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Ketoprofen is a medication to ease pain, swelling, and joint stiffness due to arthritis. Ketoprofen capsules can be used to treat mild to moderate pain or menstrual pain. However, its capsule form does not work fast enough to relieve acute pain.

Ketoprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medicine works by blocking the production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. This medicine helps reduce swelling, pain, or fever.

If you have a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments or other medications to treat pain.

Dosage Considerations for Ketoprofen

Condition: Ankylosing spondylitis, Bursitis, Osteoarthritis, Pain and inflammation due to musculoskeletal and joint disorders, Postoperative pain, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Tendinitis.

  • Oral dosage for adults: 50 mg 4 times a day or 75 mg tid. Max: 300 mg daily.
  • Oral dosage for the elderly: The lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

Condition: Dysmenorrhea and mild to moderate pain

  • Oral dosage for adults: 25-50 mg for 6-8 hours as needed.
  • Oral dosage for the elderly: The lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

Condition: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Rectal dose for adults: 100 mg once a day at night or 2 times a day. Max: 200 mg daily.

Condition: Local pain

  • Topical dosage for adults (as a 2.5% gel): Approximately 2-4 g, 2-4 times a day. Gently massage the sore or inflamed area for up to 7 days.
  • Topical dosage for children ≥15 years: (as a 2.5% gel): Same as dosage for adults.

General Guidelines

Use ketoprofen as directed by your doctor. Below is how ketoprofen should be used: 

  • If you are using the over-the-counter product from a pharmacy, read all directions on the product package before taking ketoprofen. If your doctor prescribes this medication, read the medication guide if available. 
  • Read the information available before you start taking ketoprofen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Take ketoprofen 3 to 4 times a day with a full glass of water or as directed by your doctor. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this medicine. If you have a stomach upset after taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
  • Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce the risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a longer time than your doctor has recommended.
  • Do not take over-the-counter drugs for more than 10 days unless as directed by your doctor. For conditions such as arthritis, continue taking ketoprofen as otherwise directed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you are taking ketoprofen as needed, remember that pain relievers work best if you are taking them when the first signs of pain appear. If you wait until the pain worsens, the medicine may not work very well.
  • If you are using this medicine to treat migraines and the pain does not go away, or if the condition has worsened after the first dose, tell your doctor right away.
  • For certain conditions such as arthritis, it may take up to 2 weeks to take this medication regularly until you get the maximum benefits.
  • If you develop new symptoms, think you have a serious medical problem, or your condition worsens, seek medical help immediately.

What is Ketoprofen Used For

Ketoprofen can be used for treatments such as:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Local pain reliever
  • Postoperative pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Pain due to musculoskeletal disorders and joints

Contraindications for Ketoprofen

It is preferable to discuss with your doctor first if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Mastocytosis
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney transplant
  • History of kidney donors
  • Chronic heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe liver disease
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • History of gastric bypass surgery
  • High stomach acid
  • Low amount of albumin protein in the blood
  • Chronic kidney disease before stage 4 and stage 5
  • Increased risk of bleeding from blood clotting


Be aware of some precautions before taking ketoprofen:

  • Ketoprofen can put you at risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you do not have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine before or after heart bypass surgery.
  • Ketoprofen can also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding–which can be fatal. This condition may occur without warning when you are taking ketoprofen, especially in older adults.
  • You should not use ketoprofen if you have allergies, or if you have had an asthma attack or a severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or NSAIDs.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe for you, particularly if you have the following conditions:
    • Asthma
    • Stroke
    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Fluid retention
    • High cholesterol
    • Heart disease
    • Heart attack
    • Blood clots
    • High blood pressure
    • Liver or kidney disease
    • Stomach bleeding
  • If you are pregnant, you should not take ketoprofen unless otherwise directed. Taking NSAIDs during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause serious heart or kidney problems to the unborn baby, as well as possible pregnancy complications.
  • Ask your doctor before using ketoprofen if you are breastfeeding.
  • Ketoprofen is not to be consumed by anyone under the age of 18.

Ketoprofen Drug Interactions

Ask your doctor before using ketoprofen if you are taking an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with NSAIDs can cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using ketoprofen with other medicines, especially:

  • Lithium
  • Probenecid
  • Methotrexate
  • Blood thinners (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • Heart or blood pressure medications, including diuretics
  • Steroid drugs (such as prednisone)

Other medications can also interact with ketoprofen, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products.

List of Ketoprofen Side Effects

Seek emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction, such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Skin pain
  • Itchy rash
  • Sore throat
  • Severe skin rash
  • Burning eyes
  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin blisters and peels
  • Swollen face or throat
  • Reddish-purple rash

Seek emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke, such as:

  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that spreads to regions of your jaw or shoulder
  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body

Common side effects of ketoprofen include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Stomach upset and gas

Stop using ketoprofen and tell your doctor immediately if you have side effects such as: 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling or rapid weight gain
  • Nausea, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms (such as fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, and weakness)
  • Red rash
  • Symptoms of stomach bleeding, such as bloody stools, coughing up blood, or coffee ground vomitus
  • Liver disorders indicated by symptoms of loss of appetite, pain on the right side of your upper abdomen, fatigue, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Kidney problems with symptoms of low or no urine output, swelling in the feet or ankles, tiredness or shortness of breath
  • Anemia manifested by symptoms of pale skin, unusual fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, or cold hands and feet

Book a consultation with your doctor or pharmacist through Smarter Health to find out more about the recommended dosage for ketoprofen and its proper use based on your condition. Smarter Health allows you to access healthcare services whenever you need them. 

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