Diflunisal is an anti-inflammatory drug that is prescribed to help reduce swelling and pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This drug is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug; it works by stopping the body from producing substances that contribute to inflammation. The drug is taken orally every 8 to 12 hours and takes a couple of weeks to begin working.
Taking this medication puts patients at greater risk of heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes. Patients who currently suffer from heart disease or who have a family history of suffering from heart disease should not take this drug. Patients who have had bypass surgery are especially at risk.
Elderly patients may suffer from ulcers, bleeding in the stomach or perforation of the gastrointestinal tract while on this medication. These problems occur suddenly and can be fatal; patients who suffer severe stomach pain or have blood in their stools while on this medication should seek emergency medical assistance.