Arthrotec

Generic Name: Diclofenac

  • What is Arthrotec?

    Arthrotec is designed to relieve the symptoms of arthritis in people who are also prone to ulcers. It contains diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for control of the inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. However, since NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers in susceptible people, Arthrotec also contains misoprostol, a synthetic prostaglandin that serves to reduce the production of stomach acid, protect the stomach lining, and thus prevent ulcers.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Arthrotec?

    Arthrotec and other NSAIDs may increase the risk of developing serious life-threatening heart or circulation problems, such as heart attack or stroke, which can lead to hospitalization or even death, especially with prolonged use and in patients with heart disease. These problems may occur without warning signs, so tell your doctor immediately if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or weakness.

    Be certain to avoid taking Arthrotec during pregnancy. It can cause a miscarriage with potentially dangerous bleeding, sometimes leading to hospitalization, surgery, infertility, and even death. Arthrotec can also deform or kill the developing baby. If you haven't passed menopause, your doctor should do a pregnancy test less than 2 weeks before your therapy begins. Once you've started taking the drug, it is vitally important that you also use reliable contraceptive measures. If you do become pregnant, stop taking Arthrotec and contact your doctor immediately.

    Arthrotec and other NSAIDs can cause stomach discomfort and rarely, serious ulcers and internal bleeding in the stomach and intestines can occur without warning and result in hospitalization or even death at any time during treatment. Be alert and tell your doctor immediately if you experience stomach pain, indigestion, or bloody vomit or stool.

  • Who should not take Arthrotec?

    Do not take Arthrotec if you are pregnant.

    Do not take Arthrotec if you had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reactions with aspirin or any other NSAID medication.

    Arthrotec should not be used for pain right before or after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Do not use Arthrotec if you are sensitive to any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Arthrotec?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Arthrotec. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver disease, ulcers or bleeding in the stomach or intestines, high blood pressure or heart failure, or if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Osteoarthritis

    Adults: The recommended dose is one tablet of Arthrotec 50 three times daily.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Adults: The recommended dose is one tablet of Arthrotec 50 three or four times daily.

  • How should I take Arthrotec?

    Take Arthrotec exactly as prescribed and at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration. Take Arthrotec with meals to minimize possible diarrhea. Antacids containing magnesium can make Arthrotec-induced diarrhea worse. If you need an antacid, use one containing aluminum or calcium instead.

    Swallow Arthrotec tablets whole and do not chew, crush, or dissolve.

  • What should I avoid while taking Arthrotec?

    Avoid the use of alcohol while taking this medication. Do not take aspirin or other NSAIDs while taking Arthrotec. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter products that may contain aspirin or other NSAIDs. Avoid using antacids that contain magnesium.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Arthrotec?

    If Arthrotec is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Arthrotec with the following: alcohol, aspirin; blood pressure medications such as diltiazem hydrochloride, enalapril maleate, nifedipine, and propranolol; corticosteroids; cyclosporine; digoxin; diuretics; glipizide; glyburide; insulin; lithium; magnesium-containing antacids; methotrexate; phenobarbital; prednisolone; and warfarin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Arthrotec?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, gas, nausea, vomiting, dizziness

  • Can I receive Arthrotec if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not begin treatment with Arthrotec if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or you are breastfeeding. Use reliable contraception while you are being treated with Arthrotec. This drug appears in breast milk, so your doctor may have you stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Arthrotec is finished.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Arthrotec?

    If you are following a regular schedule, take the dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next one, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Arthrotec?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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