Arthrotec has been approved as a treatment for arthritis pain. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (diclofenac sodium) that is coated with misoprostol (for protection against stomach ulcer).
Because of the misoprostol coating, Arthrotec is reported to carry a reduced risk of causing ulcers in the stomach and small intestine compared to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories alleviate arthritis pain by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins in the affected joint, but they also reduce prostaglandin synthesis in the gastrointestinal lining, leading to increased risk of ulcer formation. Misoprostol fights ulcer formation by reducing the secretion of stomach acid and boosting mucus production.