Arthrotec

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 07/12/2021
Arthrotec Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Arthrotec

Generic Name: diclofenac and misoprostol

What is diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Misoprostol reduces stomach acid and replaces protective substances in the stomach that are reduced by NSAIDs.

Diclofenac and misoprostol is a combination medicine used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in people at high risk for developing stomach or intestinal ulcers.

Diclofenac and misoprostol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, hives, wheezing or trouble breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or
  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Do not use if you are pregnant. Misoprostol can cause birth defects, miscarriage, premature labor, or rupture of the uterus. You must have a negative pregnancy test within 2 weeks before you start taking diclofenac and misoprostol. You may need to start taking this medicine only on the 2nd or 3rd day of a normal menstrual period. Use effective birth control while you are using diclofenac and misoprostol.

Diclofenac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG). Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal.

QUESTION

What joints are most often affected by osteoarthritis? See Answer
Arthrotec Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Diclofenac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac and misoprostol, especially in older adults.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to diclofenac or misoprostol, or:

  • if you have active bleeding in your stomach or intestines;
  • if you are pregnant; or
  • if you have a history of asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. Diclofenac and misoprostol can cause birth defects, miscarriage, premature labor, or rupture of the uterus. Use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

You will need to have a pregnancy test within 2 weeks before you start taking diclofenac and misoprostol. You may need to start taking this medicine only on the 2nd or 3rd day of a normal menstrual period.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Take diclofenac and misoprostol with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Do not share this medicine with anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

If you use diclofenac and misoprostol long-term, you may need frequent medical tests at your doctor's office.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

SLIDESHOW

Slideshow: Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain See Slideshow
Arthrotec Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Arthrotec)?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose (Arthrotec)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. This medicine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the type of antacid your doctor recommends. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb diclofenac and misoprostol.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding caused by diclofenac.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to diclofenac (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

What other drugs will affect diclofenac and misoprostol (Arthrotec)?

Ask your doctor before using this medicine if you take an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect diclofenac and misoprostol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information (Arthrotec)?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about diclofenac and misoprostol.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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