Diclofenac is classified as an NSAID, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. It works by decreasing the level of certain toxins and hormones in the body that cause pain and inflammation.
It is used in the treatment of mild and moderate levels of pain as well as the symptoms of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. A variant of diclofenac is used to alleviate menstrual cramps.
The powder version of the drug is used in the treatment of severe migraines after they have begun. It doesn’t reduce the number or frequency of attacks, but takes away the pain.
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to other NSAIDs, aspirin or other medication.
This drug can put you at greater risk of a fatal heart attack or a stroke. This is more common in people using it for extended periods of time, or in high doses.
You are more likely to suffer a heart condition if you are already diagnosed with a heart disease. Never use Diclofenac right before or after cardiac bypass surgery.
Another side effect of the drug can be onset of stomach or intestinal bleeding. Both of these conditions can be fatal if untreated, especially in older people.
Tell your doctor before taking this medication if you have a history of heart diseases, heart attacks, blood clots and stroke.
Also talk to a doctor if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies to beef, diabetes, if you are a smoker, have a history of stomach ulcers, asthma and liver diseases or if you have fluid retention issues.
Do not take this medicine in the last trimester of pregnancy, as it may cause harm to the fetus. Tell a doctor if you are planning on getting pregnant during this time.
The effect of Diclofenac on nursing children and its tendency to pass into breast milk are unknown at present. Tell a doctor if you are breast feeding.
There are many different types of Diclofenac. Each contains a different concentration of the medicine per dose, and can be used for different purposes.
Follow your doctor’s advice with regards to dosage, brand and duration of use. Do not deviate from the prescription in any way.
In order to ensure the best results from this medicine, a doctor might change your dosage every now and then.
Do not take larger doses than your doctor has told you to. Always take the smallest dose that will have an impact on your condition.
If you are taking Zorvolex, make sure you do it on an empty stomach (before meals). If you are taking an extended or delayed release tablet, do not crush, break or chew it. Swallow it.
For the powder (Cambia), dissolve the dose into a couple of ounces of plain water. Do not use a different fluid. Stir well and drink it up. This is also more effective on an empty stomach.
If you have a migraine and are taking Cambia, call your doctor if the pain doesn’t cease completely. DO NOT take more of the powder to try and make it go away.
Missed doses and overdose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you know. If you are about to take your next dose, ignore the one you missed. Do not take extra to make up for the missed dose.
If you overdose on Diclofenac, make sure you call your local poison hotline immediately, along with emergency medical services.
Common side effects include:
More severe side effects include:
Short of breath
Rapid weight gain
Stomach and intestinal bleeding
Liver and kidney problems
High blood pressure
Call your doctor immediately if you experience these side effects.
Do not take Diclofenac without a doctor’s advice if you are on antidepressants, NSAIDs, lithium, cyclosporine, antifungals or warfarin.
Stop taking it immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to the medication.