What is Diclofenac?
Painkillers are a common treatment for temporary pain relief or pain reduction. Diclofenac is an option to ease pain caused by infection. This medicine not only helps to reduce the pain, but also prevents the infection from spreading. In addition, it is effective in relieving pain and other symptoms surrounding the infection. Diclofenac is primarily prescribed by doctors for the treatment of severe menstrual pain, joint pain, headache and migraine.
Diclofenac was introduced on the international market in 1974. It is sold under the brand names Cataflam, Voltaren, and as generic Diclofenac and Diclofenac Sodium. Most products require a prescription; only Voltaren K is also sold over the counter. Diclofenac is available in coated tablet, tablet, suppository and injection form.
How does Diclofenac work?
Diclofenac primarily helps to reduce inflammation, for example in the joints. Joint inflammation can be extremely painful. In addition to decreasing inflammation it also provides pain relief, which makes the pain much more tolerable. If you suffer from inflammation of the joints, your doctor will start you on treatment with Diclofenac to reduce the inflammatory symptoms as much as possible and prevent swelling in the joints.
Diclofenac is also prescribed regularly by doctors for alleviating menstrual pain. Many women suffer from menstrual pain with sharp cramps in both the lower abdomen and back. Because the pain is so severe, doctors often prescribe medication. The active ingredient in this pain medicine, diclofenac, helps to reduce pain during menstruation. A lot of women start taking the medicine one day before their menstrual period starts in order to keep the symptoms to a minimum. This makes cramps caused by uterine contractions and stomach cramps easier to deal with.
What is Diclofenac used for?
Menstrual pain and inflammation of the joints are two common reasons for prescribing Diclofenac. It is also used for migraine headaches and muscle pain, and provides relief of cold and flu symptoms. In addition, Diclofenac is used in conditions and disorders where it is desirable to reduce pain and other symptoms to a minimum. It is commonly used to treat arthrosis, an inflammatory condition that affects some elderly people and causes pain in the joints.
What are the side effects of Diclofenac?
The most common side effects are headache, dizziness and gastrointestinal problems. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and loss of appetite. However, not everyone gets these side effects and the level of discomfort differs from person to person. In rare cases, Diclofenac may cause skin rash, a change in liver function and retention of fluids in the arms and legs. For a full list of possible side effect, see the leaflet that comes with your medicine.
How to use Diclofenac
Diclofenac tablets should be swallowed whole with plenty of water, preferably before meals. The most widely used dosage is 50 mg. It takes one hour for a 50 mg tablet of Diclofenac to take effect. One tablet generally provides six hours of relief. The slow release tablets don’t work as quickly, but their effect lasts longer - 12 up to 24 hours. The tablets are not suitable for children. Older patients should take the lowest possible dose.