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Ketoprofen (NSAID, pain reliever)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jul 21, 2021

Ketoprofen is a generic drug available under different brand names. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and analgesic (pain reliever).

Ketoprofen is part of a class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), specifically a non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor. NSAIDs are used to treat various causes of pain, inflammation, and swelling. It can also aid in reducing fever.


What is ketoprofen used for?

Ketoprofen is for the long-term treatment of chronic inflammatory joint disease and severe osteoarthritis.

It is also indicated in the short-term treatment of:

  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Gouty arthritis pain
  • Osteoarthritic pain
  • Sciatica
  • Pain and edema due to trauma
  • How should I take ketoprofen?

    Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

    For oral tablets, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid. Take it with meals to prevent gastric irritation.

    For topical preparations, apply a thin layer to the affected areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the product. Avoid contact with your eyes, nostrils, and mouth.

    How do I store ketoprofen?

    Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

    There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

    You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

    Precautions & Warnings

    What should I know before using ketoprofen?

    Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
    • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
    • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

    Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

    NSAIDs are generally not recommended for use during pregnancy and is contraindicated for use during the 3rd trimester. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, as determined by your doctor.

    Ketoprofen may be excreted in breast milk. This drug should be used while breastfeeding only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the child, as determined by your doctor.

    A possible alternative for fever and pain relief is paracetamol.

    Side Effects

    What side effects can occur from ketoprofen?

    Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness
    • Drowsiness
    • Gas
    • Headache
    • Heartburn
    • Nausea
    • Stomach upset

    Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

    • Rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Tightness in the chest
    • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
    • Bloody or black, tarry stools
    • Change in the amount of urine produced
    • Chest pain
    • Confusion
    • Dark urine
    • Depression
    • Fainting
    • Fast or irregular heartbeat
    • Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
    • Mental or mood changes
    • Numbness of an arm or leg
    • One-sided weakness
    • Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Seizures
    • Intense headache or dizziness
    • Unbearable stomach pain or nausea
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sudden or unexplained weight gain
    • Swelling of hands, legs, or feet
    • Bruising or bleeding
    • Worsening of joint or muscle pain
    • Lethargy
    • Vision or speech changes
    • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
    • Jaundice

    However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


    What drugs may interact with ketoprofen?

    This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. 

    To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. 

    Drugs with known interactions:

    • Anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin, heparin)
    • Aspirin
    • Corticosteroids
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    • Probenecid
    • Cyclosporine
    • Lithium
    • Methotrexate
    • Quinolones
    • Sulfonylureas
    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
    • Diuretics

    If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

    Does food or alcohol interact with ketoprofen?

    Ketoprofen may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increasing the risk for serious side effects. Do not take this medication with alcohol as it may increase gastrointestinal discomfort and bleeding risk. Take it with food to reduce gastric irritation. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

    What health conditions may interact with ketoprofen?

    This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

    • Kidney impairment
    • Liver impairment
    • Diabetes
    • Stomach or bowel problems (e.g., bleeding, perforation, ulcers)
    • Asthma
    • Nasal polyps
    • Mouth inflammation
    • High blood pressure
    • Blood disorders (e.g., low blood albumin levels)
    • Bleeding or clotting problems
    • Heart problems (e.g., heart failure)
    • Blood vessel disease


    The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

    What is the dose for an adult?

    Joint pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, etc.

    Oral: take 50 mg 4 times a day or 75 mg 3 times a day, up to 300 mg in one day. For extended-release capsules, take 100-200 mg a day.

    Topical: apply 2 to 4 grams of product to the affected areas 2 to 4 times per day. Gently massage the product into the skin over inflamed or painful areas. Use up to 7 days.


    Take 25 to 50 mg every 6 to 8 hours, as necessary. For extended-release capsules, take 100 to 200 mg a day.

    What is the dose of ketoprofen for a child?

    The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients under 15 years old. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    How is ketoprofen available?

    Ketoprofen is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

    • Capsules 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg
    • Extended-release capsules 200 mg
    • Oral tablet 50 mg, 100 mg
    • Topical plaster 30 mg
    • Topical gel 25 mg/g

    What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

    In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

    What should I do if I miss a dose?

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Written by

    Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


    Updated Jul 21, 2021

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