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Dolobid (Generic Diflunisal)

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Dolobid also known as diflunisal, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and inflammation. While it can be effective for managing certain conditions, there are risks associated with its use:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: NSAIDs like Dolobid can irritate the stomach lining, leading to stomach ulcers, bleeding, or perforation, particularly in long-term or high-dose usage.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: NSAIDs may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, especially in individuals with preexisting heart conditions or those using them long-term.
  • Kidney Damage: Prolonged use of NSAIDs can impair kidney function and may lead to kidney damage or failure, particularly in those with preexisting kidney issues.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to Dolobid, experiencing symptoms like rash, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver Damage: Although rare, NSAIDs like Dolobid can cause liver damage, especially with long-term use or in individuals with liver problems.
  • Blood Clotting: NSAIDs may interfere with blood clotting, increasing the risk of bleeding, particularly in individuals taking blood thinners or with bleeding disorders.
  • Fluid Retention and Hypertension: Dolobid can cause fluid retention and increase blood pressure, which may be problematic for individuals with heart failure or hypertension.

It’s crucial to use Dolobid only as prescribed by a healthcare professional, at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration necessary, to minimize these risks. Always consult a doctor before starting or stopping any medication, and be vigilant for any signs of adverse effects.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Dolobid, or diflunisal, is prescribed for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It’s primarily used to treat conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis: Dolobid can help alleviate pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: It’s also used to manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes joint inflammation.
  • Mild to Moderate Pain: Dolobid may be prescribed for pain relief in conditions like sprains, strains, or menstrual cramps.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how Dolobid should be used, it’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully. Typically:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Dolobid varies depending on the condition being treated, the individual’s medical history, and other factors. It’s usually taken orally in tablet form.
  • Frequency: Dolobid is typically taken two to four times daily, with or without food. It’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed dosing schedule.
  • Duration: It’s recommended to use Dolobid for the shortest duration necessary to relieve symptoms. Long-term use should be avoided unless specifically directed by a healthcare professional.
  • Do Not Crush or Chew: Dolobid tablets should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water. They should not be crushed or chewed, as this can affect their release mechanism.
  • Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may periodically monitor your response to Dolobid and adjust the dosage or duration of treatment as needed.
  • Precautions: It’s essential to avoid exceeding the prescribed dosage of Dolobid, as this can increase the risk of side effects. Additionally, do not take Dolobid if you have a history of allergic reactions to NSAIDs or aspirin, or if you’re pregnant, unless specifically advised by your doctor.

Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice on how to use Dolobid safely and effectively for your specific condition.

Other uses for this medicine

  • Apart from relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, Dolobid may also be used to manage other types of pain, such as musculoskeletal pain or pain following surgery.
  • It’s important to use Dolobid only for the condition for which it was prescribed, as using it for other purposes without medical supervision may not be safe or effective.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Dolobid, it’s essential to follow these guidelines to minimize the risk of adverse effects:

  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have, especially if you have a history of gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding, heart disease, kidney problems, or liver disease.
  • Allergies: Let your doctor know if you have any allergies to NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) or aspirin, as you may be at an increased risk of allergic reactions to Dolobid.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Avoid using Dolobid during the third trimester of pregnancy, as it may harm the unborn baby or interfere with labor. It’s also not recommended during breastfeeding, as small amounts of the drug may pass into breast milk.
  • Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you’re taking, as Dolobid may interact with certain drugs, including blood thinners, corticosteroids, and lithium.
  • Alcohol: Limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking Dolobid, as it may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and other adverse effects.
  • Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may monitor your blood pressure, kidney function, and blood counts regularly while you’re taking Dolobid to detect any potential complications early.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking Dolobid and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification about its use and potential risks.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • Food: Dolobid can be taken with or without food. However, if you experience stomach upset, taking it with food may help reduce gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Avoid Alcohol: It’s advisable to limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking Dolobid, as it can increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects and liver damage.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Take it as Soon as Possible: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do Not Double Dose: Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one, as this can increase the risk of side effects and complications.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you’re unsure about what to do, or if you frequently forget doses, consult your healthcare provider for guidance on managing your medication schedule effectively.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Dolobid (diflunisal) can cause a range of side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Common side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: This is one of the most common side effects of NSAIDs like Dolobid. It can include stomach pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it may lead to gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcers.
  • Cardiovascular Effects: NSAIDs, including Dolobid, may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular events, especially in individuals with preexisting heart conditions or those taking high doses for prolonged periods.
  • Kidney Problems: Long-term or high-dose use of Dolobid can impair kidney function, leading to conditions such as acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease.
  • Liver Damage: While rare, Dolobid can cause liver damage or liver failure, particularly with long-term use or in individuals with preexisting liver conditions.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may experience allergic reactions to Dolobid, which can manifest as rash, hives, itching, swelling (especially of the face, lips, or throat), difficulty breathing, or wheezing.
  • Fluid Retention and Hypertension: Dolobid can cause fluid retention, leading to swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet. It may also increase blood pressure, which can be problematic for individuals with hypertension or heart failure.
  • Blood Disorders: Dolobid may affect blood clotting, leading to an increased risk of bleeding or bruising. It can also cause changes in blood cell counts, such as low levels of red blood cells (anemia) or platelets (thrombocytopenia).
  • Central Nervous System Effects: Some individuals may experience dizziness, headache, drowsiness, or confusion while taking Dolobid.
  • Gastrointestinal Effects: This is one of the most common side effects of NSAIDs like Dolobid. It can include stomach pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it may lead to gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcers.
  • Others: Other potential side effects include ringing in the ears (tinnitus), visual disturbances, skin reactions (such as photosensitivity or dermatitis), and fluid retention.

If you experience any severe or persistent side effects while taking Dolobid, it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider promptly. They can assess your symptoms and recommend appropriate management strategies, which may include adjusting your dosage or discontinuing the medication. Additionally, seek medical attention immediately if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction or any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking Dolobid.

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

When it comes to storing and disposing of Dolobid (diflunisal), here’s what you should know:

  • Storage: Store Dolobid tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets. Avoid storing it in the bathroom or kitchen where it might be exposed to moisture.
  • Disposal: If you have unused or expired Dolobid tablets, it’s important to dispose of them properly to prevent accidental ingestion by others. You can check with your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for guidance on safe disposal methods. Some communities offer drug take-back programs or have specific instructions for medication disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose or emergency, immediately contact your local poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in the United States) or seek emergency medical attention.
  • Symptoms of a Dolobid overdose may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, black or bloody stools, shallow breathing, fainting, or coma.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the amount of medication ingested and any other relevant details to the medical professionals assisting you.

What other information should I know?

  • Dolobid should be taken exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • It’s important to inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to avoid potential interactions.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption while taking Dolobid, as it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects.
  • Long-term use of NSAIDs like Dolobid may increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.
  • Regular monitoring by your healthcare provider is important while taking Dolobid to assess its effectiveness and monitor for any adverse effects.
  • If you experience any concerning symptoms while taking Dolobid, such as stomach pain, indigestion, swelling, or changes in vision, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the use and management of Dolobid, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

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