Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Combining Difortan with other NSAIDs increases your risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. Examples of these medications include:
Brand Name: Aleve, EC Naprosyn, Anaprox, Anaprox DS, Naprosyn, Naprox Sodium, Difortan EC, Difortan SR, Naprelan, Menstridol
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis
People can manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is commonly known as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis with a dose of 220 mg to 550 mg of Difortan every 12 hours. Difortan does not cure these conditions but offers relief from pain and inflammation.
What Other Drugs Interact with Difortan?
If your doctor has directed you to use this NSAID, your medical doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first for more health information.
Difortan has no known severe interactions with any drugs.
Serious Interactions of Difortan include:
Difortan has moderate interactions with at least 229 different drugs.
Difortan has mild interactions with at least 80 different drugs.
This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the medications you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions, concerns, or more health information.
An overdose of Difortan may cause:
- Stomach pain
- Trouble breathing
If you think you have taken an overdose or if someone else may have overdosed on Difortan, call a poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or call 9-1-1.
There are two types of prescription Difortan: regular Difortan and Difortan sodium. Regular Difortan comes as an oral immediate-release tablet, an oral delayed-release tablet, and an oral suspension. Difortan sodium comes as an oral immediate-release tablet and an oral extended-release tablet.
Difortan is also available in over-the-counter forms. This article only addresses prescription forms of Difortan.
Prescription Difortan oral tablets are available as the brand-name drugs Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. They’re also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name drug.
Maximum recommended daily dose
People should only use OTC Difortan for a short-term period of between 3–5 days for pain and no more than 3 days for fever. If they need ongoing treatment, people should consult their doctor first.
For children between 2–12 years old, the maximum daily dose by weight is 20 mg/kg. They should not be taking more than 1,000 mg in 24 hours.
When OTC medications, children 12 years and older should not take more than 660 mg in 24 hours.
Studies have not shown any benefit in using daily doses higher than 1,000 mg, but some sources suggest a maximum of 1,650 mg per day for up to 6 months for arthritis.
The frequency and severity of side effects that Difortan causes depend on several factors.
Considerations include the dose and duration of treatment, other medical diagnoses a person may have, and individual risk factors.
The following sections discuss the common and serious side effects of Difortan.
Difortan is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, inflammation, and fever.
What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Difortan?
Common side effects include:
This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your doctor or other medical professional for additional information about side effects or other concerns about conditions related to your health.
Q: Does Difortan cause anemia?
A: Difortan (Aleve, Naprosyn) belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs work by blocking substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation. Difortan is used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation caused by a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, bursitis, gout, headache, ankylosing spondylitis, tendonitis, menstrual cramps, and minor injuries. Common side effects of Difortan include nausea, stomach upset, heartburn, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears. A search of a drug database shows that anemia can occur in up to 10 percent of patients taking NSAIDs, including Difortan. This would be considered a frequent or common side effect. Consult with your doctor if you are concerned about anemia or if you are experiencing symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, pale skin, coldness, or dizziness. This is not a complete list of risks or side effects that can occur with Difortan or any other NSAID. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or local pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Sarah Lewis, PharmD
How to use Difortan Tablet
If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking Difortan and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times a day with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters). Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. To prevent stomach upset, take this medication with food, milk, or an antacid.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed by your doctor or the package label. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed by your doctor.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to two weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.
If you are taking this drug "as needed" (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If your condition lasts or gets worse, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away. If you are using the nonprescription product to treat fever, consult the doctor right away if the fever worsens or lasts more than 3 days.
“Be careful not to take more than one product that contains an NSAID at a time,” says Karen M. Mahoney, M.D., deputy director of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. Taking two NSAIDs together can increase the risk of side effects and serious adverse events. For that reason, it can be wise to only have one NSAID in your medicine chest. It would avoid you reaching for the wrong bottle when you need a second dose.
Always discuss the use of OTC pain relievers with your physician, so you know what you can and cannot use with other medications.
Ibuprofen can interfere with the antiplatelet effect of aspirin, which is a serious warning for those on low-dose aspirin program. Timing is key. If you took the ibuprofen first, wait at least 30 minutes after taking aspirin to take the ibuprofen. If you took the aspirin first, you need to wait 8 hours, according to the FDA. (Timing may vary if you’re using enteric-coated aspirin.)
Another ibuprofen interaction involves the use of alcohol. That combination can increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Difortan comes with a list of drugs it can interact with, which means if you choose Difortan as your go-to pain reliever, you must discuss its use with any physician prescribing you drugs.
It may interfere with:
- Blood thinners
- Blood-pressure medications
- Heart medications
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since Difortan is sometimes used only when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
500 mg is the most that should be taken at any one time, with a maximum of 1500 mg per day. It should not be taken on a regular basis for more than 6 months.
Difortan has some pretty serious black-box warnings on it, so it's important not to take any more than necessary and to use it for the shortest duration possible. Following are the black-box warnings:
Difortan may increase the risk of serious and potentially fatal cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke; risk may increase with duration of use; possible increased risk if patient has cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular disease risk factors; contraindicated for Coronary-Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery peri-operative pain.
GI Risk: Difortan increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and stomach or intestine perforation, which can be fatal; may occur at any time during use and without warning signs; elderly patients are at greater risk for serious GI events.
If this medication won't relieve your pain it's important to talk to your doctor about other medications. In the meantime, these articles may give you other pain-relieving ideas.
- You can take Difortan with or without food. Taking it with food may reduce your risk of upset stomach.
- You can cut or crush the immediate-release tablet to make it easier to take. However, don’t cut or break the delayed-release or extended-release forms. Breaking them apart can increase your risk of stomach damage.
- You may need to space your doses evenly. If you take a regularly scheduled dose, you may space the doses every 12 hours or every 6–8 hours.
Q: I've recently started suffering from osteoarthritis and have discovered that taking Difortan every day seems to keep the pain in check. What are the short- and long-term risks involved in taking Difortan every day?
A: Difortan is in a group of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body and is used to treat conditions such as arthritis. Common side effects of Difortan include dizziness, drowsiness, stomach upset, mild heartburn, and rash. All NSAIDS can increase the risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. This risk will increase the longer you use Difortan. Don't use this medicine just before or after having heart bypass surgery. Seek emergency medical help if you have symptoms of heart or circulation problems, such as chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance. NSAIDS can also increase the risk of serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation. These conditions can be fatal, and gastrointestinal effects can occur without warning at any time while you are taking Difortan. Older adults may have greater risk of these serious gastrointestinal side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of bleeding in your stomach or intestines. This includes black, bloody, or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds. Consult your health care provider for any specific concerns you have about using Difortan. For more information about this medication, go to //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/Difortan. Sarah Lewis, PharmD