Flurbiprofen (Ophthalmic)

Flurbiprofen is a prescription medication used during ocular surgery to prevent the pupils from becoming smaller, making the surgical procedure more efficient, while it also prevents pain and swelling post-surgery.

Overview

Flurbiprofen is an ophthalmic route solution or eye drops that are given to patients who are having eye surgery. Sold under the trade name Ocufen in the US, it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory class of drug also known as an NSAID. Not only does Flurbiprofen prevent pupil constriction during surgery, thus making the procedure more efficient, it also prevents pain and swelling caused by the procedure.

Flurbiprofen is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic drug that is close in composition to ibuprofen and other NSAID drugs. Flurbiprofen is often used during cataract removal surgery and other surgery on the eyes.

When the body perceives an injury, it releases various chemicals to protect and heal itself. One of these chemicals is a prostaglandin called cyclo-oxygenase. This prostaglandin is also responsible for constricting the pupil as a defensive response to surgical intervention. Flurbiprofen stops the body from producing cyclo-oxygenase, which keeps the pupil open for better access during surgery and prevents inflammatory responses post-surgery.

Patients may be prescribed Flurbiprofen eye drops for use for a one to three week period of time after their surgical procedure to continue anti-inflammatory treatment.

Cataract surgery is necessary when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy over time leading to problems seeing anything even very close up. During surgery, the patient's damaged lens is removed and replaced with one that is lab created, restoring the transparency and vision to the patient.

Conditions Treated

  • Eye surgery
  • Cataract removal surgery
  • Laser eye surgery

Type Of Medicine

  • Anti-miotic ophthalmic solution, pre-operative

Side Effects

Flurbiprofen, by reducing inflammatory responses by various enzymes in the body, may also give certain patients unwanted health effects. Should you experience any of the following symptoms, alert your physician immediately:

  • Red, irritated feeling in the eye or eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Bloodshot eyes or blood in the eyes

Some patients experience other health effects that are annoying but not cause for immediate medical treatment. If you have any burning or stinging sensation in your eye while using Flurbiprofen, it will most likely go away after the drops are absorbed. If this sensation concerns you, however, alert your physician, who can give you alternate medications or advise you on how to ease this symptom.

Nevertheless, health effects other than those listed here may occur in some patients. If you have any changes in your overall health after using Flurbiprofen eye drops, consult your health care provider right away.

Dosage

Your dosage of this medication is written specifically for you by your physician. Do not change the prescribed amount, frequency or term of treatment that has been given to you by your doctor.

As a general rule, adult patients are administered one drop every half hour for two hours prior to their procedure for a total dosage of 4 drops, to prevent intraoperative miosis. Children may be prescribed this medication and will have their dosage amount specifically written for them by their physician.

You may be administering these drops to yourself; if so, you will be given instructions similar to the following to do so safely:

  • Wash hands
  • Tilt back head and gently press a finger to the skin below your lower lid, pulling it away to form a gap
  • Drop in one drop of Flurbiprofen
  • Release the eyelid and close your eye
  • Resist the urge to blink for at least two minutes for maximum absorption
  • Wash hands again in case of any medicine remaining on them
  • Repeat if you do not think you received your dose properly
  • Avoid touching the dropper tip to anything including your eye or skin
  • Keep the medicine tightly closed in the original packaging

Missing a dosage of this medication does not mean you should double dose if your next dosage time is near. If so, skip the missing dose and resume your normal dosing schedule as soon as possible.

Interactions

Patients who have experienced hypersensitivity to Flurbiprofen in the past or those who have reactions to other medications, animals, dyes, preservatives or other items may be at risk for a reaction to this medication as well. Be sure to inform your doctor of any allergies you've had to date.

You will be provided with a patient information hand-out that you should review prior to your procedure, asking any questions of your doctor or nurse prior to your surgery to make sure you understand the process and the use of Flurbiprofen.

Studies on pediatric patients have not provided any data that would indicate that this age group is safe to use this medication or that it is effective on them. Use of Flurbiprofen for children is up to the individual physician.

Geriatric patients have not been studied for the use of Flurbiprofen with any regard to age-related elevation of risks or reduction of effectiveness. Use in these patients is up to the individual physician. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

There have been no studies on pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding with regard to any heightened risk to the fetus or child involved in the procedure that uses Flurbiprofen. Use of this medication on women in these groups is at the discretion of the physician in charge.

Certain medications should not be used together, so it is recommended that you avoid taking other drugs while you are being treated with Flurbiprofen. This includes anything you can get over-the-counter, any herbal, and holistic or vitamin therapies that are available. If you are taking the following medical supplements, be sure to inform your physician before using Flurbiprofen:

  • Warfarin
  • Aspirin
  • Anticoagulant drugs
  • Celebrex
  • Voltaren
  • Lodine
  • Nalfon
  • Ansaid
  • Advil
  • Motrin
  • Midol
  • Indocin
  • Oruvail
  • Orudis
  • Toradol
  • Ponstel
  • Relafen
  • Naprosyn
  • Aleve
  • Daypro
  • Feldene
  • Clinoril
  • Tolectin
  • Miochol E eye drops
  • Miostate
  • Isopto Carbachol

Discuss other interactions with your physician such as the use of tobacco products, the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the consumption of certain foods.

If you have the following health problems, you may not be able to be safely treated with Flurbiprofen:

  • NSAID or aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, Advil, Celebrex, Aleve or Voltaren hypersensitivity
  • Conditions that cause excessive bleeding
  • Herpes infection of the eye

Warnings

Be sure to maintain your scheduled visits to your doctor's office while on this medication so that the effectiveness and safety of Flurbiprofen can be confirmed. Follow all instructions given to you by your doctor exactly and contact them if you have any questions or if anything is unclear.

Do not take these drops by mouth; they are for use in your eye or eyes only.

You may experience blurry vision while under treatment with Flurbiprofen. Before you drive or operate power tools or heavy equipment, let the drops absorb into your eye so that your vision is restored to normal function.

Flurbiprofen may decrease the speed at which your eye will heal after surgery. Keeping all appointments for monitoring checks with your physician is imperative to your safety while using this medication.

Patients who have been diagnosed with herpes simplex infection to their eyes should not take Flurbiprofen.

People who have disorders with blood clotting or who are allergic to the active ingredients of Flurbiprofen should not take this medication. Be alert for symptoms such as itching, inflammation of nasal passages or asthma attacks if you are taking Flurbiprofen.

Those patients who are on anti-coagulation medications such as Warfarin should avoid treatment with Flurbiprofen or have their dosage adjusted.

Patients on eye medications that contain steroids should avoid the use of Flurbiprofen. Alert your physician if you are taking medications that contain Prednisolone, dexamethasone or Ciprodex.

Alert your physician if you injure your eye or develop an infection, as you will need to discontinue use of Flurbiprofen or switch to another medication.

Stinging or burning sensations when you use Flurbiprofen are common and will be short in duration. Should these sensations linger, let your doctor know right away.

Flurbiprofen should not be used in children as there has not been any provided data from studies to determine if it is safe. This medication does travel through the bloodstream and should be avoided by women who are pregnant as it could be harmful to their unborn children. Breastfeeding women should also avoid Flurbiprofen for this reason. Check with your physician for further advice on the use of this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Unless you have cleared it with your doctor, do not take other medications while you are treating your eye with Flurbiprofen. Other drugs, even those sold over the counter, could heighten health risks or diminish the effectiveness of this medication.

Storage

Retain the original packaging that your Flurbiprofen was provided in and use it to store this medication properly. Keep this medicine at room temperature, away from exposure to excessive light, heat or moisture. Do not allow Flurbiprofen to freeze and do not use it if it has become frozen. This medication, as well as others, should be kept out of sight and reach of children and pets.

Expired or unused Flurbiprofen dosages should be disposed of properly according to your physician's instructions for safety. If this is not provided to you by your physician, consult with your pharmacist on safe disposal practices.

Summary

Flurbiprofen is an NSAID type of medication used prior to surgery on the eye to not only provide relief from swelling and pain associated with the procedure but also to make sure the pupil of the eye remains open for easy access. Flurbiprofen drops are to be administered one drop at a time every thirty minutes for two hours prior to surgery, which is a total of four drops. This dosage schedule should be adhered to for maximum effectiveness and safety of the patient.

Burning, stinging sensations and blurry vision right after you administer a dose of Flurbiprofen are common and should not linger. If they do, report this to your physician or medical staff immediately. Patients should not experience any blood in the eye or severe, prolonged irritation and these should also be reported for safety.

Patients who have bleeding issues and those on anti-coagulants should not take Flurbiprofen. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid this drug. Flurbiprofen has not been proven safe or effective on children, so its use is to be determined on an individual need basis. People who have viral eye infections such as herpes should not take Flurbiprofen.

Hands should be washed before and after administering Flurbiprofen ophthalmic solution to your eye prior to surgery. Gently hold back your lower lid, creating a gap for the single drop of medication to be administered in, then close your eye and avoid blinking for at least two minutes while the medication is absorbed.