Acemetacin is a medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is also known as 'an NSAID'.
Before you take acemetacin, let your doctor know if you have ever had a bad reaction to any other anti-inflammatory painkiller.
It is usual to take two or three capsules a day - your doctor will tell you which of these is right for you. Take the capsules after a meal or snack.
|Type of medicine||Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)|
|Used for||Relief of pain and inflammation|
Anti-inflammatory painkillers like acemetacin are sometimes called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or just 'anti-inflammatories'. Acemetacin is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation in rheumatic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. It is also prescribed to ease pain after surgical operations.
Acemetacin works by blocking the effect of chemicals called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help to make other chemicals in the body, called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandins are produced at sites of injury or damage, and cause pain and inflammation. By blocking the effect of COX enzymes, fewer prostaglandins are produced, which means pain and inflammation are eased.
Before taking acemetacin
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking acemetacin, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.
- If you have ever had a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
- If you are under 18 or over 65 years of age.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have a heart condition, or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have ever had blood clotting problems.
- If you have a connective tissue disorder, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus, or SLE).
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other NSAID (such as aspirin, naproxen, diclofenac, and indometacin), or to any other medicine.
How to take acemetacin
- Before you start taking acemetacin, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about the capsules and provide a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
- Take acemetacin exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose for adults is one 60 mg capsule taken twice daily, preferably morning and evening. If it is necessary, your doctor may increase your dose to one capsule three times daily.
- Take your doses with a snack, or just after eating a meal. This will help protect your stomach from side-effects such as indigestion.
- Swallow the capsules whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or open the capsules.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your doctor will try to prescribe you the lowest dose for the shortest time to reduce the risk of side-effects. If you need to take acemetacin for a long time, your doctor may want to prescribe another medicine along with it to protect your stomach from irritation.
- Try to keep any regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- If you have asthma, symptoms such as wheeze or breathlessness can be made worse by anti-inflammatories such as acemetacin. If this happens to you, you should stop taking the capsules and see your doctor as soon as possible.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with an anti-inflammatory like acemetacin. This is because you should not take these capsules with any other anti-inflammatory painkiller, some of which are available in cold and flu remedies which can be bought over the counter.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can acemetacin cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with acemetacin. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common acemetacin side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, wind||Remember to take your doses with a meal or with a glass of milk. If the discomfort continues, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling dizzy||Do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Other side-effects: constipation or diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, fluid retention, palpitations, high blood pressure||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience any of the following less common but more serious symptoms, stop taking acemetacin and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- If you have any breathing difficulties such as wheeze or breathlessness.
- If you have any signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling around your mouth or face, or a severe itchy skin rash.
- If you pass blood or black stools, vomit blood, or have severe abdominal pains.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store acemetacin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Emflex® Capsules; Merck Serono, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2012.
- British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Helen Huins