diclofenac/misoprostol - oral, Arthrotec (cont.)
USES: Diclofenac is used to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. Diclofenac is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Misoprostol protects the stomach from diclofenac's irritating effects. This combination medication is used to treat arthritis in people at high risk of developing stomach ulcers and serious complications such as bleeding.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet and the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this drug.Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve the tablets. Doing so may increase side effects.Take this medication with food to prevent stomach upset and to reduce the chances of diarrhea. Avoid taking antacids that contain magnesium while using this medication because they may worsen diarrhea. If you need an antacid, consult your doctor or pharmacist to help you choose a product.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. To minimize side effect risks (e.g., stomach bleeding), use this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking it as directed by your doctor. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same times each day. It may take up to 2 weeks of regular use before the full benefits of this medication take effect.Inform your doctor if your condition worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Diarrhea and upset stomach may occur within a few weeks after you start taking this medication, and usually last for about 1 week. See How to Use for ways to reduce diarrhea.Nausea, heartburn, gas, stomach pain, constipation, headache, tiredness, drowsiness, and dizziness may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Rarely, diarrhea can become so severe and persistent that it may lead to a large loss of your body's water and minerals (dehydration). Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and get enough minerals/electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following signs: severe/persistent diarrhea, stomach cramps, severe dizziness, decreased amount of urine, muscle weakness.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: difficult/painful swallowing, swelling of the hands/feet, sudden/unexplained weight gain, vision changes, hearing changes (e.g., ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes (e.g., depression), fast/pounding heartbeat, persistent/severe headache, fainting, unusual/heavy vaginal bleeding, menstrual problems/irregular periods.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), unexplained stiff neck, seizures.This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. If you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects, stop taking diclofenac/misoprostol and tell your doctor immediately: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, unusual/extreme tiredness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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