Nefopam for pain relief (Acupan)

The usual dose of nefopam is two tablets taken three times a day.

It can cause side-effects such as feeling sick, a dry mouth, and feeling light-headed.

Nefopam should not be given to children.

Type of medicineAnalgesic (painkiller)
Used forPain relief for adults
Also calledAcupan®
Available asTablets

Nefopam is a painkiller which is used to relieve persistent pain which is not being controlled by other painkillers such as paracetamol or aspirin. Although it is not fully understood how it works, it is thought to interrupt the way pain messages are sent to your brain from your body. This means you feel less pain. It is only available on prescription.

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

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
  • If you have liver or kidney problems.
  • If you have been experiencing any difficulties passing urine.
  • If you have a condition which causes seizures (fits), such as epilepsy.
  • If you are taking 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 this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about nefopam tablets and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
  • Take nefopam exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is two 30 mg tablets taken three times a day, although your doctor may adjust the dose to suit you.
  • Take the tablets with a drink of water. You can take nefopam before or after meals.
  • Try to take your doses at about the same times each day, as this will help you to remember to take them.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose in which case skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • Try to keep any regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
  • You are advised not to drink alcohol with nefopam. Taking nefopam and alcohol can increase the chance that you experience side-effects, such as feeling sleepy or light-headed.
  • Nefopam may give your urine a pink colour. Do not worry about this; it is harmless.
  • If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist first that they are safe for you to take with nefopam. Medicines which have similar side-effects to nefopam will not be suitable for you to take at the same time.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with nefopam. 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.

Common nefopam side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sickStick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals
Feeling light-headedDo not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol
Dry mouthTry chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets
Feeling nervous, difficulties passing urineSpeak with your doctor if either of these becomes troublesome

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

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

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.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

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.

Did you find this information useful?

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Nefopam hydrochloride; Beechmere Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the electronic Medicines Compendium
  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Helen Allen
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
1182 (v24)
Last Checked:
15 October 2013
Next Review:
14 October 2016
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The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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.