Flurbiprofen eye drops (Ocufen)

Tell your doctor before using these drops if you are allergic to aspirin or to medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Use one drop four times daily, unless you are told otherwise.

The most common side-effect of the drops is a little eye irritation. This quickly passes.

Type of medicineA non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drop
Used forBefore an operation, to help prevent the pupil becoming smaller during surgery
After eye surgery or laser treatment, to ease pain and discomfort
Also calledOcufen®
Available asEye drops (as single-use vials)

Flurbiprofen belongs to a group of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Flurbiprofen eye drops are used to relieve pain and swelling which can be caused by eye surgery, for example following cataract surgery and laser surgery, and some other procedures to do with the eye.

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 using flurbiprofen drops it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you know you are allergic to an NSAID such as naproxen or ibuprofen, or if you have ever had a bad reaction to aspirin.
  • If you have a tendency to bleed easily.
  • If you think you may have an eye infection.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you are taking any other medicines or using any other eye drops. This includes any medicines or creams which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  1. First wash your hands.
  2. Twist off the tab of one of the units to open it.
  3. Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket.
  4. Hold the unit upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
  5. Gently apply enough pressure to the unit to release one drop into your eye.
  6. Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
  7. Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes.
  8. Throw the unit away.
  • 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 the eye drops and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from using them.
  • If you have been prescribed the drops to prepare your eye for surgery, a nurse will put the drops in for you, every half an hour, during the two hours before the procedure.
  • The usual dose after eye surgery or laser treatment is one drop into the affected eye four times daily. You will be asked to use the drops for 1-3 weeks depending upon the type of procedure you have had. Use the drops exactly as your doctor tells you to.
  • If your doctor has recommended you use another eye preparation as well as these drops then leave at least five minutes between putting in flurbiprofen drops and the other drops. This is to prevent more liquid going into your eye than it can handle. Otherwise the drops will overflow from your eye and not have the intended effect.
  • Flurbiprofen drops (Ocufen®) are single-dose units. They do not contain any preservative, so you should not open the units until they are required. Do not keep or re-use any opened units to use later, as this will increase the risk of infection.
  • When they are first put in, eye drops may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear. Make sure you can see clearly before you drive or use any tools or machines.
  • Try to keep the appointments which have been booked for you with the eye clinic. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.

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 flurbiprofen eye drops. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with the drops. Speak with your doctor if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common flurbiprofen side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Eye irritation, stinging or rednessThis should pass quickly
Bleeding in the eyeIf troublesome, speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the drops, 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. Keep the units in the pouch that they come in.
  • Do not use after the expiry date which is printed on the unit. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

The drops are for use in the eyes only. If someone swallows some by accident, 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.

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

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.

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, Ocufen Eye Drops®; Allergan Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2014.
  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Current Version:
Helen Allen
Peer Reviewer:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Document ID:
13613 (v2)
Last Checked:
15 January 2014
Next Review:
14 January 2017
The Information Standard - certified member

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. Patient Platform Limited 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.