Rofecoxib (Vioxx®)

The makers of VIOXX® removed this drug from the market on 9/30/04.

What is Rofecoxib (Vioxx®)?

Rofecoxib is commonly known by the brand name Vioxx®. Rofecoxib (Ro-fe-COX-eb) is used to relieve some symptoms caused by arthritis, such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. However, this medicine does not cure arthritis and will help you only as long as you continue to take it.

How do I take it?

Rofecoxib is taken once a day. The pills are 12.5mg. or 25mg. each. This drug is used for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. You doctor will tell you how many pills to take and how often. Follow your doctor’s directions. For the best results, take these pills at the same time every day. Do not take more or less medicine than ordered. This medicine may be taken with or without food.

What else should I know?

Rofecoxib is less likely to cause stomach upset and ulcers than NSAIDS. However, in some cases patients have complained of upset stomachs, indigestion, or diarrhea. Stomach problems may be more likely to occur if you drink alcoholic beverages while being treated with this medicine.

What about other medications?

When you are taking Rofecoxib, it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as birth control pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Rofecoxib should not be taken with other NSAIDS (Celebrex®, Vioxx®, ibuprofen, naproxen), however, if you are on low dose aspirin therapy, this should be continued. The addition of any new medication should always be discussed with you doctor.

Updated: April 25, 2012

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.