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diclofenac / misoprostol (arthrotec)

available over the counter: no

uses: symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

mechanism of action: interferes with formation of prostaglandins (chemicals in the body which cause inflammation and make nerves more sensitive); misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin which prevents ulcers and enhances stomach's natural healing

side effects
• commom:
stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence
• less common: fatigue, weakness, fever, dizziness, loss of appetite, dry mouth, menstrual irregularities, depression
• serious: cardiac irregularities, fainting, coma, seizures

concerns: do not use if pregnant ( may cause miscarriages and induce abortion); females must have pregnancy test before use;  avoid if you have had an allergic reaction to NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or arpirin; do not use for more than 4 weeks


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