Effectiveness of Diclofenac & Its Side Effects

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal drug, acts against inflammation (NSAID). Diclofenac medicine reduces substances within the body that causes pain and inflammation.
Diclofenac should not be used if the user has a history of allergic reactions to aspirin or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

There are possibilities that diclofenac increases the risk of cardiac arrest or stroke, especially if the user uses it for a long term or take a high dosage of medicine, or if the person has any heart disease. Avoid using the medicine before or after heart bypass surgery.

The drug can cause stomach/intestinal bleeding, and this can be fatal. These conditions occur without warning while the user is using this medicine, especially adults.

How Does Diclofenac Work?

How Does Diclofenac Work?

Diclofenac blocks the effects of an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase. This enzyme gives the drug pain-relieving as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Diclofenac belongs to a class of medicines known as NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Effectiveness of Diclofenac

Diclofenac is effectively used to get rid of the mild-to-moderate acute pain. Diclofenac is used in treating migraine, arthritis, period pain, and some forms of spinal arthritis.
The drug diclofenac is used for treating mild to moderate pain. If the patient exhibits signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis then the medicine can be useful. There are several brands of this medicine and the Cataflam brand is for women. (Menstrual cramps can be effectively treated by using diclofenac).
Diclofenac powder (Cambia) is used for the effective treatment of a migraine and headaches. Cambia treats a headache that has already started. It does not prevent headaches or diminish the number of migraine attacks.

  • Different formulations of the medicine may not be similar; Therefore, do not interchange products while using them.
  • The medicine can make the skin sensitive to the sun; It is recommended to wear sunblock SPF 30-50+ when going outside; visit a doctor quickly if you develop some type of skin diseases or skin rash.
  • The drug diclofenac should not be used for long periods of time.
  • If one takes the medicine, it is important to monitor the blood count and liver enzymes from time to time.
  • For women, it is better to avoid using the medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy; For women, it is better to ask the doctor before using such medication during pregnancy.
  • Those you have experienced asthmatic symptoms, or has developed hives (urticaria)/other allergic reactions earlier before taking aspirin or other NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) it is better advised to avoid taking diclofenac.
  • The medicine, when combined with alcohol, may enhance the risk of bleeding or stomach ulcer.

The effectiveness of diclofenac varies depending on its formulation (from 30 minutes to 5 hours).

What is the Recommended Dosage of Diclofenac?

General Adult Dosage of Diclofenac for Osteoarthritis:

Diclofenac free acid capsules: 35 mg orally thrice daily
Diclofenac potassium immediate-release tablets: 50 mg orally twice or thrice daily
Diclofenac sodium enteric-coated tablets: 50 mg orally twice or thrice daily or 75 mg orally twice daily
Maximum dose: 150 mg daily
Diclofenac sodium extended-release tablets: 100 mg orally once daily
Diclofenac is used to get rid of signs & symptoms of osteoarthritis.

General Adult Dosage of Diclofenac for Spondylitis (Ankylosing):

Diclofenac sodium-centeric-coated tablets: 25 mg 4 times daily (orally).
Maximum dose: 125 mg once daily
Diclofenac Helps for acute/long-term use in the relief of signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis.

General Adult Dosage of Diclofenac for Dysmenorrhea:

Diclofenac potassium immediate-release tablets: 50 mg orally thrice daily
Diclofenac helps to get rid of signs and symptoms of dysmenorrhea.

General Adult Dosage of Diclofenac for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Diclofenac potassium immediate-release tablets: 50 mg orally thrice or 4 times daily
Diclofenac sodium enteric-coated and delayed-release tablets: 50 mg orally thrice to four times a day or 75 mg orally twice a day.
Maximum dose: 225 mg daily
Diclofenac sodium extended-release tablets: 100 mg orally once daily
Maximum dose: 100 mg orally twice daily;
Diclofenac helps to get rid of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

General Adult Dosage of Diclofenac for a Migraine:

Treatment of an acute migraine with or without aura.
Usual Adult Dosage for Pain:
Diclofenac potassium liquid-filled capsules: 25 mg orally 4 times daily
Diclofenac free acid capsules: 18 mg or 35 mg orally thrice daily
Diclofenac potassium immediate-release tablets: 50 mg orally 3 times a day.

Side Effects of Diclofenac

Common diclofenac side effects may include:

  • Indigestion, stomach pain, gas, nausea, vomiting;
  • Diarrhea, constipation;
  • A headache, drowsiness, dizziness;
  • Stuffy nose;
  • Itching increased sweating;
  • Increased blood pressure; or
  • Swelling or pain in arms/legs.

The drug diclofenac is useful but at the same time has many side-effects. Therefore, it is recommended to take the medicine only after medical supervision. The content sheds important information about the medicine. For additional details on diclofenac, it is recommended to search online about the medicine.

Get emergency medical help if you have any sign of allergic reactions to diclofenac: This allergic reaction can be sneezing, stuffy or a runny nose; wheezing or trouble while breathing; hives; swelling of your face, tongue, lips, or throat.

Seek emergency medical help if there are any signs of stroke or chest pain spreading to the patient’s jaws/shoulder or sudden numbness/weakness on a body side, breathlessness, slurred speech.

Stop using diclofenac; call the doctor at once if you have:

  • Signs of skin rash even if it is mild;
  • Breathlessness;
  • Swelling/rapid weight gain;
  • Signs of stomach bleeding – bloody/tarry stools, coughing up blood/vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • Liver problems – nausea, itching, upper stomach pain, tired feeling, loss of appetite and flu-like symptoms, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice;
  • Kidney problems – painful or difficult urination, little/no urinating, swelling of feet/ ankles, breathlessness;
  • High blood pressure – a severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, bleeding nose, confusion;
  • Severe skin reaction – stop using the medicine if there is fever or swelling of the face/ tongue, burning in the eyes, sore throat, pain in the skin followed by a skin rash.

Those aged between 18 and 60, take no other medicines or does not have other medical conditions, the side effects of diclofenac which are common include:

  • Water retention, constipation, headache, and nausea.
  • Bleeding, inflammation or ulceration of the stomach/intestines;
  • The drug increases the risk of stroke/heart attack.


Diclofenac is effective in relieving pain but it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding. It can damage the inner lining of the stomach.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 27, 2017

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