Arthrotec® is a medication used to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is a combination of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) and a gastrointestinal mucosal protectant medicine. The most common side effects of Arthrotec® are related to the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system.
Gastrointestinal side effects of Arthrotec® can be serious. Vomiting a material that looks like coffee grounds could be an indication of bleeding in the stomach that needs medical evaluation. Black, tarry-looking fecal matter could be a sign of intestinal bleeding and should be reported. Pale fecal matter may indicate a liver disorder is developing. Some people have noticed a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes that could also point to liver problems.
Many people have diarrhea and nausea immediately after taking the first dose of the medication. It may be quickly followed by vomiting, flatulence, and abdominal pain. Some people have reported heartburn or indigestion as a result of taking Arthrotec®. These side effects of Arthrotec® may diminish as treatment continues.
Severe side effects of Arthrotec® are varied, and should be immediately reported to the doctor. Swelling of the lips, face, throat, and difficulty breathing could be signs of an anaphylactic reaction and should be evaluated promptly. A peeling red rash that blisters can indicate a severe allergic response and the need for medical attention.
Side effects of Arthrotec® can affect the kidneys and the circulatory system. Urine that changes to a dark color or a significant reduction in the amount of urine produced may indicate kidney trouble. An unsafe increase in blood pressure can be signaled by a sudden headache, blurry vision, and chest pain. Trouble concentrating and seizures can also be indicative of a blood pressure increase.
Other side effects of Arthrotec® that need to be reported are stiffness of the neck and an abnormal sensitivity to light. Any unexplained bruising or tingling in the arms and legs needs to be reported to the physician. Chills and purplish spots on the skin can indicate circulation troubles resulting from taking Arthrotec®.
Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are not advised to take this medication. The medicine is reported to cause spontaneous abortion and birth defects. If a woman is prescribed this medicine, she should take it following the last day of her menstrual period. Some women have unexplained vaginal bleeding and cramping while taking this medication.