Diclofenac: what is it, dose, what is it for and side effects


  • What is diclofenac?
  • What is it for
  • Recommended dose
  • How to apply the gel
  • Warnings

Diclofenac is an anti-inflammatory. Although the name of your brand probably sounds more: Voltaren. However, it is possible to find it in pharmacies as a generic precisely under the name of diclofenac or diclofenac.

It is a medicine used frequently to treat symptoms of arthritis and diseases related to the extremities, to diminish menstrual pains, to relieve sprains, lumbago, nephritic cramps, sprains, tendinitis and other muscular conditions.

This substance is free of steroids. That is why it is part of the known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID). Therapeutically, it works in favor of relief of pain and reduction of inflammation. Of course, it must be borne in mind that it does not cure diseases, it simply helps to create an appeasement in the patient when necessary.

It is important that you know correctly the reason why your doctor prescribes this medication, as well as history, conditions in the area of ​​blood circulation or heart conditions should be taken into account in order to avoid aneurysms, embolisms and other unwanted conditions. They can be caused by the incorrect supply of this drug.

It can be achieved in many commercial presentations. For example, we have the ophthalmic solution, compressed into 50 milligrams of active substance, 50 mg orodispersible tablets, 100 mg delayed-release tablets, suppositories and injectable solutions for intramuscular or intravenous. Of course, these may vary depending on the country, so it is advisable to consult correctly with the supplier at the time of purchase.

It is always necessary to clarify that for the presentations of pills or tablets, the patient can follow the instructions to consume them, but when it comes to injectables it is necessary to resort to the support of a nurse or a trained person.

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What is diclofenac?

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, used medically with the objective of treat both pain and inflammation. According to, for example, the prospect of diclofenac (which you can consult on the official website of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products), states that "this medication relieves the symptoms of inflammation such as swelling and pain." That yes, "does not influence the causes of inflammation or fever."

We find it in the market mainly in pills, ampoules and creams or ointments. So, as we will know in the section dedicated to it, its use will depend on the way in which it is presented.

It is useful, therefore, for the relief of mild to moderate painin pathologies or common problems such as migraine headaches or painful menstrual periods, as well as inflammation, stiffness and sensitivity caused by pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

In this sense, Diclofenac 50 mg(in gastro-resistant tablets) is the most common form of presentation of this medicine, specifically the Diclofenac Cinfa 50 mg option. However, it is not the only one, since we can also find it in the form of ointment or gel   under the popular brand of Voltaren.

What is diclofenac for? What is its function?

Now, let's answer the big question that many people in the world ask themselves: when is it necessary to take diclofenac potassium or sodium? What is the function of diclofenac?

To clarify, these are the two forms in which this drug is mainly presented.

The main difference is in the response time, because potassium acts much faster than sodium. The first is assimilated by our body through the blood circulation in a time interval of approximately 1 hour, while the second can take up to 3 hours to take effect completely.

This is because diclofenac potassium is absorbed through the acid in the stomach, while sodium does this process in the alkaline duodenum.

In summary, potassium works for acute and severe pain, while sodium is more appropriate when there are chronic diseases.

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As we told you at the beginning of the note diclofenac is especially useful as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Basically we can summarize the medical use of diclofenac in the following section:

  • It helps reduce inflammation by acting as a muscle relaxant.
  • Reduces minor pain caused by small wounds.
  • It calms the most intense pains (like those caused by arthritis).
  • Soothes cramps and menstrual pains
  • It is also useful in case of: attacks of gout, pain from kidney and gall stones and migraines.
  • Against mild or moderate pain after a traumatic process or surgery.

Dosage of diclofenac: how to take it and side effects

According to what your doctor tells you, you must comply with the doses as correctly as possible. If you skip any, take it as soon as you remember, but do not collect two doses when the next hour arrives to avoid unwanted symptoms or alteration in the recovery process.

If you are taking diclofenac in any presentation, avoid consuming alcohol, because you would open possibility to a risk of bleeding in the stomach. You should also consult with the doctor of your choice if it is possible to link it with some medicine to attack colds, allergies and other common discomforts as a precaution.

Excessive consumption should be avoided, to prevent risks of heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. Conditions in older adults should be studied very closely prior to the start of treatment.

And how to apply diclofenac in gel or ointment?

In addition to tablets, we can also find diclofenac under the presentations in the form of gel or ointment. Specifically, in the form of diclofenac sodium topical gel 1%

In these cases, its use is really simple, since it is enough to apply diclofenac gel or ointment in the area to be treated (or affected area), rubbing gently between 2 to 4 grams, three or four times a day.

It is not advisable to exceed the dose indicated either in the package leaflet or by the doctor who has prescribed the medication. Likewise, it is not advisable to use diclofenac gel or ointment for more than two weeks (in case of tendinitis or blows in joints or muscles).

Warning regarding the use of diclofenac

It has been shown that people who take drugs such as diclofenac (ie, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may have a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack, compared to people who do not take this type of medication.

For this reason, diclofenac is not advised in people who have already had a recent heart attack, and consult especially the doctor if previously one has suffered. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesAnti-inflammatory

Voltaren or Diclofenac Medication Information (dosing, side effects, patient counseling) (December 2021)