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What should I know about Arthrotec before taking it?

There are several important things to know before you take the arthritis drug Arthrotec (diclofenac and misoprostol):

Because it's a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), Arthrotec can significantly raise your risk of developing life-threatening blood clots, heart attack and stroke. The longer you take Arthrotec, the greater the odds you can develop heart problems. And, like other NSAIDS, Arthrotec can trigger dangerous stomach ulcers and bleeding, especially if you're an older person.

In some people, Arthrotec can cause severe skin reactions, including itchy rashes and blistering, as well as fever, so be prepared to keep a lookout for these symptoms, and call your doctor if you develop any of them.

If you're pregnant, or even plan to become pregnant, you should not take Arthrotec. One of the active ingredients in the drug, misoprostol, can cause miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects. Your doctor will ask you to take a pregnancy test before giving you Arthrotec, and you'll need to use an effective form of birth control while you're on the drug.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.