Naftidrofuryl capsules (Praxilene)

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Take naftidrofuryl capsules three times daily with meals. Swallow the capsule with a glass of water.

Side-effects of treatment are uncommon but can include feeling sick, diarrhoea, and a skin rash.

Type of medicine5HT2 receptor antagonist
Used forBlood circulation problems (vascular disease)
Also calledPraxilene®
Available asCapsules

Poor blood flow can lead to a lack of oxygen in your body tissues. This causes symptoms such as pain and discomfort. So, for example, poor blood flow in your legs can cause pain and discomfort when you walk. Poor blood flow can also cause cold and painful hands and feet in disorders such as Raynaud's syndrome. Naftidrofuryl works by allowing your body to make better use of the oxygen in your blood.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking naftidrofuryl it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had a problem with kidney stones.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about naftidrofuryl, and will also provide you with a full list of side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
  • Take the capsules exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usual to take one or two capsules three times daily with meals. Your doctor will tell you which is the right dose for you, and this information will also be printed on the label of the pack of capsules to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
  • You should swallow the capsules with plenty of water (at least one full glass). This is to help prevent unwanted side-effects (such as kidney stones) and to stop the capsules from becoming lodged in your throat and causing irritation. Do not open or chew the capsules.
  • If you forget to take a dose, don't worry, just remember to take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress and assess how naftidrofuryl is working for you.
  • If you are a smoker, you should try to stop. Smoking can narrow your blood vessels further and will make your condition worse. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you about how to quit smoking.
  • Keep your home warm. The cold cuts down the blood supply to your skin even before you feel cold. If you go out in the cold, wrap up well in warm clothing, especially gloves and socks.
  • Regular exercise will help to improve your circulation. Your doctor can advise you on what type of exercise is suitable for you.
  • Take good care of your hands and feet. Examine your hands, legs and feet regularly for any signs of damage or infection. If you notice any changes, please see your doctor for advice.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with naftidrofuryl. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Naftidrofuryl side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 100 people)What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick, stomach acheStick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy foods. Make sure you take the capsules during your meals or straight afterwards
Skin rashIf troublesome, speak with your doctor
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids

On rare occasions, some people taking naftidrofuryl have developed a liver disorder. If you notice any yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, speak with your doctor straightaway.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the capsules, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

If you buy any medicines 'over the counter', check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your prescribed medicines.

If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, please tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Praxilene®; Merck Serono, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2015.
  • British National Formulary; 70th Edition (Sep 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
3338 (v24)
Last Checked:
23/12/2015
Next Review:
22/12/2018
The Information Standard - certified member

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