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Flurbiprofen (Ocufen®, Flurbiprofen®)

By: Dr. Rhea Morgan

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  • Flurbiprofen sodium is a topical drug used to treat certain kinds of inflammation within the eye.
  • Flurbiprofen inhibits the production of prostaglandins and helps decrease the inflammatory response in the eye.
  • Flurbiprofen belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).
  • Flurbiprofen is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Ocufen® 0.03% ophthalmic solution (Allergan), Flurbiprofen sodium® ophthalmic solution (Bausch & Lomb), Flurbiprofen® (Pacific Pharma), and various generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Flurbiprofen

  • Flurbiprofen is used in the treatment of certain types of anterior uveitis and iritis.
  • It is particularly useful in the control of chronic uveitis where long-term usage of topical corticosteroids may produce undesirable side effects. Examples include chronic anterior uveitis in cats, lens-induced uveitis in dogs, and any chronic uveitis in animals with diabetes mellitus.
  • Flurbiprofen may also be used as a preoperative and postoperative anti-inflammatory agent, especially to combat uveitis associated with eye surgery.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, flurbiprofen can potentially cause side effects in some animals.
  • Flurbiprofen should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug, or to any of the topical or systemic NSAIDs.
  • With any NSAID, there is the potential for increased bleeding due to its effect on platelet aggregation.
  • The drug should not be used in the presence of an eye hemorrhage or systemic clotting abnormalities. It may potentially increase bleeding tendencies during eye surgery when used preoperatively.
  • Flurbiprofen delays wound healing and should be avoided if corneal ulceration is present. It should be used cautiously during the active wound-healing phase following eye surgery.
  • It should not be used in cases of glaucoma, and careful monitoring of pressure within the eye is indicated during administration.
  • Flurbiprofen may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is taking could interact with flurbiprofen. Such drugs may include corticosteroids.

    How Flurbiprofen Is Supplied

  • Flurbiprofen is available as a 0.03% solution in 2.5 ml bottles.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Typically flurbiprofen is administered 2 to 3 times daily for the treatment of active uveitis and 1 to 2 times daily for the control of chronic uveitis.
  • As an adjunctive therapy to intraocular surgery, flurbiprofen may be administered 2 to 3 times daily in the two days prior to surgery, and for several days after surgery.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.

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