• Etoricoxib is taken once daily.
  • Your doctor will check your blood pressure while you are taking etoricoxib.

About etoricoxib

Type of medicine A selective inhibitor of cyclo-oxygenase-2 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Used for Relief of pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
Also called Arcoxia®
Available as Tablets

Etoricoxib is a member of a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This is abbreviated to NSAID. Other NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, indometacin, naproxen and diclofenac. It is used to relieve pain and inflammation in arthritis and gout.

Etoricoxib is also known as a cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitor because it works by blocking a substance in the body called cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) which is involved in the production of irritant chemicals in response to disease. By blocking the action of COX-2, etoricoxib reduces the symptoms of pain and inflammation.

Before taking etoricoxib

Before taking etoricoxib make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you are under 16 or over 65 years of age.
  • If you think you may be dehydrated, for example if you have recently suffered from diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • If you have liver or kidney problems.
  • If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.
  • If you have ever had a stomach or duodenal ulcer.
  • If you have a heart condition, or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.
  • If you have high blood pressure or swollen ankles.
  • If you have ever had blood clotting problems.
  • If you have inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's Disease, or ulcerative colitis.
  • If you have systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus or SLE).
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic or unusual reaction to any other NSAID (this includes aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac and indometacin) or to any other medicine.

How to take etoricoxib

  • Before starting etoricoxib, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
  • Take etoricoxib exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • Etoricoxib tablets are taken only once each day.
  • It is not important whether you take the tablets before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored. Your doctor will want to check your blood pressure while you are taking etoricoxib.
  • Your doctor will try to prescribe you the lowest dose for the shortest time so that you do not suffer from side-effects. If you need to take etoricoxib for a long time, your doctor may want to prescribe another medicine along with it to protect your stomach from irritation.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking etoricoxib.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with etoricoxib.

Can etoricoxib cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this
Indigestion, feeling sick, abdominal pain Stick to simple or bland foods - avoid rich or spicy foods
Dizziness Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other tasks which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert
High blood pressure Your doctor will measure your blood pressure regularly
Swollen ankles, fluid retention, headache, palpitations, bruising, flu-like illness, tiredness, diarrhoea, and wind If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor

Important: If you experience any of the following, speak with your doctor immediately or go to your local accident and emergency department without delay:

  • Any sign of bleeding in the stomach or intestine, such as blood in vomit or dark stools.
  • Any shortness of breath, or swelling of the mouth or face.
  • A severe skin rash.
  • A severe headache with a high temperature and a stiff neck.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store etoricoxib

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.