Dexketoprofen is a painkiller.
It belongs to a group of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The usual dose is either half a 25 mg tablet every 4-6 hours, or one 25 mg tablet every 8 hours. Your doctor will tell you which dose is right for you.
Pain relief is more rapid if dexketoprofen is taken when your stomach is empty - this means taking the tablets about 30 minutes before food.
|Type of medicine||Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)|
|Used for||Short-term painful conditions|
It works by blocking the effect of chemicals called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help to make other chemicals in the body, called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandins are produced at sites of injury or damage, and cause pain and inflammation. By blocking the effect of COX enzymes, fewer prostaglandins are produced, which means the pain is eased.
Medicines like dexketoprofen are sometimes called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Before taking dexketoprofen
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 dexketoprofen, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.
- If you have a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
- If you are under 18 or over 65 years of age.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have a heart condition, or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have ever had blood clotting problems.
- If you have a connective-tissue disorder, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus, or SLE).
- 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 any other NSAID (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, or indometacin), or to any other medicine.
How to take dexketoprofen
- Before you start taking dexketoprofen, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about the tablets and provide a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
- Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take and how often to take them, but this will be no more three 25 mg tablets in total each day. Depending upon your condition, you will be asked to take either half a tablet every 4-6 hours, or one tablet every 8 hours.
- Take the tablets with a drink of water. They work more quickly if you take them when your stomach is empty, so ideally they should be taken about 30 minutes before food. However, if taking the tablets makes you feel queasy, then you will be better taking your doses after food as this will help to reduce any feelings of sickness.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless your next dose is due. If your next dose is due, then take the dose which is due but leave out the forgotten one. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your doctor will prescribe you the lowest effective dose of dexketoprofen for the shortest time. This is to reduce the risk of side-effects. Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to.
- Try to keep any follow-up appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- If you have asthma, symptoms such as wheeze or breathlessness can be made worse by dexketoprofen. If this happens to you, you should stop taking the tablets and see your doctor as soon as possible.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with dexketoprofen.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can dexketoprofen cause problems?
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 dexketoprofen. 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 dexketoprofen side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Indigestion, heartburn, abdominal discomfort||If the discomfort continues, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling or being sick, diarrhoea||Drink plenty of liquid to replace any lost fluids. Try taking the tablets after meals|
|Other less common side-effects: constipation, anxiety, headache, feeling dizzy or tired||If any become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience any of the following rare but possibly serious symptoms, stop taking dexketoprofen and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- If you have any breathing difficulties such as wheeze or breathlessness.
- If you have any signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling around your mouth or face, or an itchy skin rash.
- If you pass blood or black stools, vomit blood, or have abdominal pains.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store dexketoprofen
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
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, Keral® 25 mg tablets; A. Menarini Farmaceutica Internazionale SRL, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2012.
- British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) 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.
Dr John Cox