Flurbiprofen Ophthalmic

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is flurbiprofen?

Flurbiprofen (brand names: 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 their directions 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. Shake well prior to administration. 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, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and 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?

The most common side effects include a temporary stinging sensation upon application, and mild redness. Other side effects include smaller or larger than normal pupils. Serious side effects include facial swelling, difficulty breathing, skin rash, bleeding in the eye, or 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, or in conjunction with other topical NSAIDs or topical steroids. It should be used cautiously in pets with known corneal ulcers or other eye injuries, bleeding disorders, diabetes, dry eye syndrome, pregnancy, or pets that are 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 there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working.

How do I store flurbiprofen?

Store this medication at controlled room temperature between 59°F and 77°F (15°C and 25°C). Protect from moisture, sunlight, and freezing.

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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