not take Relafen if you are allergic to nabumetone or if you have ever had an allergic reaction after taking an NSAID. If you develop signs of an allergic reaction, stop using this medication and contact your doctor.

Relafen allergy symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Fever sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain
  • Red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling


Taking Relafen long-term or at high doses can increase your risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you have heart disease. To lower your risks, do not use this medicine just before or after having heart bypass surgery.

Nabumetone may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, conditions which can occur without warning, especially in older users. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following signs of bleeding: black, bloody, or tarry stools, coughing blood, or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Ask your doctor before taking any over the counter cold, allergy, or pain medication because they can contain medicines like nabumetone and cause you to accidentally take too much. Read packaging labels of all medications to check for aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.

Do not drink alcohol while using Relafen because it can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and artificial UV rays. Nabumetone can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight and can burn more easily.

To ensure your safety when taking Relafen, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following:

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke
  • Heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
  • Stomach ulcers or bleeding
  • Asthma
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Fluid retention

Do not take Relafen if you are pregnant unless your doctor specifically instructs you to do so. Taking any NSAID during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause complications as well as serious heart or kidney problems in your baby.

Consult with your doctor before using Relafen if you also take an antidepressant. These types of medications, such as citalopram, escitalopram, or fluoxetine, can cause you to bruise or bleed easily when taken with an NSAID.

Some other drugs can interact with nabumetone and cause adverse reactions. To ensure your safety, tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over the counter medicine, but especially any of the following:

  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Blood thinner (warfarin, apixaban, rivaroxaban, and others)
  • Heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic
  • Steroid medicine (prednisone or others)

Relafen is not an approved form of treatment for anyone under the age of 18 years old.

Form and Strength

This pain relief medication is available in tablet form.

Relafen tablet strength:

  • 500mg
  • 750mg

The 500mg Relafen tablets are available in quantities of 56 or 100 while the 750mg ones are available in quantities of 90.


How long does it take for Relafen to start working?

Relafen offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that start working quickly after your first dose. However, it may take a few weeks to see significant improvement in inflammation and pain because the medication needs time to take effect in your system and combat inflammation around your joints.

Can I take Tylenol with Relafen?

Always consult with your doctor before taking any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs while using Relafen to ensure that you don’t take too much of a similar type of medication. The main drugs you should be conscious of are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, however so small amounts of Tylenol or acetaminophen shouldn’t cause too much harm. Always listen to your doctor and follow their advice.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

Nabumetone, Relifex


500mg, 750mg

Quantities Available:

56, 90, 100