Diclofenac Side Effects, How it Works, Upsides & Downsides

Diclofenac is an externally administered medicine. It is sold under a number of brand names with Cataflam and Cambia being the most common ones. This chemical substance belongs to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and has properties of an analgesic.

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It is widely used to treat and control the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, minor sprains, and injuries. It is also used as a treatment for dysmenorrhea and is known to ease migraines and menstrual cramps in women.

It may also be used for other purposes not mentioned in the guide.

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Side effects of Diclofenac:

Just like all medicines, Diclofenac too has some side effects. These range from being mild to severe and must be reported to the doctor.

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Some of the common side effects that are mild in nature are as follows:

  • Weakness
  • Unexplained ringing or buzzing noise in the ear
  • Mild hearing impairment
  • Bloating
  • Passing of air
  • Water retention
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting

Usually, these side effects occur at the start of your treatment and perish once the body gets accustomed to the presence of the medications. This usually doesn’t take a long span of time. However, these side effects may persist for longer than usual and become bothersome. Therefore, it is crucial to inform your doctor if any of the side effects are experienced and seek medical help promptly.

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It may also cause some potential side effects such as:

  • Increased bleeding time during periods in women
  • Inflammation
  • Ulceration
  • Signs indicating a kidney disorder, i.e., disturbed production of urine
  • Renal prostaglandins
  • Dizziness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as bloating, ingestion, diarrhea, bloody stools, belching, and/or constipation.
  • Jaundice
  • Liver necrosis

Note that the side effects not listed here may also be experienced. Doctors usually let their patients know about the side effects that they are likely to experience.

For further queries and concerns regarding this, you may consult your doctor and/or a pharmacist.

How to use

Before starting to administer your medicine, you are strongly advised to read out the directions given on the prescription label and follow them carefully.

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Take your dose as per the instructions of your doctor; do not overdose or skip your dose. If taking in the tablet form, you are required to swallow each tablet as a whole; do not crush or chew them. If applying topically, make sure to put ample amount and wash the area before applying.

Get your liver enzymes, and blood count checked at regular intervals and keep a record of the results. Your skin may become sensitive while taking Diclofenac so use an SPF 30-50+ sunblock.

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Precautions:

  • Neither use nor recommend it to someone without the prescription of a doctor.
  • It interacts negatively with certain medicines including aspirin, other NSAIDs like ibuprofen, and inhibitors of COX-2. Thus, give a list of all the medicines, if any, that you use to your doctor.
  • Avoid long-term usage

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  • Do not take the medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy unless your doctor permits you.
  • It is not prescribed in certain conditions. Thus, provide your doctor with your medical history to avoid inconvenience.
  • Keep it away from children’s reach, heat, and moisture.