Diclofenac Sodium (Voltaren) is used for relieving the side effects of chronic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis; symptoms such as muscle pain, joint pain or stiffness, inflammation or swelling. Diclofenac Sodium belongs to the family of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and specializes in the treatment of pain by preventing certain enzymes in the body from catalyzing pain-inducing chemicals. It is sold under the brand name Voltaren and is available both as an over-the-counter and prescribed medicinal drug. The medicine is present in the form of a 100/150mg gel or ointment and extended and delayed-release tablets.
If the following adverse side effects manifest, then contact your doctor:
- Some of the most prevalent symptoms are flatulence, bloating from gas, ringing in the ears, lack of strength or weakness and, loss of hearing.
- Other issues include stomach pain, tarry stools, vomiting substance that looks like coffee grounds, constipation, diarrhea, less appetite, and indigestion.
- Racing heart-beat, chest pains, breathing problems, pain below the breastbone, and dizziness can occur.
- Problems in urination such as a decrease in the amount of urine or cloudy urine.
- Itchy skin or rashes, unusual bruising or bleeding, swelling, heavy breathing, and weight loss are other symptoms.
This medicine is not suited for those with cardiovascular problems; it is known to induce strokes and should not be used after bypass surgery. For those who’re allergic to aspirin or to other NSAIDs should not use Voltaren. Voltaren can also cause internal bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Be cautious if you already have such issues.
How it works
The functioning mechanism of Diclofenac works such that it prevents certain enzymes inside our body that assist in making pain-inducing chemicals. These enzymes are called cyclo-oxygenase enzymes, and they catalyze the making of chemicals called prostaglandins that are generated at the time of injury and damage and cause pain and inflammation. Diclofenac inhibits these enzymes.
How to use?
Follow your doctor’s instructions and don’t self-adjust your dosage. Take the tablet with water; do not break the tablet in half or crush it. If you’re a long-term user than get medical checkups on a regular basis. A skipped dose can be covered as soon as remembered so long as it’s not time for the next dose; do not double dose, just leave the previous one.
What should be avoided?
Consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden; it interacts with Voltaren and leads to stomach and abdominal bleeding. Since you’re already taking an NSAID, avoid taking other similar medicines as this could lead to your body getting overdosed with the same drug. Also, refrain from taking aspirin.
If you have a history of heart disease or are currently suffering from heart problems, then this medicine is not a good fit for you because, in many instances, Voltaren has been responsible for causing strokes in heart patients. It’s better to talk to your doctor about this. If you have intestinal disorders or stomach ulcers or you’re a patient of blood pressure or kidney failure, then inform your doctor before she/he prescribes this drug.
Narcotics like medicinal marijuana will increase the sedative effect of this drug and make you feel drowsy and dizzy. Drugs like alcohol and tobacco will assist this drug in harmful side effects, i.e., stomach and intestinal bleeding. Also, it is not advised to use aspirin and other NSAIDS along with Voltaren.
Research has shown the association of fetus damage with Voltaren in pregnant women, so it’s best not to use this medicine at all during pregnancy.
This drug passes into breast milk, but whether it is harmful to the infant or not is still vague. Discuss with your medical advisor on whether Voltaren is a suitable option for you or not before taking it.