The usual dosage regimen for ARTRODAR is one capsule taken orally once or twice a day (depending on the disease severity and the patient's body weight) with the main meals for prolonged periods (at least 3 months). However, as diacerein may cause an acceleration of intestinal transit time resulting in loose stools and/or diarrhea in some patients at the start of treatment, it is recommended that treatment be started with one capsule per day taken orally with the main meal for 2-4 weeks. Any loose stools and/or diarrhea will abate on continuing treatment. Once the patient has become accustomed to the medication, the dose should be increased to 2 capsules per day (1 capsule two times a day), taken orally with meals.
Duration of treatment should be considered depending on expected outcome. For symptomatic treatment, ARTRODAR should be taken continuously for at least 3 months and treatment can be repeated when symptoms reappear. Clinical data have demonstrated that the beneficial symptomatic effects persisted for at least 3 months after a 3-month treatment period. Long term treatment is recommended for preservation of articular cartilage and to delay disease progression.
However, due to its late onset of action (after 2-4 weeks of treatment) in terms of pain relief, ARTRODAR may be co-prescribed with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or analgesics for the first 2-4 weeks of treatment.