About Etoricoxib: An Anti-Inflammatory Drug

Etoricoxib helps reduce joint pain and inflammation. It's used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout. Learn more about it.
About Etoricoxib: An Anti-Inflammatory Drug
María Vijande

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist María Vijande.

Written by María Vijande

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Etoricoxib belongs to a group of drugs called selective COX-2 enzyme inhibitors. It belongs to the group of NSAIDs that inhibit the induced synthesis of prostaglandins. If you’d like to learn more about etoricoxib and treatments, keep reading!

Synthesis of prostaglandins occurs via selective inhibition of COX-2, which is responsible for the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Etoricoxib comes in the form of tablets for oral administration.

About etoricoxib: treatments

Etoricoxib as a treatment for osteoarthritis.

Etoricoxib is an anti-inflammatory drug that’s used in the treatment of conditions such as osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Etoricoxib helps reduce joint pain and inflammation. It’s effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout. However, etoricoxib is also used for the short-term treatment of moderate pain after dental surgery.

Below, see the different diseases that etoricoxib may be used to treat:

  • Osteoarthritis is a condition of the joints. It causes a gradual breakdown of cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones. This results in inflammation, pain, tenderness, stiffness, and disability.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis produces pain, stiffness, swelling, and progressive loss of mobility in the affected joints. It also causes inflammation in other areas of the body.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease of the spine and joints.
  • Gout is a condition of sudden and recurring flare-ups. It manifests with very painful inflammation and redness of the joints. Deposits of mineral crystals in the joints cause gout.

Administering etoricoxib

You should follow your doctor’s instructions and it’s very important to use the lowest dose that achieves some relief from pain. Etoricoxib can be taken with or without food, although the effect appears faster if taken without food.

You shouldn’t take etoricoxib for longer than necessary, as it may increase your risk of a heart attack and strokes, especially after prolonged treatment and high doses.

There are different doses available for this medicine and, depending on the disease, the appropriate dose will differ. You should follow these guidelines below very carefully:

  • Osteoarthritis: the recommended dose is 30 mg once a day, with a maximum of 60 mg once a day if necessary.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: 60 mg once a day is recommended, it can be increased to a maximum of 90mg if necessary.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: the dose is 60 mg once a day, increasing to a maximum of 90 mg.
  • Drop: the recommended dose is 120 mg once a day. It should only be used during the period of acute pain, and for a maximum of 8 days.
  • Postoperative pain after dental surgery: the recommended dose is 90 mg once a day, for a maximum of 3 days.

Note: if you forget to take a dose, take the corresponding dose the next day at your usual time.

Doctor with a prescription about etoricoxib.

The dose of etoricoxib can vary depending on the disease. However, it’s best to take the lowest dose possible due to the risk of side effects.

What precautions do you need to take?

In people older than 65, it’s not necessary to modify the recommended doses. On the other hand, in people with liver problems, it’s important to take into account the severity of the disease.

If you have mild liver disease, you shouldn’t take more than 60 mg a day. However, if it’s a moderate liver disease, you shouldn’t take more than 30 mg a day.

About etoricoxib: possible side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The frequency of the possible side effects are as follows:

  • Very common: Stomach pain.
  • Common: Fluid retention, dizziness, headache, palpitations, arrhythmias, an increase in blood pressure, and intestinal and stomach disorders. Alterations may also appear in blood tests related to the liver, bruising, weakness, and mouth ulcers.
  • Uncommon: Including, but not limited to, urine infection, kidney problems, gastroenteritis, increased or decreased appetite, anxiety, depression, drowsiness, and heart problems.
  • Rare: Angioedema and anaphylactic reactions including shock. Hepatitis, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), confusion, and severe skin reactions may also occur.

However, you must stop taking this medication and see a doctor immediately if you see any signs of an allergic reaction or are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, edema of the ankles, jaundice, or severe stomach pain.


Experts have concluded that etoricoxib isn’t any more effective than the rest of NSAIDs in the relief of symptoms in diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute gout. Furthermore, it has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension. Therefore, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist about any questions you may have about etoricoxib.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cannon, C. P., Curtis, S. P., FitzGerald, G. A., Krum, H., Kaur, A., Bolognese, J. A., … Laine, L. (2006). Cardiovascular outcomes with etoricoxib and diclofenac in patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in the Multinational Etoricoxib and Diclofenac Arthritis Long-term (MEDAL) programme: a randomised comparison. Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69666-9
  • Bingham, C. O., Sebba, A. I., Rubin, B. R., Ruoff, G. E., Kremer, J., Bird, S., … Tershakovec, A. M. (2007). Efficacy and safety of etoricoxib 30 mg and celecoxib 200 mg in the treatment of osteoarthritis in two identically designed, randomized, placebo-controlled, non-inferiority studies. Rheumatology. https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kel296
  • Clarke, R., Derry, S., & Moore, R. A. (2014). Single dose oral etoricoxib for acute postoperative pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004309.pub4
  • Brooks P, Kubler P. Etoricoxib for arthritis and pain management. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2006;2(1):45–57.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.