NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUG (NSAID)/HORMONE
Arthrotec is a prescription medication that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 to treat people with certain forms of arthritis. Arthrotec is prescribed for those who have a high risk of developing gastrointestinal problems while using traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Arthrotec is used to treat pain, stiffness, and swelling caused by psoriatic arthritis.
Arthrotec should not be used by pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant. Arthrotec should not be used by people who are allergic to aspirin or NSAIDs such as Aleve or Ibuprofen or those with active gastrointestinal bleeding. Do not take Arthrotec while you are also taking aspirin or another NSAID drug. Arthrotec should be used with caution in smokers, diabetics, and people with lupus or a history of heart, liver, or kidney problems, high blood pressure, alcoholism, binge drinking, or strokes.
Arthrotec is a combination drug containing both Diclofenac and Misoprostol. Diclofenac is an NSAID. NSAIDs help reduce fever, pain, and inflammation. Diclofenac is believed to work by inhibiting the production of chemicals that promote inflammation in the body. Misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin, a hormone with many functions in the body. Misoprostol is believed to help prevent and treat stomach ulcers by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
How do I take it?
Arthrotec is taken orally as a tablet two to four times a day. Take Arthrotec with food at the same times each day. Swallow the tablets whole without chewing or crushing them.
If you are a woman of childbearing age, your doctor may ask you to take a pregnancy test before beginning treatment with Arthrotec. You must use effective birth control while taking Arthrotec.
If you need to take an antacid medication while on Arthrotec, consult with your doctor on which type is appropriate. Antacids containing magnesium may worsen some side effects of Arthrotec.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when using or taking Arthrotec.
In an article published in 2005, researchers reviewed scientific literature on the use of NSAIDs and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. The researchers concluded that NSAIDs are more effective than a placebo for treating joint pain, swelling, and tenderness associated with psoriatic arthritis.
In several clinical trials, Misoprostol has been shown to reduce the risk for serious gastrointestinal complications significantly in people who are taking NSAIDs to treat arthritis.
Rare but serious side effects of Arthrotec may include an increase in the risk of stroke, heart attack, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience pain in your chest or left arm, shortness of breath, numbness in your hands or feet, or sudden weakness on one side of your body.
Common side effects of Arthrotec include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, gas, dizziness, and feeling bloated. Some side effects fade after a few days as your body adjusts to the medication.
Contact your doctor if you experience severe stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, black stools that appear bloody or tarry, a change in the amount or color of urine you produce, yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), weight gain, fatigue, skin problems such as rash or hives, mouth ulcers, swelling of the extremities, fast heartbeat (tachycardia), postmenopausal bleeding, or a stiff neck while taking Arthrotec.
Seek medical help immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, severe dizziness, rash, or itching or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat.