Nefopam for pain relief

Last updated by Peer reviewed by Sid Dajani
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You have been prescribed nefopam to relieve pain.

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

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

Type of medicineA painkiller (a non-opioid analgesic)
Used forPain relief for adults
Available asTablets

Nefopam is a painkiller which is prescribed to relieve moderate 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 can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking nefopam it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breastfeeding.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or any problems with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you have been experiencing any difficulties passing urine.
  • If you have a condition which causes fits (seizures), 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, as well 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 nefopam tablets and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could 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 this is the usual dose, your doctor may adjust the number of tablets you take for each dose depending upon the level of pain relief required - so, you could be asked to take either one, two or three tablets three times a day.
  • Take the tablets with a drink of water. You can take nefopam either with or without food.
  • Try to take your doses at about the same times of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take your tablets regularly.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case take the next dose when it is due and leave out the forgotten dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed 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 while you are taking nefopam because it increases the possibility of side-effects such as feeling sleepy or dizzy.
  • Nefopam could give your urine a pink colour. This is nothing to worry about; 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 more common ones associated with nefopam. 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.

Common nefopam side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick (nausea)Stick to simple foods - avoid fatty or spicy meals
Feeling light-headed or dizzyDo not drive and do not use tools or machines while affected. 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 the tablets, 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.

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.

Further reading and references