Diclofenac – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name: Cambia, Zorvolex, Voltaren, Dyloject

Category: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug

Generic name: Diclofenac

Introduction and Quick Information:


Diclofenac comes under a group of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is used to relieve swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and pain caused by osteoarthritis (an arthritis disease caused the degeneration of the inner lubricant layers of the joints) ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis that specifically effects spine only) and rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis caused by the growth of the inner layer of the joints). Diclofenac tablets are sometimes also prescribed by doctors for regular menstrual pain as well and pain occurred by other causes. This NSAID medication works by preventing the body’s production of a substance that further along with the disease causes fever, inflammation, and pain.

Is Diclofenac Approved by FDA?

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Diclofenac in July 1988 as an NSAID medication.  It is used to treat arthritis caused by several reasons. This medicine comes under the prescription category hence you cannot take this medicine without any doctor’s recommendation.

Usage and Benefits of Diclofenac:

Diclofenac belongs to a group of drugs called NSAID for the treatment of pain and inflammation caused by several conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. It is considered as an effective medicine to treat soft tissue inflammation because of bursitis and tendinitis and menstrual cramps.

This drug may also be prescribed to use other health discomforts such as muscle aches, dental pain, and pain after having a baby or surgery. However, it may have sudden severe discomfort caused by pain and you may want to get rapid relief then it may be better to go for other medication than Diclofenac. Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information so that you judge better.

Here are Some Benefits of Diclofenac:

  • Treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.
  • To provide relief from the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • To provide relief from mild to moderate pain.
  • Aids muscle aches, dental pain, etc.

This drug may be used for other purposes as well which have not been mentioned in the medication guide. Some healthcare professionals prescribe this medicine for health conditions which have not been discussed here.

Diclofenac Side Effects:

Diclofenac side effects can be fatal. Seek immediate medical assistance if you notice any of the below mentioned side effects while using this NSAID medication:

  • Fever, sore throat
  • A headache with a severe blistering, peeling
  • Red skin rash
  • Severe tingling, numbness
  • Pain, muscle weakness
  • Bruising
  • Swelling or rapid weight gain
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all
  • Coughing up blood or
  • Slurred speech, shortness of breath
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Chest pain, weakness
  • Problems with vision or balance
  • Low fever, loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Nausea, stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Purple spots on the skin
  • Neck stiffness, chills
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation, bloating, gas
  • Mild heartburn or stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Skin itching or rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness, headache, nervousness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Difficult or painful urination

If you have any concern over Diclofenac side effects, you can ask your doctor for its other possible side effects. You can easily avoid side effects if you follow direction given by your health consultant.

General Recommended Dosage of Diclofenac:


Take Diclofenac as exactly as it was prescribed by your doctor for you. Do not take this medicine in a larger amount or do not try to take longer than prescribed by your healthcare provider. Follow every given direction to get safe and effective treatment.

Do not chew or break or crush an extended-release Diclofenac tablet. Swallow the tablet as a whole as this medicine is made to release its effects slowly in the body and tampering the pills while taking them can cause too much release of the medicine at one time.

Do not use any other medicine while taking this Diclofenac due to some safety concerns. If you have been taking this medicine for longer periods as prescribed by your doctor then you need to get your blood checked on a regular basis for monitoring. Try to visit your doctor on schedule dates and do not miss the appointments.

In Case I Miss a Dose?

Missed dose consequences are not known. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember or skip the dose if you think it is too late to take the missed one. Do not try to double your dose to make up for the missed one.

In Case I Take Overdose?

Overdose consequences can be fatal or health injurious. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible if you notice any of the overdose symptoms such as drowsiness, coughing up blood, black or bloody stools, fainting, vomiting, stomach pain, nausea and shallow breathing. You can ask your doctor for more overdose symptoms.

Drug Interaction of Diclofenac:

Tell your doctor if you have been taking any of these medications before taking diclofenac. Here they are-

  • An antidepressant such as fluoxetine (PROzac), fluvoxamine (Luvox CR), venlafaxine (Effexor XR), citalopram (CeleXA), sertraline (Zoloft), duloxetine (Cymbalta, Irenka).
  • Aspirin (Aspir 81) or other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil), diclofenac (Zorvolex), indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Aleve), piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen).
  • An ACE inhibitor such as fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), ramipril (Altace), quinapril (Accupril), benazepril (Lotensin).
  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
  • Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • Cyclosporine (Gengraf, SandIMMUNE)

This is not a complete list of Diclofenac interaction with other drugs. You can get full information of drug interaction with this medicine. This may include herbal products, minerals & vitamin supplements and other prescribed and non-prescribed drugs by other doctors. Do not start using this drug without informing your doctor.

Life Style and Food Habits You Must Follow When on Diclofenac:

Let your doctor know if you have any of the below-mentioned diseases that is in your interest and for your safety, like

  • Heart disease or a heart attack
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease or liver failure
  • Kidney diseases and kidney failure
  • Asthma
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding
  • Any sort of allergies to medicine particularly with NSAID and aspirin
  • Drinking alcohol frequently
  • Smoking habit

Tell your doctor if you had any of these health conditions before taking Diclofenac as you may need a dose adjustment with some medical test. Tell your doctor if you have any vitamin deficiency or any poor and inactive lifestyle habits as it may divide medicine benefits and effects or slow down its effects. You should ask your healthcare provider about the diet routine which you have to follow while taking this medicine as there are some foods which may affect the benefits of this medication. You should follow every instruction directed by your doctor for safe and rapid results.

How Safe Is Diclofenac for Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers?

Diclofenac comes under U.S. FDA pregnancy category C, which means that the drug should be used with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Its use should be avoided in late pregnancy. Also, it lies in the U.S. FDA pregnancy category D after more than 30 weeks of gestation. 

Diclofenac gets secreted in breastmilk and hence should be avoided by nursing mothers. 

Complications and Conditions Possible Due to Prolonged Use of Diclofenac:

Prolonged uses of this medicine can be fatal for your health as this could lead to some severe side effects to the body.  It is strictly advised to not use this medicine longer than recommended. It is not known whether Diclofenac has the habit-forming capability or not. However, it is highly dangerous for those people who have drug abuse or addiction. Do not take this medicine without a prescription from your doctor. However, you can take this medicine for longer than the recommended time, only if your doctor allows you to.

Availability of Diclofenac:

Since Diclofenac is approved by FDA, hence it is available at every FDA and government approved store. You can also get this medicine from various online stores after providing required information that is regarding your prescription.