Any Experience With ARTHROTEC?

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erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 1/21/2007 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey ya'll
Okay, I started Arthrotec (diclofen...blahblah plus that additive that starts with "m"....the bottle is not in front of me now sorry) on Thursday. 
Getting bad abdominal pains plus "d" each time I have solid foods (well even liquids too) and nausea.
Has not reduced in severity since Thursday.
Like MTX...does this go away in time? 
Is this sort of thing common with Arthrotec?
Any personal experience is much appreciated.
I already have read all of the info about this drug...but it never mentions anything about if this subsides in time or not!
I know if it gets tremendously worse to stop the med, but I'm just wondering about other's experiences with this.
Thanks so much.  :-)  
erin
 
{And I know that I'm theoretically NOT supposed to be on this med...because of the Crohns, but I really need off of Prednisone & I do need added pain control for my joints.  I'm in a real stinky position. sad }


Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. Vasculitis of legs. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures. MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions Q3 weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Imuran; Mesalamine; Prednisone tapering from 120mg; Meclizine; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid; Avinza and too many others. 


Ducky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 1/21/2007 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey girlie.. I found this...

Arthrotec has the side effects of diclofenac and misoprostol. The most common side effects are stomach pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea and flatulence. Diarrhea and abdominal pain may resolve after 2-7 days. Magnesium containing antacids worsen diarrhea caused by misoprostol. Taking Arthrotec with food and avoiding antacids containing magnesium may reduce the occurrence of diarrhea. Serious side effects include gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding; liver dysfunction; severe skin reactions. Severe bronchospasms may occur in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma. Like other NSAIDS Arthrotec may cause heart attacks and strokes; accumulation of fluid and worsen heart failure; cause or worsen hypertension and kidney failure.

Hopefully you're still in the 2 - 7 day mark?  Here's the website I got that info from... Medicine.Net

When do you go back to the doc?
Moderator of Arthritis/Epilepsy Forums
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots
Additional Supplements - Multi-Vitamin/Bromelian/Acidophilus/Green Tea
 


elcamino
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 1/22/2007 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Erin,  just the fact that you are experiencing lower GI symptoms with the arthtrotec tells me that you should be very careful because of your crohn's.  I've never taken the drug, so I don't know first hand what side effects are commonly experienced.  I do know, however, that whenever I take an NSAID (any of them), I experience either lower or upper GI symptoms.

 

Elcamino


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan


erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/22/2007 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   

eyes  can't win , can't win , can't win...

my rheummy & GI doc have always nudged me in the direction of NOT TAKING ANY types of NSAID or COX2 ever since they found the Crohns & all of the bowel inflammation problems.

before that however, the rheummy DID want to perhaps try Arthrotec as an adjunct therapy.

my PCP RX'd the Arthrotec for me last wednesday.  aware that i DO suffer an IBD...he still said let's try it.

i was gung-ho for it as well...i mean?  what the heck!

the whole point being, i really REALLY do not want prednisone any longer...and my PCP is a little baffled as to what to RX next as a narcotic.  he seemed just a bit hesitant to RX 6mg of dilaudid nine times a day as needed. {6mg is the dose that helps now...i grew tolerant to the 2mg and 4mg doses}

so in a way, i'm kinda going behind my 2 other doctor's backs by taking the Arthrotec nono i know...bad! 

but i will fess up tomorrow when i see my GI @ the hospital and i will tell em'.  if he's says NO! i won't take em'.

i'm just so darn desperate for something to help you know?

when antiinflammatories work for my RA joint pain and i can't take em'....and left with just prednisone....and the pred is doing more damage than good now! mad just feeling stuck.

when i get the higher dose of dilaudid next month sure it'll help a little....but the only meds that actually help the RA pain is steroids and nsaids.  #6 on Remicade infusion tomorrow....since october i only got like 3 weeks of relief; and then everything got worse again.

of course this is all bothering more than usual because this has now screwed with my mobility and ability to walk. 

thanx El & Duck.

i shall report back as to what happens tomorrow.


wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 1/22/2007 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   

This is the first time I've checked the Arthritis forum - usually am on Diabetes and/or Ostomy.  This topic caught my eye immediately since I was prescribed Arthrotec 75 last week.

I've slept with a wrist splint for years, and wear it when driving long distances, because of carpal tunnel.  Forgot it last Sat night and hand hurt all day Sunday - figured I'd slept on it funny.  Wore my splint Sun night, but woke up with horrible screaming pain in my hand - didn't know what I'd done, but knew something was really wrong.  Went to ER in wee hours; Dr xrayed and said it was an arthritis flare!  Have Never! been told I had arthritis.  He prescribed Arthrotec 75 and I took my first one immediately.

It was magic.  By that evening the hip that had been a bother didn't hinder, the shoulder that didn't work had full range of motion, and the hand -- the hand was great.  I've spent over a year working with a massage therapist on that shoulder, but still couldn't lift the full coffee pot without holding my elbow close to my waist.  Thought I'd done soft tissue damage while scraping popcorn off all the ceilings and painting the entire house.  Maybe not ... the Arthrotec "fixed" the shoulder, too.  There's been enough going on with rectal cancer, permanent colostomy, diabetes, etc that I've never even mentioned aches and pains to the GP.

Good Luck, Erin, in finding something other than NSAID that helps.  Husband takes Pred from time to time and that's bad stuff long term.  I didn't notice any ostomy/GI side effects with the Arthrotec, but I've only had a total of 6 pills.

:-)   Martha



erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/22/2007 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   

:-)  awe Martha thanks...that was kind of you to mosey on over here.

wow, that is fantastic about your experience w/ the Arthrotec.  i am soooo happy for you.  what a relief right?

i know whatcha' mean...i totally bypass many other issues i have just because the RA is just too extreme;  kinda like it's all you can handle at one given time.

i hope the med continues to help you without any ill effects.

visit again soon!!!!!!!!!

sincerely,

erin


Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. Vasculitis of legs. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures. MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions Q3 weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Imuran; Mesalamine; Prednisone tapering from 120mg; Meclizine; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid; Avinza and too many others. 


seechell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 1/22/2007 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never taken it but my sister does and she loves it. She doesn't have to take anything else, such as advil, aleve etc. to compensate for what the arthrotec may not help. I'm going to ask my rheumy about it next time. I'm told it's pretty hard on your tummy but that it will lessen the longer you take it and that you should eat something with it if you're having problems. Lucky me, I have a stomach of iron and can take almost anything without it bothering me. Good luck!

Take Care,
               Chelle
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
  DX: ankylosing spondylitis, periferal neuropathy, chronic migraines/headaches, depression/panic attacks, bi-polar, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, sleep apnea
  RX: synthroid, estradiol, cymbalta, prozac, geodon, lamictal, inderal la, klonopin, seroquel, imiprimine, aspirin, (relpax, maxalt, phenergan, esgic plus, xanax, PRN for migraine)
  Surgeries: hysterectomy 1997, tonsillectomy 2001, deviated septum 2005, cataracts (both eyes) 2006
 
 


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/23/2007 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
eyes   eyes eyes geezaloo!
alright, this is both SAD & FUNNY at the same time.
my very sweet GI dude said:
"Oh wow, this stuff is pretty good.  How are you doing on it?  I give this to some of my patients that have problems with bad constipation because Arthrotec causes massive amounts of diarrhea!" eyes eyes eyes
 
dear Lord.  well, it's the prostaglandin component in he arthrotec that causes the diarrhea.
 
this stinks, literally...even though tied to the bowl, i didn't need to take prednisone while using this stuff.  he said to stop. sad
so, what we did today was double the dose of Remicade, doing the 6MP thing still and he added Entocort.
 
no fair!!!!! mad i thought this was going to be a good thing.
 
as is life.  here's to better days ahead.

EveSasser
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 1/23/2007 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Erin,

I took Arthrotec for a number of months. It really helped me. It is a good drug, BUT, as others have pointed out, it can exacerbate GI problems. I had abdominal cramping. I finally had to go off of it because of uterine bleeding. One of the ingredients is a hormone that also protects against stomach bleeding.

I really FEEL for you in regards to the pain. The only thing that has helped me since stopping the Arthrotec is Enbrel. It gets the inflammation under control and thus reduces the pain. And, of course, the great standby Vicodan: the drug of choice for House. It is a combination of a narcotic and tylenol. It is a good pain reliever and I only needed a very small dose to take the edge off the pain. My shrink prescribed it for me but my GP was willing to prescribe and monitor it if he didn't want the responsibility.

Pain is really a difficult and crummy cross to bear. We need a pain control club.

Best,

Eve

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/24/2007 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Ugh!!! mad Yeah, GI exacerbations I can certaintly attest to that! It's the truth.
I told my GI..."You ain't kiddin'!"
Wow, oh my gosh you poor thing uterine bleeding???? Geesh.
 
You know, I really am pretty darn sad about this.  It's like...what do I choose?  Pain...or non-stop diarrhea?  All I know is that I have not had to use dilaudid on the days when I use Arthotec.
There hasn't been much of anything beside Prednisone & various steroids that help the RA joint pain; even with all of the dmards & TNFs for me all they did was pretty much "slow down" the progression a bit. So when something works a little??? I really don't wanna let it go. sad
It was my GP that prescribed Arthrotec for me...I guess he shoulda' done some reading before he wrote it. Oy!  But I can't blame em'....he's a teddy bear & really will do anything to try to give me a better quality of life.
 
I've been on Dilaudid for I think over a year now about.  But...grown tolerant to it @ the dose I take (2 to 4 mg three times a day). 
He's going to write me for 6mg PRN every 8 hours; see if it makes a difference
I actually brought up switching to Percocet or Vicoden and he said NO!  That I would be going in the opposite direction! eyes He states that dilaudid is more potent & going "down a notch" to percocet or Vicoden wouldn't work.
We shall see what this week brings.  I'm pooped!
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Imuran; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid. 


EveSasser
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 1/24/2007 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean about Arthrotec. It is a very good drug if you can tolerate it. I am still depressed about not being able to take it. This is a wild card, but how old are you? Sometimes hormones affect pain. After all, Arthrotec does have a powerful hormone paired with the NSAID. Maybe a low dose birth control pill or, if you are nearing or into the menopause, a low dose version of premarin. It may not be a viable idea for you, but it could help chip away at some of the pain. I was taking female hormones for a while but they interfered with thyroid testing so I quit.

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/24/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
hey good thinking. i'm 25. but i really do not do well on BCPs. i reality...i'm not supposed to take ANY nsaid.
i totally know what ya mean...i too feel "depressed" by having to stop taking it. especially when so many things have failed and this provided SOME relief.
thanks for sharing Eve.
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Imuran; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid. 


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 2/3/2007 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Eve,
 
Sorry to bug you...but a quick question: With the uterine bleeding...did it stop after you stopped the med?  And also...did you get severe abdominal, groin & back pains with it?
Was there anything they had you do (like any CT scans and such) after the bleeding ceased to rule out internal bleeding?
 
When you get a chance...much appreciated.
Thanks.   Erin 
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid. 


elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 2/3/2007 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ERin, I was wondering about the arthrotec with you. I know that it is considered one of the safer NSAIDS, but with your crohn's--I thought any NSAIDS were a big no-no? I'm sorry that the one thing you found relief with is causing horrible side effects. I know that you know this already, but NSAIDS are fairly toxic drugs. People find out the drugs I'm taking and they're like, why on earth are you doing that to your body. But then they don't think twice about taking an NSAID? My mother had an intestinal perforation that was attributed to NSAID use. My dad has IBD--need I say more? I cannot tolerate them either--and, yes, they did work for me. Relafen, in particular, was wonderful. So was voltaren. GI side effects were intolerable.

I know there is a drug, or drug combo that will work for you. Hang in there (you're probably sick of people telling you that); I can't know your personal experience, but I'm here for you in any way that I can be.

El
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 2/4/2007 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
El thanx, you're the best.
Thing was...I had not taken any NSAIDS in over 2 years. When PCP RX'd it...we both figured, "How much could it possibly hurt?"
Needless to say...can't ever take it again.
So it's really up to the immunosupressants & Remicade now.
Think I've exhausted all options...so steroids it'll have to be.
Ah well...could be worse. It would stink if I weren't able to take narcotics & the DMARDS! So I'll take what I can get.
Thanks again.
:)
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid. 


EveSasser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 2/4/2007 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Sorry to bug you...but a quick question: With the uterine bleeding...did it stop after you stopped the med?  And also...did you get severe abdominal, groin & back pains with it?
Was there anything they had you do (like any CT scans and such) after the bleeding ceased to rule out internal bleeding?
 
When you get a chance...much appreciated.
Thanks.   Erin 
Erin, the uterine bleeding stopped immediately. I also got groin/abdominal pain and loose bowels or diarrhea. Hard to know if the bowel problems were from Arthrotec or from antibiotics, since I have been on abx for a year. I didn't have an CT scans to rule out internal bleeding. The signs of internal bleeding are bowel movements that look black and tarry, and I didn't have those. I don't think the Arthrotec caused any damage, but the uterine bleeding was too scary.

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 2/5/2007 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
than you!!!
so i completely stopped Arthrotec last week. thought i could get away with just using one pill instead of 3...NOPE.
i went yesterday to the ER...i'm fine....no kidey or liver problems & no evidence of any low platelets.
thoughts are that i passed a kidney stone!
but thank you so much for sharing what you went through...i feel better knowing it went away.
you're right...it was very scary.
erin
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid. 

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