Arcoxia (Etoricoxib)

Arcoxia (Etoricoxib) Dosage and Side Effects

ARCOXIA contains the active substance etoricoxib.  Arcoxia is one of a group of medicines called selective COX-2 inhibitors.  These belong to a family of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Arcoxia helps to reduce the pain and swelling (inflammation) in the joints and muscles of people 16 years of age and older with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout.  Arcoxia is also used for the short-term treatment of moderate pain after dental surgery in people 16 years of age and older.

Proper Use of this medication

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Do not take more than the recommended dose for your condition. Your doctor will want to discuss your treatment from time to time. It is important that you use the lowest dose that controls your pain and you should not take Arcoxia for longer than necessary. This is because the risk of heart attacks and strokes might increase after prolonged treatment, especially with high doses.
There are different strengths available for this medicinal product and depending on your disease your doctor will prescribe the tablet strength that is appropriate for you.

The recommended dose is:
Osteoarthritis
The recommended dose is 30mg once a day, increase to a maximum of 60mg once a day if needed.
Rheumatoid arthritis
The recommended dose is 90 mg once a day.
Ankylosing spondylitis
The recommended dose is 90 mg once a day.
Acute pain conditions
Etoricoxib should be used only for the acute painful period.
Gout
The recommended dose is 120 mg once a day which should only be used for the acute painful period, limited to a maximum of 8 days treatment.
Postoperative dental surgery pain
The recommended dose is 90 mg once daily, limited to a maximum of 3 days treatment.
People with liver problems
• If you have mild liver disease, you should not take more than 60 mg a day.
• If you have moderate liver disease, you should not take more than 30 mg a day.
Use in children and adolescents
Arcoxia tablets should not be taken by children or adolescents under 16 years of age.
Elderly
No dose adjustment is necessary for elderly patients. As with other medicines, caution should be exercised in elderly patients.
Method of administration
Arcoxia is for oral use. Take the tablets once a day. Arcoxia can be taken with or without food.
If you take more Arcoxia than you should
You should never take more tablets than the doctor recommends. If you do
take too many Arcoxia tablets, you should seek medical attention
immediately.
If you forget to take Arcoxia
It is important to take Arcoxia as your doctor has prescribed. If you miss a dose, just resume your usual schedule the following day. Do not take a double dose to make up for the forgotten tablet.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If you develop any of these signs you should stop Arcoxia and talk to your doctor immediately:
• shortness of breath, chest pains, or ankle swelling appear or if they get worse
• yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) – these are signs of liver problems
• severe or continual stomach pain or your stools become black
• an allergic reaction- which can include skin problems such as ulcers or blistering, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat which may cause difficulty in breathing

The frequency of possible side effects listed below is defined using the
following convention:

Very common (affects more than 1 user in 10)
Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)
Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000)
Rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000)
Very rare (affects less than 1 user in 10,000)
The following side effects can occur during treatment with Arcoxia:

Very common
• stomach pain
Common
• dry socket (inflammation and pain after a tooth extraction)
• swelling of the legs and/or feet due to fluid retention (oedema)
• dizziness, headache
• palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat), irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia),
• increased blood pressure
• wheezing or shortness of breath (bronchospasms)
• constipation, wind (excessive gas), gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach), heartburn, diarrhoea, indigestion (dyspepsia)/stomach discomfort, nausea, being sick (vomiting), inflammation of the oesophagus, mouth ulcers
• changes in blood tests related to your liver
• bruising
• weakness and fatigue, flu-like illness

Uncommon
• gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that involves both the stomach and small intestine/stomach flu), upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection
• changes in laboratory values (decreased number of red blood cells, decreased number of white blood cells, platelets decreased)
• hypersensitivity (an allergic reaction including hives which may be serious enough to require immediate medical attention)
• appetite increases or decreases, weight gain
• anxiety, depression, decreases in mental sharpness; seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
• taste alteration, inability to sleep, numbness or tingling, sleepiness
• blurred vision, eye irritation and redness
• ringing in the ears, vertigo (sensation of spinning while remaining still)
• abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), fast heart rate, heart failure, feeling of tightness, pressure or heaviness in the chest (angina pectoris), heart attack
• flushing, stroke, mini-stroke (transient ischaemic attack), severe increase in blood pressure, inflammation of the blood vessels
• cough, breathlessness, nose bleed
• stomach or bowel bloating, changes in your bowel habits, dry mouth, stomach ulcer, inflammation of the stomach lining that can become serious and may lead to bleeding, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation of the pancreas
• swelling of the face, skin rash or itchy skin, redness of the skin
• muscle cramp/spasm, muscle pain/stiffness
• high levels of potassium in your blood, changes in blood or urine tests relating to your kidney, serious kidney problems
• chest pain

Rare• angioedema (an allergic reaction with swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat which may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing, which may be serious enough to require immediate medical attention)/anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions including shock (a serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention)

• angioedema (an allergic reaction with swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat which may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing, which may be serious enough to require immediate medical attention)/anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions including shock (a serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention)
• confusion, restlessness
• liver problems (hepatitis)
• low blood levels of sodium
• liver failure, yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice)
• severe skin reactions

Warnings and Precautions

Do not take Arcoxia:
• if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to etoricoxib or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
• if you are allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin and COX-2 inhibitors
• if you have a current stomach ulcer or bleeding in your stomach or intestines
• if you have serious liver disease
• if you have serious kidney disease
• if you are or could be pregnant or are breast-feeding
• if you are under 16 years of age
• if you have inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or Colitis
• if you have high blood pressure that has not been controlled by treatment (check with your doctor or nurse if you are not sure whether your blood pressure is adequately controlled)
• if your doctor has diagnosed heart problems including heart failure (moderate or severe types), angina (chest pain)
• if you have had a heart attack, bypass surgery, peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation in legs or feet due to narrow or blocked arteries)
• if you have had any kind of stroke (including mini-stroke, transient ischaemic attack or TIA). Etoricoxib may slightly increase your risk of heart attack and stroke and this is why it should not be used in those who have already had heart problems or stroke.

If you think any of these are relevant to you, do not take the tablets until you have consulted your doctor.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Arcoxia if:
• You have a history of stomach bleeding or ulcers.
• You are dehydrated, for example by a prolonged bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
• You have swelling due to fluid retention.
• You have a history of heart failure, or any other form of heart disease.
• You have a history of high blood pressure. Arcoxia can increase blood pressure in some people, especially in high doses, and your doctor will want to check your blood pressure from time to time.
• You have any history of liver or kidney disease.
• You are being treated for an infection. Arcoxia can mask or hide a fever, which is a sign of infection.
• You have diabetes, high cholesterol, or are a smoker. These can increase your risk of heart disease.
• You are a woman trying to become pregnant.
• You are over 65 years of age.
If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor before taking Arcoxia to see if this medicine is suitable for you.  Arcoxia works equally well in older and younger adult patients. If you are over 65 years of age, your doctor will want to appropriately keep a check on you. No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients over 65 years of age.

Children and adolescents

Do not give this medicine to children and adolescents under 16 years of age.

Interactions with this medication

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.  In particular if you are taking any of the following medicines, your doctor may want to monitor you to check that your medicines are working properly, once you start taking Arcoxia:
• medicines that thin your blood (anticoagulants), such as warfarin
• rifampicin (an antibiotic)
• methotrexate (a drug used for suppressing the immune system, and often used in rheumatoid arthritis)
• ciclosporin or tacrolimus (drugs used for suppressing the immune system)
• lithium (a medicine used to treat some types of depression)
• medicines used to help control high blood pressure and heart failure called ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, examples include enalapril and ramipril, and losartan and valsartan
• diuretics (water tablets)
• digoxin (a medicine for heart failure and irregular heart rhythm)
• minoxidil (a drug used to treat high blood pressure)
• salbutamol tablets or oral solution (a medicine for asthma)
• birth control pills (the combination may increase your risk of side effects)
• hormone replacement therapy (the combination may increase your risk of side effects)
• aspirin, the risk of stomach ulcers is greater if you take Arcoxia with aspirin.
Aspirin for prevention of heart attacks or stroke:
Arcoxia can be taken with low-dose aspirin. If you are currently taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks or stroke, you should not stop taking aspirin until you talk to your doctor.
Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):
Do not take high dose aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines while taking Arcoxia.
Arcoxia with food and drink
The onset of the effect of Arcoxia may be faster when taken without food.
Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
Pregnancy
Arcoxia tablets must not be taken during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or think you could be pregnant, or if you are planning to become pregnant, do not take the tablets. If you become pregnant, stop taking the tablets and consult your doctor. Consult your doctor if you are unsure or need more advice.
Breast-feeding
It is not known if Arcoxia is excreted in human milk. If you are breastfeeding, or planning to breast-feed, consult your doctor before taking Arcoxia. If you are using Arcoxia, you must not breast-feed.
Fertility
Arcoxia is not recommended in women attempting to become pregnant.
Driving and using machines
Dizziness and sleepiness have been reported in some patients taking Arcoxia.
Do not drive if you experience dizziness or sleepiness.
Do not use any tools or machines if you experience dizziness or sleepiness.
Arcoxia contains lactose
If you have been told by your doctor that you are unable to tolerate some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.

Other related products

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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