Flurbiprofen Ophthalmic

By Lauren Forsythe, PharmD, DICVP; Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is flurbiprofen?

Flurbiprofen (brand name Ocufen®) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat inflammation in the eye and to control pain after cataract surgery.

Its use in dogs to treat inflammation is “off label” or “extra label”. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off-label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as they may be significantly different from those on the label.

How is flurbiprofen given?

  • Flurbiprofen is given in the form of a liquid drop applied directly to the eye. 
  • Wash your hands before administering this medication. 
  • Do not touch the tip of the dropper to the surface of the eye or any other surface. 
  • Give this medication at least 5 minutes apart from other medications used in the eye. 
  • Do not give this to your pet if the medication is cloudy.

This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember. However, if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed, give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Common side effects include:

  • a temporary stinging sensation upon application
  • mild redness

Other side effects include:

  • smaller or larger than normal pupils

SERIOUS ADVERSE REACTIONS associated with this medication may occur without warning. If any of the following signs develop, stop giving flurbiprofen and contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • facial swelling
  • difficulty breathing
  • skin rash
  • bleeding in the eye
  • sensitivity to bright light

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Flurbiprofen SHOULD NOT BE USED in pets:

  • that are allergic to it
  • that are receiving other topical NSAIDs or topical steroids


  • with known corneal ulcers or other eye injuries
  • with bleeding disorders
  • with diabetes
  • with dry eye syndrome
  • that are pregnant or nursing

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

There are no specific drug interactions with flurbiprofen. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is any monitoring needed with this medication?

  • Your veterinarian may recommend recheck examinations to ensure the medication is working adequately.
  • At home, monitor for any side effects such as those noted above. If any side effects occur, discontinue the medication, and contact your veterinarian.

How do I store flurbiprofen?

  • Store this medication at a controlled room temperature between 59°F and 77°F (15°C and 25°C). 
  • Protect from moisture, sunlight, and freezing.
  • Keep the container tightly sealed when not using it.
  • Store compounded forms of this medication according to the label.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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