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Dexketoprofen for pain


Dexketoprofen is a painkiller. It is called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is also known as an 'NSAID'.

The usual dose is either half a 25 mg tablet every 4-6 hours, or one 25 mg tablet every eight 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.

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About dexketoprofen

Type of medicine

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

Used for

Short-term painful conditions

Also called

Keral®; Skudexa® (dexketoprofen with tramadol)

Available as


Anti-inflammatory painkillers like dexketoprofen are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or sometimes just 'anti-inflammatories'. Dexketoprofen is used to treat short-term painful conditions such as muscular sprains and strains, period (menstrual) pain, and toothache.

Dexketoprofen works by blocking the effect of natural 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.

Before taking dexketoprofen

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 dexketoprofen, it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

  • If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breastfeeding.

  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.

  • If you have a heart condition or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.

  • If you have high blood pressure.

  • If you have any blood clotting problems.

  • If you have high blood sugar or cholesterol levels.

  • If you have a connective tissue disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus. This is an inflammatory condition which is 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, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other NSAID (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and indometacin), or to any other medicine.

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How to take dexketoprofen

  • Before you start taking dexketoprofen, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the tablets and will provide you a full list of the side-effects which you could 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 25 mg tablet every 4-6 hours, or one 25 mg tablet every eight hours. You will be given a short course of treatment - you can stop taking the tablets once the painfulness has gone.

  • 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 suitable for you to take. This is because you should not take dexketoprofen with any other anti-inflammatory painkiller, some of which are available in cold and flu remedies which can be bought 'over the counter'.

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

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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 more common ones associated with dexketoprofen. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.


dexketoprofen side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)

What can I do if I experience this?

Indigestion, heartburn, tummy (abdominal) discomfort

If troublesome, speak with your doctor

Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting), diarrhoea

Drink plenty of liquid to replace any lost fluids. Try taking the tablets after meals

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, bring up (vomit) blood, or have severe stomach pains.

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

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

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.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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