Menu

Diclofenac

Painkillers are a common treatment for temporary pain relief or pain reduction, and diclofenac is an option to ease the pain caused by infection. It not only helps to reduce the pain, but also prevents the infection from spreading and furthermore 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. It was introduced on the international market in 1974 and is sold under the brand names Cataflam and Voltaren, and as generic diclofenac and diclofenac sodium. Most diclofenac products require a prescription, with only Voltaren K also sold over the counter. Diclofenac is available in coated tablet, tablet, suppository and injection form.

What is diclofenac?

Painkillers are a common treatment for temporary pain relief or pain reduction, and diclofenac is an option to ease the pain caused by infection. It not only helps to reduce the pain, but also prevents the infection from spreading and furthermore 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. It was introduced on the international market in 1974 and is sold under the brand names Cataflam and Voltaren, and as generic diclofenac and diclofenac sodium. Most diclofenac products require a prescription, with only Voltaren K also sold over the counter. Diclofenac is available in coated tablet, tablet, suppository and injection form.

How does Diclofenac work?

Diclofenac tablets primarily help to reduce inflammation, for example in the joints, which can be extremely painful. In addition to decreasing inflammation, they also provide 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 tablets to reduce the inflammatory symptoms as much as possible and prevent swelling in the joints.

Diclofenac tablets are also prescribed regularly by doctors for alleviating menstrual pain. Many women suffer with sharp cramps in both the lower abdomen and back, and because the pain is so severe, doctors often prescribe pain relief. The active ingredient in this medication, diclofenac, helps to reduce pain during menstruation. A lot of women start taking diclofenac tablets one day before their period begins to keep the symptoms to a minimum, and to make the 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 tablets, while they are also used for migraine headaches and muscle pain, and to provide relief from cold and flu symptoms. In addition, diclofenac tablets are used in conditions and disorders where it is desirable to reduce pain and other symptoms to a minimum. They are commonly used to treat arthrosis, an inflammatory condition that affects some elderly people and causes pain in the joints.

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 diclofenac 50 mg tablet to take effect, and one tablet generally provides six hours of relief. The slow-release tablets do not work as quickly, but their effect lasts longer – from 12 up to 24 hours. The tablets are not suitable for children, and older patients should take the lowest possible dose.

What are the side effects of diclofenac?

The most common side effects are:

  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • 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 tablets may cause skin rashes, a change in liver function and retention of fluids in the arms and legs.

For a full list of possible side effects, see the leaflet that comes with your medicine.

Back to top