Etoricoxib (pronounced ee-TOR-ee-cox-ib)
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about ARCOXIA. It does not contain all
the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking
ARCOXIA against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What ARCOXIA is used for
ARCOXIA is used for the following:
to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis
to treat gout attacks
to relieve short term pain, including cramp-like pain or discomfort before or during
a menstrual period, and pain associated with minor dental procedures.
Osteoarthritis is a joint disease. It results from the gradual breakdown of the cartilage
that covers the joints and cushions the ends of bones.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, tenderness, stiffness of one or more joints,
and physical disability. The hips and knees are the most commonly affected joints,
but other joints, such as those of the hands and spine, may also be affected.
Osteoarthritis is more common in women than in men. Many factors can lead to the
development of osteoarthritis, including obesity and joint injury (e.g. from sport).
Gout is a disease that causes attacks of arthritis, usually in a single joint. The
affected joint is red, swollen, painful and extremely tender. A gout attack usually
lasts a few days and it may recur.
For more information about osteoarthritis or gout, contact the Arthritis Foundation
in the capital city of your state.
How ARCOXIA works
ARCOXIA belongs to a group of medicines called Coxibs. It works in a similar way
to traditional anti-inflammatory medicines, known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Drugs (NSAIDs), by blocking the production of substances that cause pain and inflammation.
In clinical trials, ARCOXIA has been shown to have a lower risk of serious side effects
on the stomach (for example, bleeding stomach ulcers) than NSAIDs. However taking
aspirin with ARCOXIA may reverse this benefit.
Your doctor may have prescribed ARCOXIA for another reason. Ask your doctor if you
have any questions about why ARCOXIA has been prescribed for you.
The safety and effectiveness of ARCOXIA in children and teenagers under the age of
18 years have not been established.
ARCOXIA is not addictive.
Before you take ARCOXIA
When you must not take it
Do not take ARCOXIA if:
you have an allergy to ARCOXIA or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this
you have taken aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines (commonly known as NSAIDs)
before, which caused asthma, pinkish itchy swellings on the skin (hives), runny nose,
or other allergic reactions
you have had heart failure, a heart attack, chest pain (angina), narrow or blocked
arteries of the extremities (peripheral arterial disease), a stroke or mini stroke
(TIA or transient ischaemic attack)
you have had or are having major surgery on your heart or arteries
you have high blood pressure that has not been controlled by treatment (check with
your doctor or nurse if you are not sure whether your blood pressure is adequately
you have serious liver disease
you have a current stomach ulcer or bleeding in your stomach or intestines
you have serious kidney disease
Do not take ARCOXIA if:
the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering
the expiry date on the pack has passed
If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking ARCOXIA, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Discuss the signs and/or symptoms of serious cardiovascular risks and steps to take
if they occur with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if:
1. you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
ARCOXIA is not recommended for use during late pregnancy. If there is a need to consider
using ARCOXIA during your pregnancy, your doctor will discuss with you the benefits
and risks of using it.
2. you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
It is not known if ARCOXIA passes into breast milk. You and your doctor should discuss
whether you should stop breast-feeding or not take ARCOXIA.
3. you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
asthma, hives, itching, or skin rash
dehydration, for example by a prolonged bout of vomiting or diarrhoea
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
high blood pressure
heart attack, angina, or a blocked artery in your heart
swelling of the ankles, feet or legs due to fluid retention (also called oedema)
narrow or blocked arteries of the extremities
stroke or mini stroke
conditions which increase your risk of heart disease such as diabetes, high cholesterol,
smoking or a first degree relative with heart disease
4. you have a history of ulcers or bleeding in your stomach or intestines
If you take ARCOXIA while you have an infection, it may hide fever and may make you
think, mistakenly, that you are better or that your infection is less serious than
it might be.
6. you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods,
preservatives or dyes.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you
buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and ARCOXIA may interfere with each other. These include:
warfarin, used to prevent blood clots
ACE inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker medicines used to lower high blood
pressure or treat heart failure
some fluid tablets (diuretics)
lithium, used to treat mood swings and some types of depressions
methotrexate, used to treat arthritis and some types of cancer
rifampicin, an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis and other infections
ethinyl oestradiol, used in some oral contraceptives
ketoconazole, used to treat fungal infections
conjugated estrogens, used in some hormone replacement therapies
These medicines may be affected by ARCOXIA or may affect how well it works. You may
need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines.
If you are taking low-dose aspirin to help prevent a heart attack or stroke, do not
stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to because ARCOXIA cannot replace the
use of aspirin for this purpose.
Some medicines should not be taken with ARCOXIA. These include:
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), used to relieve pain, swelling,
and other symptoms of inflammation
aspirin when used regularly for conditions other than to prevent heart attack or stroke.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or
avoid while taking ARCOXIA.
How to take ARCOXIA
How much to take
Take ARCOXIA only when prescribed by your doctor.
For osteoarthritis, the recommended dose is 30mg once a day, increased to a maximum
of 60mg once a day if needed.
For the relief of gout attacks, the recommended dose is 120 mg taken once a day, which
should only be used during the painful period, to a maximum of 8 days treatment.
For the relief of cramp-like pain or discomfort before or during a menstrual period,
the recommended dose is 120 mg taken once a day, which should only be used during
the painful period, to a maximum of 8 days treatment.
For the relief of short term pain after dental procedures, the recommended dose is
90 mg taken once a day, which should only be used during the painful period, to a
maximum of 8 days treatment.
Doses greater than those recommended for each condition stated above have either not
been shown to improve the effectiveness of ARCOXIA or have not been studied. Therefore,
the daily doses stated above for each condition should not be exceeded.
If you have mild liver disease, do not take more than 60 mg once a day.
If you have moderate liver disease, do not take more than 60 mg every second day or
30mg once a day.
Swallow ARCOXIA with a glass of water.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist
When to take it
Take your ARCOXIA at about the same time each day.
Taking ARCOXIA at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also
help you remember when to take the dose.
It does not matter if you take ARCOXIA before, with or after food.
How long to take it
Depending on your condition, you may need to take ARCOXIA for a few days or for a
For arthritis ARCOXIA helps relieve your symptoms but it does not cure it. Continue
taking ARCOXIA for as long as your doctor prescribes it.
For the relief of gout attacks and short term pain, including menstrual pain and dental
pain, ARCOXIA should only be used during the painful period, limited to a maximum
of 8 days treatment.
If you are not sure how long to take ARCOXIA, talk to your doctor.
If you forget to 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, and then
go back to taking your tablet(s) as you would normally.
If you are not sure whether to skip the dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering to take your tablets, ask your pharmacist for some
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (in Australia, telephone
131 126; in New Zealand, telephone 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766), or go to accident
and emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have
taken too much ARCOXIA.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
While you are using ARCOXIA
Things you must do
If you become pregnant while taking ARCOXIA, tell your doctor immediately.
If you get an infection while taking ARCOXIA, tell your doctor.
ARCOXIA may hide fever and may make you think, mistakenly, that you are better or
that that your infection is less serious than it might be.
If you notice any of the following, tell your doctor immediately:
vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, bleeding from the back
passage, black sticky bowel motions (stools), or bloody diarrhoea
These symptoms may occur at any time during use and without warning.
any symptoms that could indicate a severe allergic reaction such as inability to breath
or a serious skin reaction which may occur without warning
You may need urgent medical attention.
If any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pains or ankle swelling,
appear or worsen, stop your treatment with ARCOXIA and consult a doctor, as soon as
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor and pharmacist
that you are taking ARCOXIA.
Additional things to be aware of while taking ARCOXIA:
ARCOXIA works equally well in older and younger adult patients. Adverse experiences
may occur at a higher incidence in older patients compared to younger patients. If
you are elderly (i.e., over 65 years of age), your doctor will want to keep a regular
check on you. No dosage adjustment is necessary for older patients.
If you have kidney, liver or heart disease, your doctor will want to keep a regular
check on you.
Your doctor will want to discuss your treatment from time to time. It is important
that you use the lowest dose that controls your pain and you should not take ARCOXIA
for longer than necessary. This is because the risk of heart attacks and strokes
might increase after prolonged treatment, especially with high doses.
ARCOXIA can increase blood pressure in some people, especially in high doses, and
this could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Your doctor will want
to check your blood pressure from time to time, to make sure that it is safe to continue
Things you must not do
Do not give ARCOXIA to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how ARCOXIA affects you.
The effect of ARCOXIA on the ability to drive a car or operate machinery has not been
studied, although it is thought to be unlikely to have any effect on these activities.
However, as with many medicines, ARCOXIA may cause certain side effects in some people,
including dizziness and tiredness. Make sure you know how you react to ARCOXIA before
you drive a car or operate machinery.
Things that would be helpful for your arthritis
Some self help measures suggested below may help your condition. Talk to your doctor
or pharmacist about these measures and for more information.
Regular exercise can help reduce pain and disability from arthritis by increasing
muscle strength and reducing the load on joints, but it is important not to overdo
it. Walking is good exercise, however, before starting any exercise, ask your doctor
about the best kind of programme for you.
Your doctor may suggest losing some weight to help reduce the strain on your joints.
Some people may need a dietician's help to lose weight.
Hot and cold treatments
These can help to relieve pain from arthritis, including hot and cold packs, or exercising
in a warm water pool (hydrotherapy). Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about
the types of hot and cold treatments available that would be helpful for your condition.
Support devices and aids
These may assist in coping with everyday tasks at home or help to relieve pain in
certain joints. Ask a physiotherapist or occupational therapist for advice about
joint protection, aids and special equipment.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you
are taking ARCOXIA.
ARCOXIA helps most people with arthritis, menstrual pain, or other types of pain,
but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side
effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need
medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice or have any of the following and they worry you:
feeling sick (nausea), vomiting
heartburn, uncomfortable feeling in the stomach
changes in taste
swelling of the legs, ankles or feet
high/increase in blood pressure
unusual tiredness or weakness
signs of urinary tract infection, including painful burning when passing urine
high levels of potassium in your blood
signs of an infection of the breathing passages, including runny nose, sore throat,
seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there
These are the more common side effects of ARCOXIA.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
skin rash or itchiness
pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettlerash
redness of the skin
severe stomach pain
passing little or no urine
yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, also called jaundice
a feeling of pain, tightness, pressure or heaviness in the chest (angina)
increased tendency to bleed/bruise, or tendency to bleed for a longer period of time
– these may be symptoms of reduced platelets in your body
severe pain and swelling following a dental extraction, "dry socket"
gout pain not relieved by ARCOXIA
These may be serious side effects. Some of these may be symptoms of an allergic reaction
to ARCOXIA. You may need urgent medical attention.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to accident and
emergency at your nearest hospital:
swelling of the face, lips, mouth, throat or tongue which may cause difficulty in
breathing or swallowing
vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, bleeding from the back
passage, black sticky bowel motions (stools), or bloody diarrhoea - these may be symptoms
of bleeding stomach ulcers which may occur at any time during use and without warning
shortness of breath, wheezing, or trouble breathing
fast or irregular heartbeats, also called palpitations
rare skin condition with severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose
liver disease including liver failure with symptoms such as loss of appetite, yellowing
of the skin and eyes, and dark coloured urine
These may be serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor
if you notice any other effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
After using ARCOXIA
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take the tablets out of the blister pack, they may not keep well.
Keep ARCOXIA in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C. Do not store
it or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on window sills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place
to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking ARCOXIA or the tablets have passed their expiry
date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
ARCOXIA comes as four strengths of tablets:
30 mg tablet - blue-green, apple-shaped biconvex film coated tablet with 101 marked
on one side and ACX 30 on the other. Available in packs of 5 tablets*, 10 tablets
(starter pack)*, and 30 tablets.
60 mg tablet - dark green, apple-shaped biconvex film coated tablet with 200 marked
on one side and ARCOXIA 60 on the other. Available in packs of 5 tablets*, 10 tablets*,
and 30 tablets.
90 mg tablet - white, apple-shaped biconvex film coated tablet debossed 202 marked
on one side and ARCOXIA 90 on the other. Available in packs of 2 tablets (starter
pack)*, 5 tablets*, and 10 tablets*.
120 mg tablet - pale green, apple-shaped biconvex film coated tablet with 204 marked
on one side and ARCOXIA 120 on the other. Available in packs of 2 tablets (starter
pack)*, 5 tablets*, and 10 tablets.
*Presentation not currently marketed in Australia.
ARCOXIA 30 mg tablet contains 30 mg etoricoxib
ARCOXIA 60mg tablet contains 60 mg etoricoxib
ARCOXIA 90 mg tablet contains 90 mg etoricoxib
ARCOXIA 120 mg tablet contains 120 mg etoricoxib
calcium hydrogen phosphate (anhydrous)
iron oxide yellow CI77492 (30mg, 60mg and 120mg tablets)
indigo carmine CI73015 (30mg, 60mg and 120mg tablets)
ARCOXIA does not contain gluten, sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
ARCOXIA is marketed in Australia by:
Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited
Level 1, Building A
26 Talavera Road
Macquarie Park, NSW 2113
Date of Preparation
This leaflet was last revised on
Australian Register Numbers:
30mg tablet - AUST R 131797
60mg tablet - AUST R 81456
90mg tablet - AUST R 204147
120mg tablet - AUST R 81458
This CMI leaflet was current at the time of printing. To check if it has been updated,
please view our website www.msd-australia.com.au or ask your pharmacist.