This is a review article. It is intended to give all the practical information you need about diclofenac, and more.
As with all other articles on this website, here we give information and guidance. But the intention is not to replace Health professionals in your locality, who should always be sought when deviations in health are sensed or noticed.
WHAT IS DICLOFENAC?
Diclofenac is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It falls in the same group as ibuprofen, indomethacin, aspirin and ketorolac.
Like all other NSAIDs, diclofenac is thought to act by inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that are mediators of pain and inflammation in the body. Thus, it reduces pain, inflammation, and fever.
Diclofenac has been in existence for less than seventy years. It is widely available in most continents. The commonest tradename is Voltaren, with the other one being Cataflam.
A lot of generic preparations now exist. Diclofenac cost has therefore been kept at a reasonable level globally.
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Diclofenac is used for the following indications:
- to treat pain
- treatment of inflammation
- to treat migraine
- treatment of dysmenorrhea
Diclofenac is particularly useful in treating pain where inflammation is also present. Examples include inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders and cancer.
Diclofenac is also good for managing chronic pain conditions.
Diclofenac exists in various dosage forms, fortunately. This makes it very versatile. This are the preparations:
- Diclofenac tablets
- Diclofenac injection (intramuscular / intravenous)
- Suppositories for rectal use
- Gel for topical (skin) application
Important: The total adult daily dose of diclofenac should not exceed 150mg.
By mouth, the adult dose is 25 – 50mg, two to three times daily.
By injection, the dose is 25 – 75mg, twice (12-hourly) daily
DICLOFENAC SIDE EFFECTS
The commonest and most troublesome side effects are gastrointestinal. Because of the potent inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, diclofenac causes harm to the lining of the stomach. The spectrum of diseases caused by this varies from mild to very serious.
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