Generic Name: nabumetone, Oral tablet

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SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for nabumetone

Oral tablet
1

Nabumetone can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

2

Nabumetone may cause serious side effects, including blood clots, heart attack, stroke, ulcers, and bleeding.

3

This drug may interact with several drugs. Discuss all of your medications with your doctor or pharmacist.

4

Seniors or weak patients may be especially sensitive to the serious side effects that can occur when taking nabumetone.

5

If you’re taking nabumetone, your dose may depend on your body and specific condition.

6

If you don’t take the drug, stop the drug, or don’t take it on schedule, you may increase your risk of joint damage and pain from your arthritis.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
  • generic warning icon

    FDA Warning See Details

  • digestive system icon

    May increase risk of ulcers or bleeding from the stomach or intestines. See Details

  • heart icon

    May increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. See Details

  • heart icon

    May increase fluid retention and worsen heart failure.

  • allergy icon

    May cause a sudden allergic reaction, but this is very rare. See Details

  • lungs icon

    May increase risk of worsening asthma symptoms in people with asthma. See Details

FDA Warning

Nabumetone has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Though the medication can still be sold and used, a black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous problems.

Warning: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as nabumetone, may increase risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. People with a history of heart disease or who are at risk of heart disease are at increased risk. This drug shouldn’t be used to control pain in patients with recent heart bypass surgery. 

Nabumetone may increase risk of ulcers or bleeding from the stomach or intestines. Sometimes, patients won't have any signs or symptoms of bleeding. Older adults have a higher risk of ulcers and/or bleeding. 

May increase risk of ulcers or bleeding from the stomach or intestines.

It should be used with extreme caution in people with a history of ulcers or bleeding.

May increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.

It should be used with caution in people with a history of heart disease or those at risk of heart disease.

May cause a sudden allergic reaction, but this is very rare.

If you have difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical care or call 9-1-1 right away.

May increase risk of worsening asthma symptoms in people with asthma.

If you have had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you may have an increased risk of this reaction.

Drug Features

Nabumetone is a prescription drug. It is available as an oral tablet and in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why It's Used

Nabumetone is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling in people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

How It Works

Nabumetone belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly in your body. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How It Works

Nabumetone belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly in your body. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

NSAIDs block the production of chemicals in your body that cause inflammation and pain.

NSAIDs help to manage the symptoms of pain, stiffness, inflammation, and swelling caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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nabumetone Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

Most people don’t experience many uncomfortable side effects from nabumetone. However, side effects are possible.

The most common side effects that occur with nabumetone include: 

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • nausea

  • stomach pain

  • constipation

  • swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles

  • mild rash

  • ringing in the ears

  • sensitivity to the sun

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.

Serious side effects of nabumetone include:  

  • severe chest pain, which could be the sign of a heart attack

  • bleeding from the stomach or intestines

  • severe stomach pain, which could be caused by ulcers in the stomach or intestines
  • signs of stroke, including difficulty speaking or thinking, weakness on one side of the body, and blurred vision

  • severe stomach pain

  • cramping or pain in legs or coughing and difficulty breathing, which could be signs of a blood clot

  • high blood pressure

  • symptoms of heart failure or kidney toxicity, including weakness, coughing, and swelling or unusual weight gain

  • signs of liver toxicity, including abdominal cramping or pain, and yellowing of eyes or skin

  • sudden or severe rash

  • symptoms of severe allergic reaction, such as sudden difficulty breathing

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Nabumetone does not cause drowsiness.

  • Take this drug exactly as prescribed.
  • Take your dose at a regularly scheduled time each day to lessen the likelihood of having side effects.
  • You can reduce the chance of stomach upset by taking nabumetone with food.
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.
SECTION 3 of 4

nabumetone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Nabumetone interacts with many other drugs.

Nabumetone 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.

Do not take nabumetone if you take any of these drugs:

  • ketorolac (Toradol, another anti-inflammatory drug)
  • omacetaxine (Synribo, a chemotherapy drug)

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

ACE Inhibitors

Nabumetone and other NSAIDs may decrease the blood pressure-lowering effects of ACE inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are used to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

ACE Inhibitors include:

  • captopril (Capoten)
  • enalapril (Vasotec)
  • lisinopril (Prinivil/Zestril)

Diuretics

Nabumetone can lessen the effects of diuretic drugs.

These include:

  • thiazide diuretics (chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide)
  • furosemide (Lasix)

Methotrexate

Nabumetone can increase the toxicity of methotrexate. Methotrexate is commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Its toxic effects can include changes in your blood and your ability to fight infections.

Lithium

Lithium levels can become increased when taking nabumetone. Nabumetone makes lithium leave your body more slowly, so the level can increase over time.

Warfarin, Aspirin, and Other NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)

These drugs can increase side effects of nabumetone (particularly risk of ulcer and bleeding). They are not recommended for use during nabumetone therapy.

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.

People with ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding

Nabumetone may increase risk of ulcers or bleeding from the stomach or intestines. The drug should be used with extreme caution in people with a history of ulcers or bleeding.

People with heart disease

Nabumetone can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. It should be used with caution in people with a history of heart disease or those at risk of heart disease. Risk factors for heart disease include:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • cigarette smoking
  • family history of heart disease
  • obesity
  • being a postmenopausal woman. The risk of heart disease increases after menopause.

People with heart failure

Nabumetone can increase fluid retention and worsen heart failure.

People with asthma

People with asthma sometimes have an increased risk of allergic reactions to nabumetone.

Pregnant women

Nabumetone is a pregnancy category C 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.

Nabumetone shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, especially in late stage pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and need treatment for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options.

Women who are nursing

Nabumetone enters the breast milk and could be passed to a nursing child. Exposing a child to the drug could increase their risk of experiencing the drug’s side effects.

Don’t use the drug if you’re breast feeding. Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment options while breastfeeding.

For Seniors

If you’re an older adult:

  • you may need to start with a smaller dose to determine possible side effects and if you can process the drug effectively. The dose may be gradually increased, if you tolerate it well.   
  • you may be more likely to have stomach upset or bleeding.
  • you may need to speak with your doctor about how to manage your existing health conditions while taking nabumetone 

Allergies

People who are allergic to aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) shouldn’t take this drug. If you’re not certain about your allergy risk, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take nabumetone (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 form only

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 500 mg, 700 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

Nabumetone is often started at 1000 mg per day. It may be taken once a day or in two divided doses. The dose is gradually adjusted if needed.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine has not been studied in children and should not be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or you may need a different schedule.

Special considerations

Seniors:

  • may need to start with a smaller dose to determine possible side effects and if the drug will be processed effectively. The dose may be gradually increased if tolerated well.  
  • may be more likely to have stomach upset or bleeding
  • may need to speak with their doctor about how to manage existing health conditions while taking the drug

Kidney Disease: People with kidney disease generally shouldn’t use this drug. Kidney disease can affect the way the drug is processed in the body. Speak with your healthcare provider about your treatment with nabumetone if you have kidney disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Generic form only

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 500 mg, 700 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

Nabumetone is often started at 1000 mg per day. It may be taken once a day or in two divided doses. The dose is gradually adjusted if needed.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine has not been studied in children and should not be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or you may need a different schedule.

Special considerations

Seniors:

  • may need to start with a smaller dose to determine possible side effects and if the drug will be processed effectively. The dose may be gradually increased if tolerated well.  
  • may be more likely to have stomach upset or bleeding
  • may need to speak with their doctor about how to manage existing health conditions while taking the drug

Kidney Disease: People with kidney disease generally shouldn’t use this drug. Kidney disease can affect the way the drug is processed in the body. Speak with your healthcare provider about your treatment with nabumetone if you have kidney disease.

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

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

If You Don’t Take It or Stop Taking It

If you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and don’t take your nabumetone, you risk:

  • increasing inflammation and swelling in your joints
  • decreasing ability to control your pain

If You Don’t Take It on Schedule

Not taking nabumetone every day, skipping days, or taking doses at different times of day may increase your risk for inflammation or decreased control of your pain.

If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, just take the next dose as scheduled. Don’t double your dose.

How Can I Tell if the Drug is Working?

You can tell this drug is working if your arthritis pain and swelling is controlled while taking it.

Take it with food

Though you don’t have to, taking nabumetone with food may decrease possible nausea.

Taking this medication as prescribed is important for it to be safe or effective

Pay extra attention to this drug’s timing instructions.

Do not crush the tablet

The tablet is film coated and shouldn’t be cut, crushed, or chewed.

Storing nabumetone in the right conditions is important to its effectiveness

Store at controlled room temperature: 68 – 77°F (20 – 25°C). Keep the medication tightly closed and in a light-resistant container.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Medications similar to nabumetone are:

  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • meloxicam
  • celecoxib
  • ketoprofen
  • oxaprozin
  • piroxicam
  • etodolac
  • diclofenac
  • aspirin

Content developed in collaboration with Stacey Boudreaux, PharmD

Medically reviewed by Susan J. Bliss, RPh, MBA and Alan Carter, PharmD on January 22, 2015

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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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