Nabumetone (Oral)

This medication is prescribed by doctors for relief from some of the symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, but is also given to relieve pain symptoms of other medical conditions.


Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions like them that cause pain and swelling in the joints can be incapacitating. One of medications prescribed for these conditions is nabumetone. This medication works by reducing the amounts of a certain hormone in the body responsible for causing pain and inflammation.

It is also prescribed by doctors for use on an as needed basis for other conditions, like attacks of gout.

Conditions Treated

  • Gout

Types of Medicine:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

Side Effects

Nabumetone is intended to reduce pain and swelling, but it may have other effects on your body the drug's manufacturers did not mean for it to have. Side effects do not always occur with use of this medication, but you should pay attention to how your body is responding and tell your doctor if they occur.

Some of these side effects will be ones which do not need medical attention and they will probably go away as your body gets used to the medicine. They include:

  • Anxiety

Let your doctor know if any of the above side effects do not go away after the medication has taken full effect or if they become worse with use. They may be able to recommend ways to mitigate some of these effects or prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Other side effects can occur which require medical attention. A list of these effects includes:

  • Appetite loss

There are many possible side effects known to occur with use of this medication, but not all of them are listed. Also, there may be more effects that are unknown at this time. If you believe you are experiencing a side effect not mentioned here, tell your doctor. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any questions or concerns you have related to use of this medication.

While you are taking this medicine, there is an elevated risk of overdose. You should call for medical attention right away if you believe you are experiencing it. Symptoms include:

  • An increase in feelings of agitation, confusion, hostility, irritability or nervousness

It does not happen often, but sometimes a severe allergic reaction can occur with use of nabumetone. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A rash or itching skin


Like all medications your doctor has you on, take this medication as directed by your doctor. Do not take it any more or less often or for longer periods of time than your doctor instructs you to. Also, do not double the dose you are taking, as taking too much can increase the risk of adverse reactions occurring. If you are taking this medication for the first time, it may take up to two weeks for it to become fully effective.

For adults taking nabumetone for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, the recommended amount is 1,000 mg per day. This can be taken as one dose in the morning or in the evening, or it can be taken in one 500 mg dose in the morning and a second 500 mg dose in the evening. If your doctor feels it is necessary to increase the dose, they may do so up to a total of 2,000 mg per day.

For adults taking this drug as needed for attacks of gout, your doctor will determine how high of a dosage and how often you should take it while an attack is happening.

For children taking this medication, your doctor will determine what it is used for and how high of a dosage your child should take. A recommended amount has not been determined for this age group at this time.

If a dose of this medicine is missed, you should take it as soon as you remember needing to take it. However, if you do not remember missing a dose until it is nearly time to take the next one, then skip the dose you missed and take the next one at its normally scheduled time.

If your doctor's instructions for you to take this medication are "as needed" instead of on a regular schedule, take it when you feel the first signs of pain in your body. Pain medications are most effective when they are taken early on, and may only provide limited benefits if taken after the pain worsens.

Take this medication with at least 8 ounces / 240 milliliters of water. If you find it upsets your stomach, take it with an antacid, milk, or food instead. If you need to lay down, wait until at least ten minutes after taking this medication to do so.


While nabumetone is intended to help ease pain and swelling, there are drugs, food or drink choices, and medical conditions that can cause it to work within your body in ways it was not meant to work. Disclosing all information about prescription medications, nonprescription drugs, and vitamin and nutritional supplements you take, medical conditions you already have, and dietary or lifestyle choices you make to your doctor will help them determine if this medication is right for you and in what amounts will be most beneficial.

Drug Interactions:

There are many medications that can negate the effects of nabumetone or create different problems for patients taking both. Negative interactions like these are commonly known to occur with:

  • Antihistamines like cetirizine

This is not a complete list of medications and supplements capable of interacting with this drug. Always be prepared to give your doctor a list of what you are already taking so they can determine the best course of treatment for you.

Food & Alcohol Interactions:

Use caution when drinking alcohol while taking this medication, as it can enhance some of the negative side effects - like dizziness and drowsiness.

Disease Interactions:

There are several medical conditions which can occur or be exacerbated by use of nabumetone. A list of these conditions includes:

This may not be a full list of medical conditions that have negative interactions with this medication. Disclose your full medical history to your doctor before starting it so they will be able to determine if it is going to be beneficial for you to take.


Before you start taking this medication, tell your doctor about medical conditions you have had in the past, especially if you have a medical history of asthma, clotting or bleeding issues, esophagus, intestinal, or stomach problems (like ulcers, bleeding or recurring heartburn), heart disease (including high blood pressure or if you have had a heart attack), liver disease, nasal polyps, or stroke.

Let your doctor know if you are allergic to this medication, aspirin, or other NSAIDs (i.e. celecoxib, naproxen or ibuprofen). There may be inactive ingredients in this medication which could cause you to have an allergic reaction or other problems.

If you need to have surgery while taking this medicine, inform your doctor or dentist of any product you are taking. This includes prescription and nonprescription drugs as well as nutritional supplements and herbal products.

Do not take nabumetone right before or after coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery.

Nabumetone could make you feel drowsy or dizzy, and that effect can be heightened by use of marijuana or alcohol. Until you can do so safely, do not drive, use pieces of machinery, or try to do any other activities requiring you to be alert in order to do them.

You may be at greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack while taking this medication, especially if you are taking it for an extended period of time or if you have been diagnosed with heart disease.

Bleeding in your intestines or stomach may occur while taking this medication. It is more likely to happen if you drink alcohol or smoke regularly, are over the age of 60, are already in poor health, are on certain steroids or blood thinner medications, or have a history of stomach ulcers.

There is a risk of serious skin reactions during treatment with nabumetone. Talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms while taking it: chills or fever, cough, sore throat, white spots on your lips or in your mouth, sores, itching, skin that is peeling, blistering, or loosening, red lesions on your skin, joint or muscle pain, diarrhea, ulcers, or feeling unusually tired or weak.

Sometimes kidney issues may occur while you are using nabumetone (or other NSAIDs like it). These issues are more likely to come up if you already have kidney disease or heart failure, are older, become dehydrated, or if your doctor already has you taking certain other medications. Be sure to follow your doctor's directions to drink plenty of fluids so dehydration does not occur. Let your doctor know immediately if you see a change in amounts of urine.

Your skin may become more sensitive to the sun and sunlight while you are taking this medication. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. Do not use sunlamps or tanning booths while on this medication. Whenever you are outside, wear protective clothing and make sure you use sunscreen to protect your skin. Let your doctor know immediately if you have skin blisters or redness or if you get sunburned.

If you are elderly, be cautious when using this drug because your body could be more sensitive to the possible side effects. Kidney problems and stomach bleeding are much more likely to occur.

If you are a woman of childbearing age, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking this medication while pregnant. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant any time soon. You may have trouble conceiving if you are trying, and there is a risk of com/health/miscarriage/">miscarriage if you already are.

This medication is not recommended for women who are pregnant, due to possible harm to the fetus and its potential to interfere with a normal labor and delivery process.

If you are nursing, talk to your doctor about use of this medication, as it is not known whether or not this drug can pass into your breast milk and on to your child from there.


Keep this medication in a tightly sealed container, and store it in conditions that usually remain at room temperature. Somewhere between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit or 20-25 degrees Celsius is best.

Store this medicine away from sources of heat, like a kitchen oven, stove, or range. Also keep it away from sources of moisture, like showers and sinks in the bathroom. Do not leave this medication in a place where it can be exposed to direct sunlight, like windowsills or countertops underneath windows.

Make sure this medication is stored in places out of the reach of children and pets.

Disposal Instructions:

Before disposing of this medication, you should always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the best way to do so. Do not dispose of this medication by flushing it down the toilet or by pouring it down the sink without being directed to do so.

Do not hold onto medications that are past their expiration date or once your doctor has determined you no longer need to use it.


Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are incurable medical conditions which can become debilitating over time. Nabumetone, as part of an overall treatment plan for these conditions, can slow down their progress by reducing pain and swelling in and around the joints they affect. While this medication often provides relief from these symptoms, there are risks involved with its use that can be determined by a patient's doctor. These risks are far easier for a doctor to determine when their patient is honest and discloses their full medical history, daily habits and the drugs and nutritional supplements they take, as well as what they know about their family's medical history.

As a patient, it is always in your best interest to share what information you have about your medical history and your family's medical history, as well as any concerns you have about your condition with your doctor before you start taking nabumetone (or any other medication). There are many ways this medication can interact with your body and what you put into it. The more information your doctor has about what is going into your body, the better they will be able to anticipate the potentially negative impact of these interactions. They may be able to recommend ways to lessen them, or prevent them entirely, so long as they are aware of the potential.

At its most effective, nabumetone is a great aid in the management of inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With this medication, patients are better able to complete other parts of their treatment plan that help slow down the progress of their condition. This, in turn, allows them to enjoy a better quality of life for years longer than they might have otherwise.

Research Links:

  • CVS Pharmacy. "Nabumetone: Oral tablet (750mg)". Link:

Nabumetone is an NSAID used to treat pain and swelling in joints caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It also treats pain brought on by attacks of gout.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Belching
  • Excess gas or air in your intestines/stomach
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling like you or your surroundings are constantly moving
  • Feeling like your skin is burning, crawling or itching
  • Feelings of numbness, tingling, or prickling
  • Feelings of shakiness in your hands, arms, legs or feet
  • Having a full and bloated feeling
  • Having the sensation of spinning
  • Hearing a continuous buzzing, ringing, or other unexplainable noise
  • An increase in appetite
  • An increase in sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss or lack of strength
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Passing gas
  • Shaking or trembling in hands or feet
  • Sleeplessness or trouble sleeping
  • Sour or acid stomach
  • Unusual drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bloody stools or tarry, black stools
  • Breath odor that is unpleasant
  • A burning feeling in the area of your stomach or chest
  • Burning pain in the upper abdomen
  • Chest tightness
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Constipation
  • Decrease in amount of urine produced or how often urination occurs
  • Diarrhea (moderate to severe)
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Feeling tender in the area of the stomach
  • Fever or chills
  • Gain or loss of weight
  • Generally feeling weak or tired
  • General swelling
  • Having a dry cough or dryness in the mouth
  • Having difficulty swallowing
  • Headache
  • Hive-like swelling on any of numerous parts of the body, including feet, legs, hands, throat, tongue, lips, or face
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • An increase in thirstiness
  • Indigestion
  • Labored or difficult breathing
  • Loosening, peeling, or blistering skin
  • Lower back or side pains
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the chest
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • A rash
  • Severe sunburn
  • Skin blisters filled with fluid
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin lesions (usually red and having a purple center)
  • Skin that is itching
  • Skin that is increasingly sensitive to sunlight
  • Skin with pinpoint red spots
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach upset
  • Stomach pain that is severe or continuous
  • Stools that are lighter in color than normal
  • Stools that are the color of clay
  • Swelling or puffiness around the face, tongue, eyes or lips, or of the eyelids
  • Swelling, pain, or stiffness in joints
  • Thinning skin
  • Ulcers, white spots or sores on the lips or in the mouth
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Vision changes
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Vomiting, especially blood or items which have an appearance similar to coffee grounds
  • Welts or hives
  • Wheezing
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in breathing (shallow, slower or faster, or otherwise irregular)
  • Coma
  • Depression
  • Discomfort or pain in throat, upper stomach or chest
  • Feeling unusually dull, sluggish, or drowsy
  • Pale or blue skin, lips, or fingernails
  • Slower heartbeat
  • Stomach pain that is severe
  • Stupor
  • Twitching muscles
  • Swelling, especially in the areas of the tongue, throat, or face
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe dizziness
  • Aspirin
  • Benzodiazepines like alprazolam
  • Bronchodilators like albuterol and fluticasone/salmeterol
  • Calcium supplements
  • Corticosteroids like prednisone
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs like gabapentin and pregabalin
  • Narcotic medications like buprenorphine/naloxone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and tramadol
  • NSAIDs (i.e. naproxen, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen)
  • Nutritional supplements like fish oil, and vitamins B12, C, and D3
  • Proton pump inhibitors like esomeprazole
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) like duloxetine
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like escitalopram
  • Skeletal muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine
  • Statin medications like atorvastatin and rosuvastatin
  • Thyroid drugs like levothyroxine
  • Asthma
  • Fluid retention
  • GI toxicity
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatotoxicity (liver damage caused by drugs and chemicals)
  • Hyperkalemia (excessive levels of potassium which can lead to kidney conditions)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Inhibition of platelet aggregation
  • Rashes
  • Renal toxicities (nephrotoxicities / damage to the kidneys caused by drugs and chemicals)
  • Thrombosis (obstruction of blood flow through the body after a blood clot forms inside of a blood vessel)