Fastum gel

Fastum gel - Interactions | Unwanted effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Fastum gel contains ketoprofen - a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by relieving pain and inflammation at the site on which it is applied. It is used topically to relieve musculoskeletal pain. It has a positive effect on neck stiffness and lumbago (lower back pain).

The active substance of Fastum gel - Ketoprofen is a drug which can be administered orally for the treatment of pain and inflammation. However, topical application in the form of a 2.5% gel, significantly reduces the risk of side effects because the amount that is absorbed through the skin into the blood is less than 1% of the amount that is absorbed when the drug is given orally.1

Therefore, Fastum gel is a very safe and effective product for the treatment of muscle, bone and joint pain.

What precautions should you take while using Fastum gel?

Do not expose the area of the skin where you applied the Fastum gel to the sun because that may lead to photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to sunlight).

If you are allergic to Fastum gel (ketoprofen) or other similar drugs (acetylsalicylic acid - Aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen and other medications), you should not apply this gel.

Fastum gel should not be applied to the eye area as it can irritate the eyes.

It should not be applied to open cuts, skin lesions, mucous membranes, genital and anal region.

Some people try to alleviate the pain associated with hemorrhoids by applying Fastum gel. This is not smart because Fastum gel is not indicated for the treatment of hemorrhoids and will only irritate the hemorrhoids and worsen the pain.

Although unlikely, Fastum gel can sometimes worsen the condition in patients who have a stomach or duodenal ulcer. If you have an ulcer, consult your doctor before you start to apply Fastum gel.

Fastum gel - pregnancy and breastfeeding

According to the Patient Leaflet, Fastum gel should not be used during pregnancy because there is not enough information on its application in pregnant women. Ketoprofen, in oral form, belongs to a category C which means that it has shown harmful effects on the fetus in animal studies but there is not enough research on its use in human pregnancy. There is still no data from the use of the Fastum gel during pregnancy. Although the amount of the ketoprofen that is absorbed into the bloodstream is hundred times less than when ketoprofen is administered orally, caution still should be taken. Therefore, you should avoid its use during pregnancy, because sometimes even low ketoprofen concentration may cause a problem.

For the same reason, Fastum gel should not be applied during the lactating period.

How you should apply Fastum gel

It is necessary to apply a thin layer of gel over a length of 2 - 4 inches (5-10 cm) on the affected surface of the skin and gently rub it into the skin. Do not cover the region of skin with bandages or other material that can tighten your skin, as this can lead to increased absorption of the drug in the blood and increase the risk of side effects.

Fastum gel is to be administered twice a day. The maximum dose that can be applied is three times daily.

If you apply Fastum gel in the summer months, be sure to cover the affected skin area with proper clothes, because sometimes severe reactions to sunlight may occur.

Duration of treatment should not be longer than a week.

Fastum gel and interactions with drugs, food and beverages

Fastum gel should not be used with the following medications:

  • The aminoglycosides (gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin and others)
  • Oral antidiabetic medicines
  • Antihypertensives (especially diuretics)
  • Cardiac glycosides (digitalis preparations) used in heart failure
  • Lithium (antipsychotic)
  • Medications used in the treatment of gout
  • Medications used to treat cancer

There are no known interactions with food and drinks.

Unwanted effects of Fastum gel

Side effects of Fastum gel include:

  • Redness
  • Eczema
  • Itching
  • Photosensitivity
  • Hives
  • Allergic reaction
  • Angioedema
  • Kidney failure
  • Dermatitis
  • A burning feeling at the application site
  • Ulcer

Side effects occur rarely, if applied in a proper manner.


  1. NCBI link 1

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If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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