Diflunisal | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

diflunisal, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Dolobid
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Highlights for diflunisal

Oral tablet
1

Diflunisal is an oral drug used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and mild to moderate pain.

2

Your dose depends on your weight and the condition that’s being treated. Adults may start at 500–1,000 mg per day.

3

Common side effects include nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, dizziness, ringing in your ears, and more.

4

Don’t take diflunisal if you have a history of heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, or a history of stomach bleeding. Don’t use this drug to treat pain after heart surgery.

5

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant. If you’re more than 24 weeks pregnant, don’t take diflunisal. It may harm your unborn baby.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Heart warning. This drug may raise your chance of heart attack and stroke. Your risk may be greater if you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. The risk may also be higher if you take this drug for a long time. Don’t use diflunisal right before or after heart surgery.

Stomach and bowel warning. This drug may raise your risk of stomach or bowel problems, such as ulcers or bleeding. These conditions can be severe or even fatal and come on without warning signs. The risk may be higher for seniors.

Skin rash

Diflunisal can cause a severe skin rash. You may get blisters, fever, and intense itching. If this happens, you should stop taking this medication and contact your doctor right away.

Liver problems risk

Seek emergency medical help right away if you feel sore on the upper right side of your stomach and are unusually tired, weak, or nauseous, or feel like you have the flu. Tell your doctor right away if you see yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes. These may be signs that your liver isn’t working well.

What is diflunisal?

Diflunisal is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Diflunisal is only available as a generic drug.

Why it's used

Diflunisal is used to treat swelling caused by arthritis and pain.

How it works

Diflunisal is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

See Details

How it works

Diflunisal is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

The drug works by blocking a particular enzyme in your body. When the enzyme is blocked, your body decreases the amount of inflammatory chemicals it makes. This helps to reduce inflammation and pain.

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diflunisal Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with diflunisal include:

  • nausea and vomiting

  • dizziness

  • stomach pain

  • ringing in your ears

  • skin rash

  • headaches

  • tiredness and weakness

  • being unable to sleep (insomnia)

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • skin rash
    • hives
    • itching
    • redness
    • chest tightness
    • fever
    • trouble breathing
  • kidney problems. Symptoms can include:

    • being unable to urinate
    • fluid buildup that causes swelling in your feet or legs
    • blood in your urine
  • chest pain or fast heart rate

  • stroke. Symptoms can include:

    • sudden weakness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech
    • trouble balancing
    • blurred vision
  • severe headache

  • skin reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • redness on your skin
    • swelling of your skin
    • blisters
    • peeling skin
    • red eyes
    • sore throat, eyes, or nose
  • problems with your liver. Symptoms can include:

    • dark-colored urine
    • vomiting
    • stomach pain
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • Stomach problems. Symptoms can include:

    • black-colored or bloody stools
    • throwing up blood
  • bleeding or bruising

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Diflunisal doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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diflunisal May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Diflunisal can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs for high blood pressure
  • angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors 
  • angiotensin II antagonists

Diflunisal may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of these drugs. Your dose of these medications may need to be adjusted. If you have kidney problems, taking these drugs together could make these problems worse.

Diuretics
  • furosemide
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • chlorothiazide

This drug can decrease the effectiveness of diuretics. If you have kidney problems, taking these drugs together could make these problems worse.

Drugs for pain and swelling
  • acetaminophen
  • aspirin
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as:
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen
    • ketorolac

Diflunisal can increase the side effects of these drugs, including serious side effects like heart problems and stomach bleeding.

Drugs for stomach acid
  • antacids

These drugs may reduce the effectiveness of diflunisal.

Drugs for the immune system
  • cyclosporine

Diflunisal can cause high levels of cyclosporine in your body. This could lead to serious side effects.

Antimanic agents
  •  lithium

Diflunisal may increase the levels of lithium in your body. This can cause more side effects.

Drugs for arthritis
  • methotrexate

Diflunisal may increase the level of methotrexate in your body. This could cause more side effects.

Blood thinners
  • warfarin
  • rivaroxaban
  • ticagrelor
  • clopidogrel

Using these drugs together may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Diflunisal interactions
heart disease
People with heart disease

If you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, you shouldn’t take diflunisal. It may increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.

high blood pressure
People with high blood pressure

Diflunisal can cause high blood pressure or make existing high blood pressure worse. Your doctor will watch you closely if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.

stomach problems
People with stomach problems

If you have a history of stomach bleeding or ulcers, this drug may increase your risk of having another ulcer or bleeding event. These may be fatal.

kidney disease
People with kidney disease

This drug can cause more damage to your kidneys. If your kidney disease gets worse, you may need to stop taking diflunisal. If you have very severe kidney disease already, your doctor may recommend a different drug.

asthma
People with asthma

This drug may make your asthma worse. This is especially true if aspirin aggravates your asthma.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Diflunisal is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Drugs in this class can cause heart and bleeding problems in the fetus if they’re used late in pregnancy. Don’t take diflunisal if you’re more than 24 weeks pregnant.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Diflunisal should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Small amounts of diflunisal may pass through breast milk. It’s not known whether this can cause side effects in a breast-feeding child. You and your doctor should decide if you’ll breast-feed while you’re taking diflunisal.

for seniors
For seniors

Seniors could have more side effects from this medication. You should use this medication with caution.

for children
For children

The safety and effectiveness of diflunisal haven’t been established in children younger than 12 years old.

allergies
Allergies

Diflunisal can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take diflunisal (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Osteoarthritis

Generic: diflunisal

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The standard dose is 500–1,000 mg per day taken in two doses.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

Refer to adult dosage. Your doctor may adjust your child’s dose based on weight or response to treatment.

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

The safety and effectiveness of diflunisal haven’t been established in children younger than 12 years old.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

You may be more likely to have side effects from diflunisal. Talk to your doctor about what dose is right for you.

Special considerations

Kidney disease:

If you have kidney disease, your doctor may watch you more closely. You may need a lower dose of diflunisal or may need to stop treatment with the drug.

Mild to moderate pain

Generic: diflunisal

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The standard dose for pain is 1,000 mg as your first dose, and then 500 mg taken every 8–12 hours.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

Refer to adult dosage. Your doctor may adjust your child’s dose based on weight or response to treatment.

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

The safety and effectiveness of diflunisal haven’t been established in children younger than 12 years old.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

You may be more likely to have side effects from diflunisal. Talk to your doctor about what dose is right for you.

Special considerations

Kidney disease:

If you have kidney disease, your doctor may watch you more closely. You may need a lower dose of diflunisal or may need to stop treatment with the drug.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Generic: diflunisal

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The standard dose is 500–1,000 mg per day taken in two doses.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

Refer to adult dosage. Your doctor may adjust your child’s dose based on weight or response to treatment.

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

The safety and effectiveness of diflunisal haven’t been established in children younger than 12 years old.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

You may be more likely to have side effects from diflunisal. Talk to your doctor about what dose is right for you.

Special considerations

Kidney disease:

If you have kidney disease, your doctor may watch you more closely. You may need a lower dose of diflunisal or may need to stop treatment with the drug.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Diflunisal comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it all or skip or miss doses

If you don’t take your medication or keep missing doses, your pain won’t go away.

Diflunisal may be used to treat chronic conditions. It’s important to take your medication as directed by your doctor, even if you feel better. Doing so will give you the best chance of improving your quality of life.

If you take too much

If you take too much, you may have these symptoms:

  • ringing in your ears
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • breathing faster than normal
  • fast heart rate
  • sweating
  • confusion

If you think you’ve taken too much diflunisal, seek emergency medical help right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your missed dose as soon as you remember. But if it’s just a few hours until your next scheduled dose, then take only one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if you have less pain and swelling.

Diflunisal is a long-term or short-term treatment depending on the condition that’s being treated.

take with food
Diflunisal should be taken with food to avoid an upset stomach
do not crush or cut
Don’t crush or cut the tablet
storage
Store diflunisal from 68–77°F (20–25°C)
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details

Store diflunisal from 68–77°F (20–25°C)

  • Keep tablets in a tightly closed container away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms.
  • Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff your pharmacy’s label to identify the medication. Keep the original pharmacy prescription label with you when traveling.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do the following tests during treatment with diflunisal to make sure the drug is safe for you:

  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • blood test

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about alternatives.

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How Much Does diflunisal Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for diflunisal

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for diflunisal on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

  • Diflunisal- diflunisal tablet, film coated. (2015, March). Retrieved from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=e110f879-98e6-49cb-a3b0-68805cdf602a

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 11, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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