Ketoprofen belongs to a group of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs), which are used to reduce the pain and inflammation of joints, muscles and tendons affected by Still’s Disease and similar conditions, as well as fever. Quite often, they are the first choice of treatment from your GP, particularly if symptoms are mild.
Brand names include: Ketocid, Ketovail, Orudis, Oruvail, Tiloket.
Ketoprofen works by blocking two substances, known as COX-1 and COX-2, which are involved in producing the inflammatory chemicals released in response to an injury or illness. In doing so, it stops the production of these chemicals and reduces the symptoms of inflammation, including pain, swelling, stiffness and fever.
It usually comes in the form of capsules (50mg, 10mg, 150mg, 200mg strengths), including modified release varieties, but it can also be administered as a suppository, injection, patch or topical gel. You will need to follow your doctor’s directions when taking this medication; it should be prescribed at the lowest dose suitable to avoid side effects.
You may not be able to take Ketoprofen if you have: Asthma, Blood clotting disorder, Liver or Kidney problems, Stomach ulcer, Stomach bleeding, Cardiovascular disease or if you have reacted to any of its ingredients or similar NSAIDs previously.
Side Effects most people experience are gastric but can include:
- Stomach pain/discomfort
- Nausea and sickness
- Indigestion or Heartburn
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nervousness and Mood changes
- Difficulty in Sleeping
- Skin Problems (hypersensitivity)
You will be given an information leaflet if prescribed this drug, always refer to that and seek medical advice if you experience other, significant side effects. Of course, like all drugs, there is also a risk of allergic reaction and so you should see a doctor immediately if you eperience any of the following: Shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the mouth or face, severe skin rash, blistering or peeling of the skin.
Prolonged use of NSAIDs in general have been linked to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk of developing cardio-vascular problems, including hypertension, stroke and heart attack.
Your doctor may prescribe another medication with Ketoprofen to help protect your stomach and prevent gastric problems, especially in longterm usage. There are also a few other things you can try in order to limit unpleasant side effects:
- Make sure that you take Ketoprofen on a full stomach.
- Take the tablet with a glass of milk.
- If you are given a tablet to help protect your stomach, take this half an hour before the Ketoprofen itself.
- To prevent indigestion, take an antacid but do this at least two hours beforehand.
- Eat little and often and avoid spicy foods.
- Drink plenty of fluid.
I only have experience of using the topical gel ‘Powergel’, which contains Ketoprofen. Out of all the pain relief gels I’ve tried, this one was probably the most effective.
Compared to the previous NSAIDs, Ketoprofen is supposed to be safer but not as effective as Indometacin, although it is also useful in Still’s Disease because of its anti-pyretic effect, ie. it reduces high temperature.
Safety and Efficacy of Ketoprofen Patch (ClinicalPharmacology)
Pain and Ketoprofen (Reumatismo) – includes discussion on most NSAIDs