Bromfenac is the generic name for a medication that doctors can recommend as a treatment for pains such as headaches, toothaches, and muscle strains. It can also be prescribed for dysmenorrheal and pain in the eyes, especially during post-surgery recovery. It can also act as an anti-inflammatory and ease a fever. Bromfenac is available as an oral medication or as a liquid solution that can be dropped in the eyes as recommended.
Categorized as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), bromfenac works just like common pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen: it inhibits certain enzymes from being active and from forming prostaglandins, molecules that “send” pain messages to neurons. Doctors generally recommend patients drink the medicine orally at regular intervals of six or eight hours until the pain subsides, or at most, for 10 days. For the ophthalmic solution, the medicine can be used a day after the surgery and is dropped in the eyes at least twice a day. The duration of treatment is usually two weeks, but an ophthalmologist or a surgeon can prescribe a different dosage and duration for children.
When bromfenac is used as a solution, it is very important that the patient have clean hands and not touch the tip of the dropper, as both of these actions might transfer any bacteria that can lead to infection. To avoid irritation, the patient should not wear any contact lenses while dropping the solution in the eye, and the dropper should not touch the eye itself. Doctors also recommend that the bromfenac solution be applied first before using other ophthalmic solutions, which can be applied after 10 minutes or more. Common and temporary side effects can include a stinging sensation, watering eyes, and blurry vision. Some side effects that require a doctor’s visit are pain, sensitivity to light, and unusual discharge of the eye.
As for the tablet form of bromfenac, patients are advised not to eat foods with high fat and high alcohol content, as these might reduce the efficacy of the medicine. A common side effect of the tablet may be an upset stomach, which can be alleviated by drinking some antacid or milk, although it might delay the medicine’s action. An upset stomach can also be accompanied by dizziness or sleepiness, but some side effects such as vomiting, darkened stools, and rashes should signal the patient to stop taking the medicine and consult his or her physician.
It is important that the patient inform the doctor of other medicines he is using, especially those for ulcer, hypertension, and arthritis, as these can negatively interact with bromfenac. Doctors should also be informed of medication allergies, medical illnesses, and if the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding. Activities that require clear vision or being alert, like driving or operating heavy machinery, should also be done with caution while taking the medicine.