Understanding Diclofenac for Pain and Inflammation

Diclofenac is a common medicine used to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation for various health conditions. This guide explains how it works, tips for taking it properly, and what to watch out for.

What Conditions Diclofenac Treats

Diclofenac is often prescribed for joint issues like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout flares. It also helps with painful conditions after surgery or injuries. Some other uses are menstrual cramps, back pain, dental pain, ear infections, and kidney stone pain.

How The Medicine Provides Relief

It blocks chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, pain signals, and fever. This provides anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects. You may notice reduced swelling, pain, stiffness, and improved movement.

Proper Dosage and Administration

  • Adults usually take 75-150 mg total per day by mouth, often split into 2 or 3 doses.
  • Take with food to reduce stomach upset. Swallow tablets whole without crushing, breaking or chewing.
  • Follow the exact dosage prescribed by your doctor. More is not necessarily better.

Common Side Effects and Risks To Know

  • Stomach issues: diarrhea, nausea, heartburn. Taking with food helps for many people.
  • Headaches or dizziness. Usually mild.
  • Increased liver enzymes (from blood tests). Sign of potential liver problems.
  • Allergic reaction in rare cases. Seek medical care for rash, itching, swelling, dizziness or breathing problems.

Important Precautions

  • May increase the risk of serious heart problems like stroke and heart attack with long-term daily use, especially at high doses.
  • Can raise blood pressure or make heart failure worse for those susceptible. Notify your doctor of pre-existing heart conditions. Monitor blood pressure.
  • Increases stomach bleeding and ulcer risk, especially for the elderly. Stop use and seek care at any sign of stomach issues.
  • Can reduce kidney function and cause fluid retention (swelling). Stay hydrated and notify your doctor if any indications of problems.
  • Discuss any questions or concerns about proper usage with your doctor or pharmacist. Monitor for side effects and manage appropriately. Adjust dosage if needed.
  • Pregnant women should avoid this medicine, especially after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Discuss risks vs benefits with your doctor if necessary during pregnancy.

Following dosage guidance, precautions, and stopping use at the first signs of problems can help minimize risks. Weigh options with your healthcare provider. Report any potential side effects and follow monitoring recommendations for safe usage.