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Diflunisal is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions like arthritis. However, like other NSAIDs, it comes with potential risks and side effects. These may include:

  • Stomach Issues: NSAIDs can irritate the stomach lining, leading to ulcers or bleeding. This risk increases with long-term use, higher doses, and in individuals with a history of stomach problems.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: NSAIDs, including diflunisal, may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, especially in people with pre-existing heart conditions or those using them long-term.
  • Kidney Damage: Prolonged use of NSAIDs can impair kidney function or even cause kidney failure, particularly in individuals with pre-existing kidney problems.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to diflunisal, experiencing symptoms like rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver Damage: Rarely, NSAIDs can cause liver damage or liver failure, particularly when taken in high doses or over a long period.
  • Blood Clotting Issues: NSAIDs may interfere with blood clotting, increasing the risk of bleeding, especially in individuals with bleeding disorders or those taking blood thinners.
  • Other Side Effects: Diflunisal can also cause other side effects such as dizziness, headache, ringing in the ears, and fluid retention.

It’s essential to use diflunisal under the supervision of a healthcare professional, at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible to minimize these risks. Individuals should also discuss their medical history and any other medications they are taking with their healthcare provider before starting diflunisal.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Diflunisal is prescribed primarily for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. It’s commonly used to treat conditions such as arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis), gout, and other types of joint pain and inflammation.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how it should be used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of diflunisal varies depending on the condition being treated and the individual’s response to the medication. It’s typically taken in tablet form, with doses usually ranging from 250 mg to 1000 mg per day, divided into multiple doses.
  • Administration: Diflunisal tablets are usually taken orally with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food, but taking it with food or milk may help reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • Duration: Diflunisal is typically used for short-term relief of pain and inflammation. However, in some cases, it may be prescribed for longer periods, especially for chronic conditions like arthritis. The duration of treatment should be determined by a healthcare professional based on the individual’s condition and response to the medication.
  • Follow Doctor’s Instructions: It’s essential to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider carefully. Do not exceed the recommended dose or take it for longer than prescribed without consulting your doctor.
  • Regular Monitoring: While taking diflunisal, your doctor may periodically monitor your condition and adjust the dosage if necessary to ensure optimal pain relief while minimizing the risk of side effects.
  • Caution with Other Medications: Diflunisal can interact with other medications, including other NSAIDs, blood thinners, and certain medications for high blood pressure. Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to avoid potential interactions.
  • Discontinuation: Do not stop taking diflunisal suddenly without consulting your doctor, as this could lead to withdrawal symptoms or a worsening of your condition. If you experience any adverse effects or have concerns about the medication, discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Other uses for this medicine

Diflunisal is primarily used to treat pain and inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis. However, it may also be prescribed for other off-label uses, including:

  • Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (FAP): Diflunisal has been studied and sometimes prescribed off-label for the treatment of FAP, a rare genetic disorder characterized by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in various tissues, including nerves.
  • Migraine Headaches: Some research suggests that diflunisal may be effective in treating migraine headaches, although it’s not specifically approved for this use.
  • Acute Pain: In certain situations, diflunisal may be used to relieve acute pain, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with injuries.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for diflunisal:

  • Allergies: Before taking diflunisal, inform your doctor if you have any allergies to NSAIDs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen) or any other medications.
  • Medical Conditions: Discuss your medical history with your doctor, especially if you have a history of stomach ulcers, bleeding disorders, heart disease, kidney problems, or liver disease. Diflunisal may not be suitable for individuals with certain pre-existing conditions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Diflunisal should be used with caution during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, as it may harm the unborn baby or interfere with labor and delivery. It’s generally not recommended for use during breastfeeding, as it can pass into breast milk.
  • Elderly Population: Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of diflunisal, particularly stomach bleeding and kidney problems. Lower doses or closer monitoring may be necessary for this population.
  • Drug Interactions: Diflunisal can interact with various medications, including other NSAIDs, blood thinners, certain antidepressants, and drugs that affect kidney function. Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Alcohol: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption while taking diflunisal, as it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your doctor may periodically monitor your kidney function, liver function, and blood counts while you are taking diflunisal to ensure it’s safe for you to continue using it. If you experience any concerning symptoms or side effects, contact your healthcare provider promptly

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully and do not hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have about diflunisal or its use.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions for Diflunisal, there aren’t specific dietary restrictions associated with this medication. However, to minimize the risk of stomach upset, you may take diflunisal with food or milk. If you have any concerns about your diet while taking diflunisal, discuss them with your healthcare provider.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of diflunisal, take it as soon as you remember unless it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Diflunisal, like other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause various side effects. Common side effects may include:

  • Stomach Upset: This can range from mild discomfort to more severe symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.
  • Heartburn: Some individuals may experience heartburn or acid reflux while taking diflunisal.
  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect of diflunisal use.
  • Dizziness: Diflunisal may cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus): Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a possible side effect of diflunisal use.
  • Fluid Retention: Some individuals may experience swelling or fluid retention in the legs or other parts of the body while taking diflunisal.
  • High Blood Pressure: Diflunisal may increase blood pressure in some individuals.
  • Kidney Problems: Long-term use of diflunisal can affect kidney function, leading to conditions such as acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease.
  • Liver Problems: Rarely, diflunisal can cause liver damage or liver failure.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to diflunisal are possible and may manifest as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding: NSAIDs, including diflunisal, can increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcers, which can be serious and sometimes life-threatening.
  • Cardiovascular Events: Long-term use of diflunisal may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular events, especially in individuals with pre-existing heart disease or risk factors.

If you experience any of these side effects while taking diflunisal, or if you have concerns about its use, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider for guidance. They can help assess the severity of the side effects and determine the best course of action, which may include adjusting the dosage, switching to a different medication, or providing additional treatment.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to storage and disposal of Diflunisal, here’s what you should know:

  • Storage: Keep Diflunisal tablets in their original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Avoid storing them in the bathroom or kitchen where moisture levels can be high. Keep the container tightly closed and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of expired or unused Diflunisal tablets properly. Do not flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash, as this can be harmful to the environment. Instead, check with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for guidelines on how to safely dispose of medications.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Medical Attention: If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, seizures, or loss of consciousness, call emergency services immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Poison Control: You can also contact your local poison control center for guidance on what to do in case of an overdose. They can provide information on managing the situation and may advise you to seek medical attention.
  • Do Not Wait: Even if you’re unsure whether it’s an overdose, if you or someone else is experiencing concerning symptoms after taking Diflunisal, don’t hesitate to seek medical help promptly.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Monitoring: Your doctor may recommend periodic monitoring of your kidney function, liver function, and blood counts while you are taking Diflunisal to ensure it’s safe for you to continue using it.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption while taking Diflunisal, as it can increase the risk of stomach irritation and other side effects.
  • Follow Doctor’s Instructions: Take Diflunisal exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or take it for longer than prescribed without consulting your doctor.
  • Drug Interactions: Diflunisal can interact with other medications, including other NSAIDs, blood thinners, and certain antidepressants. Inform your doctor about all medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Allergic Reactions: If you develop signs of an allergic reaction to Diflunisal, such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately and discontinue use of the medication.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about Diflunisal, you can use the medication safely and effectively under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

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