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Diclofenac and misoprostol

Generic name: diclofenac and misoprostol (dye KLOE fen ak and mye so PROST ole)
Brand name: Arthrotec
Dosage forms: oral tablet (50 mg-200 mcg; 75 mg-200 mcg)
Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jan 15, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is diclofenac and misoprostol?

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.

Warnings

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 diclofenac and misoprostol 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.

Before taking this medicine

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:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;

  • a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;

  • stomach ulcers or bleeding;

  • asthma;

  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • fluid retention.

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?

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 diclofenac and misoprostol 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.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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?

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

What should I avoid while taking diclofenac and misoprostol?

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. diclofenac and misoprostol 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).

Diclofenac and misoprostol side effects

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.

Diclofenac and misoprostol dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoarthritis:

One tablet (diclofenac 50 mg-misoprostol 200 mcg) orally 3 times a day
Maximum doses: diclofenac 150 mg/day; misoprostol 200 mcg/dose and 800 mcg/day

Comments:
-Monitor response to initial therapy and adjust dose and frequency to fit individual needs; consider titration of individual components if appropriate.
-For patients who experience intolerance, diclofenac 75 mg-misoprostol 200 mcg or diclofenac 50 mg-misoprostol 200 mcg orally twice a day may be used, however these regimens are less effective in preventing ulcers.
-For gastric ulcer prevention, misoprostol 200 mcg 3 times a day is therapeutically equivalent to 200 mcg 4 times a day and both are more protective than 200 mcg 2 times a day.
-For duodenal ulcer prevention, misoprostol 200 mcg 4 times a day is more protective than 200 mcg 2 or 3 times a day, but may not be well tolerated.

Use: For the treatment of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis in patients at high risk of developing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) induced gastric and duodenal ulcers and their complications

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

One tablet (diclofenac 50 mg-misoprostol 200 mcg) orally 3 to 4 times a day
Maximum doses: diclofenac 225 mg/day; misoprostol 200 mcg/dose and 800 mcg/day

Comments:
-For patients who experience intolerance, diclofenac 75 mg-misoprostol 200 mcg or diclofenac 50 mg-misoprostol 200 mcg orally twice a day may be used, however these regimens are less effective in preventing ulcers.
-Monitor response to initial therapy and adjust dose and frequency to fit individual needs; consider titration of individual components if appropriate.
-For gastric ulcer prevention, misoprostol 200 mcg 3 times a day is therapeutically equivalent to 200 mcg 4 times a day and both are more protective than 200 mcg 2 times a day.
-For duodenal ulcer prevention, misoprostol 200 mcg 4 times a day is more protective than 200 mcg 2 or 3 times a day, but may not be well tolerated.

Use: For the treatment of signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in patients at high risk of developing NSAID induced gastric and duodenal ulcers and their complications

What other drugs will affect diclofenac and misoprostol?

Ask your doctor before using diclofenac and misoprostol 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.

Does Diclofenac/misoprostol interact with my other drugs?

Enter other medications to view a detailed report.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.