Etodolac for pain and inflammation (Eccoxolac, Etopan, Lodine)

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Etodolac is a medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is also known as 'an NSAID'.

Before you take etodolac, let your doctor know if you have ever had a bad reaction to any other anti-inflammatory painkiller.

Take the tablets/capsules with a drink of water, preferably after a meal or snack.

If you buy any other medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with etodolac.

Type of medicineNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Used forRelief of pain and inflammation in adults with arthritis
Also calledEccoxolac®; Etopan®; Lodine®
Available asCapsules and modified-release tablets

Anti-inflammatory painkillers like etodolac are sometimes called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or just 'anti-inflammatories'. Etodolac is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation in rheumatic conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Etodolac works by blocking the effect of chemicals in your body, called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help to make other chemicals in your 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.

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 etodolac, 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 ibuprofen) or to any other medicine.
  • Before you start taking etodolac, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about the tablets/capsules and provide a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
  • There are two forms of etodolac available: tablets (which release etodolac slowly throughout the day) and capsules (which release etodolac more quickly). If you are prescribed tablets, you will be asked to take one tablet daily. If you are prescribed capsules, the usual dose is two capsules daily, taken either at the same time or as separate doses. Your doctor will tell you which is right for you. You should take etodolac exactly as your doctor tells you to.
  • Try to take your doses at the same time each day as this will help you to remember to take them.
  • If you are taking etodolac tablets, you should swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or break the tablets to help you swallow, as this will alter the way the medicine is absorbed by your body.
  • Although you may take your doses before meals, it is better to take your doses with a snack or just after eating a meal. This is because the food in your stomach will help to protect from side-effects such as indigestion and stomach irritation.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless your next dose is due. If when you remember, your next dose is due then take the dose that is due and leave out the forgotten one. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
  • 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 etodolac for a long time, your doctor may want to prescribe another medicine along with it to protect your stomach from irritation.
  • Try to keep your 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 etodolac. If this happens to you, you should stop taking the tablets/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 etodolac. This is because you should not take etodolac 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.

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 etodolac. 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 etodolac side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Indigestion, heartburn, stomach painIf you are not already doing so, take your doses with a meal or with a glass of milk. If the discomfort continues, speak with your doctor
Feeling or being sickStick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods
Diarrhoea or constipationDrink plenty of water
Feeling dizzy or tiredDo not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better

Important: if you experience any of the following less common but more serious symptoms, stop taking etodolac 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.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

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

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.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Document ID:
3311 (v23)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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