Arcoxia oral tablets: Quick facts, FAQs, Side effects, Warnings

Etoricoxib (Etro-KOX-ib), the active ingredient in Arcoxia oral capsules, is one of a group of medicines called Coxibs (also known as COX-2 inhibitors). Coxibs are a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat arthritis, pain, menstrual cramps, and fever. Although Arcoxia can relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation, it will not cure your condition.

Arcoxia may help relieve moderate or severe pain associated with arthritis. The common side effects that can occur with Arcoxia include: stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, gas, heartburn, nausea, vomiting.

What are the uses of Arcoxia?

Etoricoxib (Arcoxia) is used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness caused by:

  • osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by a breakdown of the lining of the joints).
  • rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis caused by swelling of the lining of the joints),
  • ankylosing spondylitis ( a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disorder that primarily affects, but is not limited to, the spine).

Arcoxia does not cure arthritis and will help you only as long as you continue to take it.

Arcoxia is also used to relieve short term pain, in cases such as: 

  • menstrual cramps (period pain).
  • following surgery.
  • dental pain. 

Dosage and Administration

Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of fluid. Arcoxia can be taken with or without food. Do not lie down immediately after taking Arcoxia, to make sure the pills have gone through the esophagus into the stomach. Notify your healthcare provider if you experience painful swallowing or feel that the medicine is sticking in your throat.

If you forget to take your dosage: take it If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, then go back to taking your capsules as you would normally. Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.

if you cannot swallow Arcoxia capsules: You may take this medicine with or without food. If you cannot swallow the capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine to a teaspoon of cool or room temperature applesauce, honey or fruit jam. This mixture must be swallowed right away without chewing and followed with a glass of water to make sure all of the mixture is swallowed.

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information in this article. If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

  • Osteoarthritis dosage: 200 mg once daily or 100 mg twice daily, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis dosage: 100 mg twice daily or 200 mg twice daily. 
  • Ankylosing spondylitis dosage: 100 mg twice daily or 200 mg once daily, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Management of short-term pain and menstrual cramps (period pain):  400 mg as a single dose on the first day and 200 mg once daily on the following days. You may take an additional 200 mg on the following days if needed. You may take Arcoxia for up to 5 days.

For How long should I take Arcoxia?

Depending on your condition, you may need Arcoxia for a few days or for longer periods. Arcoxia will not cure your condition but should help control pain, swelling and stiffness. Keep taking Arcoxia for as long as your doctor advises. Do not exceed the dose recommended by your doctor. 

Long duration treatment: Your risk of developing heart or blood vessel diseases (e.g., heart attack) may increase with dose and duration of use even if you don’t have a history of heart or blood vessel disease. If you need to take Arcoxia for a long time see your doctor for regular check-ups so your doctor can monitor your condition and treatment. 

Quick facts about Arcoxia

  • Arcoxia is an NSAID indicated for use in adults for the management of moderate or severe pain. 
  • Pregnancy: Avoid using Arcoxia after 30 weeks gestation because this may affect the baby’s circulation.  
  • Nursing Mothers: Use Etoricoxib( Arcoxia) with caution as Etoricoxib may be present/ secreted in human milk.
  • The usual adult dose is one or two capsules (100 to 200 mg Etoricoxib) each day .
  • Your doctor may also prescribe another drug to protect the stomach to be taken at the same time with Arcoxia, particularly if you have had stomach problems before, or if you are elderly, or taking certain other drugs as well.
  • Your doctor will prescribe the lowest dose of Arcoxia for the shortest possible time, particularly if you are underweight or elderly.
  • Before taking Arcoxia, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver problems.

Arcoxia- FAQs

Does Arcoxia make you sleepy? Yes, In rare cases, Etoricoxib may cause drowsiness, dizziness or, sometimes, blurred vision.

Does Arcoxia work better than ibuprofen? Which is better for pain? Arcoxia and ibuprofen have been compared in numerous studies for specific types of pain. Results swing both ways: Arcoxia was more effective for pain from ankle sprain, ibuprofen was more effective for dental pain, and both were equally effective for pain from knee osteoarthritis.

How long will Arcoxia take to work? How long will Arcoxia’s effect last? Arcoxia takes approximately 3 hours after oral administration to reach peak concentrations. The pain-relieving effects of Arcoxia last for approximately 12 hours.

For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to two weeks of taking Arcoxia regularly before you get the full benefit. If you are taking Arcoxia on an “as needed” basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur.

Some people will notice the effects of Etoricoxib( Arcoxia) within the first few hours of taking a dose. For others, the effects may not be evident for days and even up to a week or two after the medicine has been started.

Can Arcoxia make you gain weight? Some people may gain weight while taking Arcoxia. In clinical studies, weight gain was reported in 0.1% to 1.9% of people who took Arcoxia for Osteoarthritis.

Can I take Arcoxia every day? The dosage of Etoricoxib is 200 mg daily in single (once per day) or divided (twice per day) doses. If no effect is observed after 6 weeks, a trial of 400 mg daily may be worthwhile.

Is Arcoxia bad for kidneys? Although this Clinical Inquiry concludes that Arcoxia does not appear to worsen renal function, it should still be used with caution for patients who are elderly, hospitalized, or at risk of developing serious complications such as acute renal failure, heart failure, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

What is the difference between Arcoxia andGabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant drug that has an analgesic effect in post-herpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, and neuropathic pain( Gabapentin used in Neurogenic pain associated with diabetes, herps ..etc)

Etoricoxib (Arcoxia) is one of the NSAIDs,  used to relieve some symptoms caused by arthritis, such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Etoricoxib( Arcoxia), cannot be recommended for the long-term administration needed to treat patients with neuropathic pain syndromes( not recommended for neurogenic pain). 

Does Arcoxia affect the heart?

A pooled analysis of data from six studies shows that people who take 400 milligrams of Arcoxia twice a day have three times the risk of having heart attacks, other heart problems, strokes, or cardiovascular disease death, compared with people who don’t take the drug.

Will there be any problems with driving or using machinery?

Very occasionally people have reported that Arcoxia have made them feel dizzy, tired or sleepy. Problems with eyesight have also been reported. If you are affected in this way, you should not drive or operate machinery. 

Etoricoxib while Pregnant

Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant? Although not common, abnormalities have been reported in babies whose mothers have taken NSAIDs during pregnancy. You should not have a Etoricoxib( Arcoxia) during the last 3 months of pregnancy as it may affect the baby’s circulation.  

Are you trying for a baby? Having Etoricoxib( Arcoxia)  may make it more difficult to conceive. You should talk to your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant, or if you have problems getting pregnant. 

What are the side effects of Arcoxia?

Common side effects of Arcoxia, are:

  • Stomach pain.
  • Heartburn.
  • nausea, vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Indigestion.
  • Wind.
  • loss of appetite.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vertigo.
  • Skin rash or spots.
  • Raised levels of liver enzymes in the blood.

When you must not use Arcoxia?

Some people MUST NOT have this medicine. Talk to your doctor if: 

  • you think you may be allergic to Etoricoxib, aspirin, ibuprofen or any other NSAID, or to any of the other ingredients of Arcoxia capsules. (These are listed at the patient information leaflet.). Signs of a hypersensitivity reaction include swelling of the face and mouth (angioedema), breathing problems, chest pain, runny nose, skin rash or any other allergic type reaction.
  • you have now, or have ever had, a stomach (gastric) or duodenal (peptic) ulcer, or bleeding in the digestive tract (this can include blood in vomit, bleeding when emptying bowels, fresh blood in faeces or black, tarry faeces).
  • you have had stomach or bowel problems after you have taken other NSAIDs.
  • you have heart, kidney or liver failure.
  •  if you have established heart disease and/or cerebrovascular disease e.g. if you have had a heart attack, stroke, mini-stroke (TIA) or blockages to blood vessels to the heart or brain or an operation to clear bypass blockages.
  • if you have or have had problems with your blood circulation (peripheral arterial disease).
  • you are more than six months pregnant.

Special Warnings

  • You should take the lowest dose of Arcoxia for the shortest possible time, particularly if you are underweight or elderly.  
  • There is a small increased risk of heart attack or stroke when you are taking any medicine like Arcoxia. The risk is higher if you are taking high doses for a long time.  If at any time while taking Arcoxia you experience any signs or symptoms of problems with your heart or blood vessels such as chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or slurring of speech, contact your doctor immediately.  
  • If you have a history of stomach problems when you are taking NSAIDs, particularly if you are elderly, you must tell your doctor straight away if you notice any unusual symptoms. 
  • Because it is an anti-inflammatory medicine, Arcoxia may reduce the symptoms of infection, for example, headache and high temperature.
  • If you feel unwell and need to see a doctor, remember to tell him or her that you are taking Arcoxia. 
  • Tell your doctor if you recently had or you are going to have a surgery of the stomach or intestinal tract before taking Arcoxia capsules, as Arcoxia capsules can sometimes worsen wound healing in your gut after surgery.
Arcoxia أركوكسيا
Arcoxia أركوكسيا

Arcoxia tablet patient information leaflet