The People's Perspective on Medicine

Flurbiprofen

Overview

Ansaid is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID.

Medications in this class are used to relieve pain associated with arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, minor surgery, bursitis, tendinitis, sprains, strains and other painful conditions.

Ansaid is prescribed primarily for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Side Effects and Interactions

Without question, the most common side effects or arthritis drugs such as Ansaid involve the gastrointestinal tract.

They include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, cramps, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Even ulcers and intestinal bleeding are a possibility.

These problems occasionally occur without obvious preliminary symptoms, leading to a sudden life-threatening crisis due to perforation of the stomach lining.

Older people appear to be more susceptible to this problem and should be monitored carefully. Warning signs may include weight loss, persistent indigestion, a feeling of fullness after moderate meals, dark or tarry stools, anemia and unusual fatigue.

Home stool tests such as Hemoccult or Fleet Detecatest may provide an early indication of bleeding.

Other side effects to be alert for include headache, ringing in the ears, rash, itching, difficulty breathing and fluid retention. Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty concentrating, and confusion are possible; do not drive if you become impaired.

Less commonly Ansaid may produce jitteriness, insomnia, heart palpitations, hair loss, depression, tremor, tiredness, visual disturbances, and sores in the mouth.

Some people become sensitive to sunlight while on Ansaid, so use an effective sunscreen, stay covered or avoid the sun.

Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Ansaid can affect both the kidney and liver, so periodic blood tests to monitor the function of these organs is important.

This medication may adversely interact with alcohol and many other drugs, including aspirin, beta-blocker heart or blood pressure medicine, blood thinners, Lasix and similar diuretics, lithium and methotrexate.

Over-the-counter pain medicines like Motrin1 IB or Aleve should be avoided while you are on Ansaid.

Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure Ansaid is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

People who are allergic to aspirin or other anti-inflammatory agents should avoid Ansaid because of the possibility of allergy.

Symptoms include breathing difficulties, rash, fever, or a sudden drop in blood pressure, and require immediate medical attention.

Taking the Medicine

Because Ansaid can be hard on the digestive tract, the pills may be taken with food to reduce discomfort. Taking Ansaid with food will slow but not reduce its effects.

There are no guarantees that the drug will be safe for the stomach, however.

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    About the Author
    Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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