What is Diclofenac?
Diclofenac is used for the relief of pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Reducing the symptoms of arthritis will help you do more of your normal daily activities.
How does Diclofenac work?
Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It works by inhibiting a specific type of prostaglandin that causes inflammation.
What are the benefits of using Diclofenac?
The main benefit of using Diclofenac is the relief it provides to the symptoms of arthritis, such as pain, a stiffness of the joints, and swelling. It effectively inhibits a specific type of prostaglandin that causes inflammation.
How do I use Diclofenac?
Strictly follow the instructions of your doctor on how to use this product. It is important also that before you start using Diclofenac to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with the product package when you fill up your prescription. If you have any questions, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take Diclofenac by mouth with 8 ounces of water unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Do not lie down for 10 minutes after taking this drug. If you experience stomach upset while taking this medication, you may take it with food, milk, or an antacid. However, food, milk, and antacid may slow down the absorption of the medicine and delay the pain relief.
Swallow Diclofenac whole, without crushing, breaking or chewing the tablets as it can destroy the coating on the tablet, which can increase its side effects.
The dosage of this medication is based on your medical condition, your response to treatment, and other medications that you may be taking. Share with your doctor a list of all medications you are currently taking. You can minimize the risks of side effects, such as stomach bleeding, by taking the medication at the lowest dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose, or take the medication more often than what is prescribed by your doctor. For a chronic condition, continue taking Diclofenac as directed by your doctor.
It may take up to 2 weeks of regular use before you feel the full benefits of this drug.
If you are using Diclofenac on an “as needed” basis, this medicine will work best if taken at the first signs of pain. This medication may not work if you wait until the pain has worsened.
After observing your response to the initial therapy with Diclofenac, the dose and frequency should be adjusted based on your needs.
To relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, the usual dosage is 100 – 150 mg daily in divided doses, such as 50 mg twice daily or three times daily, or 75 mg twice daily.
To relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, the usual dosage is 150 – 200 mg daily in divided doses, such as 50 mg three times daily or four times daily, or 75 mg twice daily.
To relieve the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, the usual dosage is 100 – 125 mg daily, administered as 25 mg four times daily, with an extra 25 mg dose at bedtime if necessary.
Side effects & precautions
Your doctor prescribed this medication because he deemed that the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects. Not everyone who uses this medicine experiences the side effects.
The common side effects of Diclofenac include:
- Upset stomach
If these side effects persist or worsen, report to your doctor immediately.
Diclofenac may raise your blood pressure. You should check your blood pressure regularly and inform your doctor if the results are high.
Inform your doctor right away if you experience these serious side effects:
- Hearing changes
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Mental or mood changes
- Symptoms of heart failure
Get emergency medical help immediately if these rare but very serious side effects occur:
- Unexplained stiff neck
- Signs of kidney problems
This drug rarely causes serious, possibly fatal, liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have dark urine, stomach or abdominal pain, persistent nausea or vomiting, and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
A very allergic reaction to Diclofenac is rare. Seek emergency medical help right away if you notice the occurrence of the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as rash, severe dizziness, rash or itching of the face/tongue/throat, and trouble breathing.
Report to your doctor if you experience any side effects that may be associated with your use of Diclofenac.
Before you start taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to Diclofenac, or to aspirin and other NSAIDs, or if you have any other allergies. Diclofenac may contain inactive ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions or other problems.
Share with your doctor your medical history before you start taking this medication, especially of asthma, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, nasal polyps, problems with the stomach, oesophagus, and intestines, and stroke.
Kidney problems can at times occur while using NSAID medication, including Diclofenac. The problems are likely to occur if you have heart failure or kidney disease, dehydrated, an older adult, or if you take certain medications.
This drug may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Alcohol consumption and marijuana use can make the problem even worse. Do not perform any activity that requires alertness until you are sure that you can do it safely. Stop smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy unless it is clearly necessary. Do not use this medication during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy because of possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal delivery.
Diclofenac passes into breast milk. While there are no reports of harm to the nursing infant, it is best that you consult first your doctor before breastfeeding.
Drug interactions may alter how your medicines work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Share with your doctor a list of all medications that you are taking. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of your medications without getting first the approval of your doctor.