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Etodolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis. However, like all medications, it carries certain risks. Here are some potential risks associated with taking etodolac:

  • Gastrointestinal Effects: NSAIDs, including etodolac, can increase the risk of gastrointestinal issues such as stomach ulcers, bleeding, and perforation. These effects can be severe and sometimes life-threatening, especially in older adults.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: NSAIDs may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly when used for long periods or in high doses.
  • Renal (Kidney) Effects: Etodolac can impair kidney function, leading to fluid retention, high blood pressure, and in severe cases, kidney failure.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to etodolac, which can manifest as skin rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver Toxicity: Rarely, etodolac can cause liver damage or liver failure, particularly with long-term use or in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Etodolac can interact with other medications, including blood thinners, certain antidepressants, and some blood pressure medications, potentially leading to adverse effects or reduced efficacy of either drug.
  • Increased Bleeding Risk: NSAIDs like etodolac can interfere with blood clotting, increasing the risk of bleeding, especially in individuals taking blood thinners or with bleeding disorders.

It’s essential to use etodolac under the guidance of a healthcare professional, following prescribed dosages and duration to minimize these risks. Individuals with a history of gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular disease, kidney dysfunction, or liver disease should exercise caution when using etodolac and discuss potential risks with their healthcare provider.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Etodolac is prescribed primarily for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It is commonly used to treat various conditions, including:

  • Arthritis: Etodolac is often prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pain Management: It can be used to alleviate pain from conditions such as back pain, dental pain, menstrual cramps, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Acute Pain: Etodolac may be prescribed for short-term relief of acute pain, such as after surgery or injury.

How should this medicine be used?

The dosage and duration of etodolac treatment depend on the specific condition being treated, as well as individual factors such as age, weight, and medical history. It’s crucial to follow the prescribing physician’s instructions carefully.

Here are general guidelines for using etodolac:

  • Dosage: The typical starting dose for adults is 300 mg taken orally twice daily. However, the dosage may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to the medication.
  • Administration: Etodolac is usually taken orally with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food, but taking it with food or milk may help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Duration: Etodolac is usually prescribed for short-term use to relieve acute pain or for longer-term management of chronic conditions like arthritis. The duration of treatment will be determined by the healthcare provider based on the individual’s response to the medication and the underlying condition being treated.
  • Do Not Crush or Chew: Etodolac tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed, chewed, or dissolved, as this can affect the drug’s release and absorption in the body.
  • Avoid Alcohol: It’s generally recommended to avoid alcohol while taking etodolac, as it can increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and other adverse effects.
  • Regular Monitoring: Individuals taking etodolac should be regularly monitored by their healthcare provider for any signs of adverse effects or complications, especially if using it long-term.

It’s essential to discuss any questions or concerns about etodolac use with a healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Other uses for this medicine

As for other uses of Etodolac, it’s primarily indicated for arthritis-related symptoms. However, it may sometimes be prescribed off-label for other conditions by healthcare professionals. It’s crucial to only use Etodolac for the purpose prescribed by your doctor and not for self-medication or for treating conditions for which it is not indicated.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions and considerations when taking etodolac include:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have had any allergic reactions to etodolac or other NSAIDs in the past.
  • Medical history: Discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a history of ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver disease, asthma, or other respiratory conditions.
  • Use with caution in the elderly: Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of etodolac, particularly stomach bleeding and kidney problems.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Etodolac should be avoided during the third trimester of pregnancy as it may harm the unborn baby. It should also be used with caution during the first and second trimesters and avoided while breastfeeding.
  • Interactions: Etodolac may interact with certain medications, including other NSAIDs, blood thinners, corticosteroids, lithium, methotrexate, and certain antidepressants. Always inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
  • Side effects: Common side effects of etodolac include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, and drowsiness. Serious side effects such as stomach bleeding, kidney problems, liver damage, heart attack, and stroke are possible, especially with long-term use or at high doses.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol consumption should be limited or avoided when taking etodolac as it may increase the risk of stomach bleeding and other adverse effects.
  • Regular check-ups: Regular monitoring by a healthcare professional is important when taking etodolac, especially if you are using it long-term.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidelines when taking etodolac or any other medication. If you have any concerns or experience any adverse effects, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special Dietary Instructions:

  • Food Intake: Etodolac can be taken with or without food. However, taking it with food or milk may help reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • Avoid Alcohol: As mentioned earlier, limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking etodolac to minimize the risk of stomach bleeding and other complications.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Take It As Soon As You Remember: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Don’t Double Up: Do not double the dose to catch up. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase the risk of side effects without providing additional benefits.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you’re unsure about what to do or if you frequently forget doses, consult your healthcare provider for guidance on managing your medication schedule.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Etodolac, like other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), can cause various side effects. Some of the common side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal Effects: Etodolac can irritate the stomach lining, leading to symptoms such as:
    • Stomach pain
    • Indigestion
    • Heartburn
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gas or bloating
  • Cardiovascular Effects: NSAIDs, including etodolac, may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly with long-term use or at high doses. These effects can include:
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Fluid retention
    • Edema (swelling)
    • Heart failure exacerbation
    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
  • Renal (Kidney) Effects: NSAIDs can affect kidney function, potentially leading to:
    • Fluid retention
    • Reduced urine output
    • Kidney damage or failure (especially in individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions)
  • Hepatic (Liver) Effects: In rare cases, NSAIDs like etodolac may cause liver damage, characterized by:
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
    • Dark urine
    • Abdominal pain
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Elevated liver enzymes in blood tests
  • Hematological Effects: NSAIDs can affect blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. This can manifest as:
    • Easy bruising
    • Prolonged bleeding after injury
    • Increased risk of bleeding during surgery or dental procedures
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to etodolac, which can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include:
    • Rash or hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat (angioedema)
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Anaphylaxis (a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction)
  • Central Nervous System Effects: Etodolac may cause central nervous system-related side effects such as:
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Drowsiness
    • Vertigo
    • Confusion
  • Other Side Effects: Other less common side effects of etodolac may include:
    • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
    • Visual disturbances
    • Insomnia
    • Anxiety
    • Depression

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and the severity and frequency of side effects can vary from person to person. If you experience any concerning symptoms while taking etodolac, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider for guidance and appropriate management.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: Store etodolac at room temperature away from light and moisture. Avoid storing it in the bathroom or kitchen, where it might be exposed to moisture. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of expired or unused etodolac properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it into a drain unless instructed to do so. Consult with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for guidance on safe disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Emergency Assistance: In case of overdose or emergency, such as severe allergic reaction, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness, call emergency services (such as 911 in the United States) immediately.
  • Symptoms of Overdose: Symptoms of etodolac overdose may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, seizures, or loss of consciousness.
  • Seek Medical Help: If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms after taking etodolac, seek medical attention promptly. Do not attempt to treat the overdose on your own.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may recommend periodic check-ups and monitoring while you are taking etodolac to assess its effectiveness and monitor for potential side effects.
  • Follow Instructions: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the dosage and duration of etodolac treatment. Do not exceed the prescribed dose or take it for longer than recommended without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking etodolac, as it may increase the risk of stomach bleeding and other adverse effects.
  • Medication Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as etodolac may interact with certain medications.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using etodolac with your healthcare provider.
  • Driving and Machinery: Etodolac may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some individuals. Exercise caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing tasks that require alertness until you know how etodolac affects you.
  • Allergies: If you have known allergies to etodolac or other NSAIDs, inform your healthcare provider.

Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about etodolac or its use. Follow their recommendations for safe and effective use of the medication.

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