What is diclofenac
is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs). Diclofenac works by reducing hormones that
cause inflammation and pain in the body.
is used to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness caused
by many conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis,
abdominal cramps associated with menstruation, and ankylosing
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about diclofenac
Take diclofenac with food, milk, or an antacid to
lessen stomach upset.
Do not crush, chew, or break
diclofenac tablets. Swallow them whole.
(sitting or standing) for 15 to 30 minutes after each dose
to prevent irritation of your esophagus (throat).
Watch for bloody, black, or tarry stools or blood in your
vomit. These symptoms could indicate damage to your stomach.
If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages
a day, diclofenac may increase the risk of stomach bleeding.
Who should not take diclofenac Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if
- have an allergy to aspirin or any other NSAIDs,
- have an ulcer or bleeding in your stomach,
drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day,
have liver or kidney disease,
- have a coagulation
- have congestive heart failure,
- have fluid retention,
- have heart disease,
- have high blood pressure.
You may not
be able to take diclofenac, or you may require a lower dose
or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of
the conditions listed above.
Diclofenac is in the
FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected
to cause harm to an unborn baby. Diclofenac must not be
taken late in pregnancy (the third trimester) because a
similar drug is known to affect the baby's heart. Do not
take diclofenac without first talking to your doctor if
you are pregnant.
Diclofenac passes into breast milk.
Do not take diclofenac without first talking to your doctor
if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should take diclofenac Take diclofenac exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist,
nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
dose with a full glass of water.
with food, milk, or an antacid to lessen stomach upset.
Do not crush, break, or chew diclofenac tablets.
Swallow them whole.
To prevent irritation of your
esophagus (throat), do not lie down for 15 to 30 minutes
after taking diclofenac.
Store diclofenac at room
temperature away from moisture and heat.
If you miss a dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember up to
2 hours late. If more than 2 hours have passed since the
missed dose, skip it and take only your next regularly scheduled
dose. Do not take a double dose.
What happens if you overdose: Seek emergency medical attention.
of a diclofenac overdose include nausea, vomiting, stomach
pain, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, ringing in the ears,
blurred vision, seizures, sweating, numbness or tingling,
little or no urine production, and slow breathing.
Avoid while taking diclofenac Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Diclofenac
may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use
a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to
the sun is unavoidable.
If you drink more than three
alcoholic beverages a day, diclofenac may increase the risk
of stomach bleeding.
Possible side effects of diclofenac If you experience any of the following serious side
effects, stop taking diclofenac and seek medical treatment
or call your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction
(difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling
of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
cramps, numbness, or tingling;
- ulcers (open sores)
in the mouth;
- rapid weight gain (fluid retention);
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- blood in your urine or vomit;
hearing or ringing in the ears;
- yellowing of the
skin and eyes (jaundice); or
- abdominal cramping,
indigestion, or heartburn.
Other, less serious side
effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take diclofenac
and talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea, gaseousness, diarrhea, or
- fatigue or weakness;
- dry mouth; or
- irregular menstrual periods.
Side effects other than those listed here may also
occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems
unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect diclofenac Other prescription and over-the-counter drugs may
increase the effects of diclofenac and cause dangerous side
effects. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following
- other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Rufen, others), ketoprofen
(Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), or naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve,
- other commonly used NSAIDs, including
etodolac (Lodine), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid),
indomethacin (Indocin), ketorolac (Toradol), nabumetone
(Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac
(Clinoril), or tolmetin (Tolectin);
- aspirin and
other salicylates (forms of aspirin) such as salsalate (Disalcid),
choline salicylate, and magnesium salicylate (watch the
aspirin content of other over-the-counter products such
as cough, cold, and allergy medicines);
(water pills) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril,
others), chlorothiazide (Diuril, others), chlorthalidone
(Thalitone), bumetanide (Bumex), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin),
furosemide (Lasix), spironolactone (Aldactone), and amiloride
- anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin);
- steroids such as prednisone (Deltasone);
- oral antidiabetic drugs such as glipizide
(Glucotrol) and glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta);
lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, others);
(Sandimmune, Neoral); or
- bismuth subsalicylate
in drugs such as Pepto-Bismol.
Diclofenac can also
decrease the effects of other drugs, such as
(ACE) inhibitors, used to treat high blood pressure and
other conditions, such as benazepril (Lotensin) and captopril
- other commonly used ACE inhibitors,
including enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril
(Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), quinapril (Accupril),
and ramipril (Altace); and
- beta-blockers, used
to treat high blood pressure and other conditions, such
as acebutolol (Sectral), metoprolol (Lopressor), propranolol
(Inderal), atenolol (Tenormin), and carteolol (Cartrol).
other than those listed here may also interact with diclofenac.
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription
or over-the-counter medicines.