Diclofenac is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medicine works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain inflammation.
Important Information about Diclofenac
Do not use diclofenac just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance. Diclofenac may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are taking diclofenac, especially in older adults.
Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of stomach bleeding such as black, bloody, or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or other pain medicine. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
- heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure
- a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding
- liver or kidney disease
- polyps in your nose
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder
- if you smoke
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Taking diclofenac during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using diclofenac. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 18 years old without medical advice.
Diclofenac Dosing Information
You should take diclofenac only according to the dosage instructions provided by your doctor. See the patient instructions supplied with the medication for more guidelines. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. If you switch brands of diclofenac, your dose needs may change. Follow your doctor’s instructions about how much medicine to take. If you use diclofenac long-term, your liver function will need to be checked frequently.
Diclofenac Side Effects
Stop using diclofenac and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance
- black, bloody, or tarry stools
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- swelling or rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
- neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions)
- severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads
What other drugs will affect Diclofenac?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or other pain medicine. Medicines similar to diclofenac are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
- isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis)
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
- pronbenecid (Benemid)
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate)
- secobarbital (Seconal)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
- sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP, and others)
- teniposide (Vumon)
- zafirlukast (Accolate)
- a diuretic (water pill) such as furosemide (Lasix)
- steroids (prednisone and others)
- antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or voriconazole (Vfend)
- aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others
- cholesterol-lowering medicine such as fenofibrate (Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, TriCor, Triglide), fluvastatin (Lescol), or lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor)
- heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and others
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, shallow breathing, and fainting.
What should I avoid while taking diclofenac?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding. Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Diclofenac can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.