Diclofenac Sodium

Diclofenac Sodium is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is a type of medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Diclofenac Sodium is used to relieve pain and inflammation in a wide range of conditions including:

1. Osteoarthritis

This is the most common form of arthritis which affects millions of people. It happens when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although this condition can damage any joint, it most commonly affects joints in your knees, hands, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis symptoms frequently progress slowly and get worse over time. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Tenderness
  • Bone spurs
  • Grating sensation
  • Swelling 

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

This is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. For some people, it can damage a wide variety of body systems. The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body also. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Warm, tender, and swollen joints
  • Fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite
  • Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity 

3. Acute gout

This condition is characterized by sudden and severe attacks of pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. An attack of gout can happen suddenly. It may be waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is swollen and hot. It is so tender as well that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable. Gout symptoms may come and go. But, there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares. Some signs and symptoms of gout may include:

  • Lingering discomfort
  • Intense joint pain
  • Limited range of motion 
  • Inflammation and redness 

4. Migraine 

This condition may cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation. It usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraine is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities. Medications can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. The right medicines combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes might help as well. For some people, a warning symptom known as an aura occurs before or with the headaches. An aura includes visual disturbances like blind spots, tingling on one side of the face, and difficulty speaking. 

Diclofenac Sodium helps lessen the symptoms and helps you do more of your normal daily activities. This comes as a tablet for oral use. Each is available in the dosage form of 50 mg. 

How does Diclofenac Sodium work?

Diclofenac Sodium works by stopping an enzyme in the body called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) from working.

If you have an injury or a condition like arthritis, the COX in your body usually creates substances called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause swelling, pain, and inflammation. This medication stops COX from making these prostaglandins and reduces inflammation and pain.

Diclofenac Sodium will start to relieve pain and inflammation after a single dose. But, its anti-inflammatory effect will continue to build up over a few weeks of taking it regularly.

How to use Diclofenac Sodium?

The dosage of Diclofenac Sodium will depend on your medical condition. Your doctor may instruct you to start at a lower dose. Do not take more or less than the prescription. You must take Diclofenac Sodium exactly as it is given by your doctor. 

Diclofenac Sodium is to be taken by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without food. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking a dose. It is important to continue taking this even if you feel well. Do not suddenly stop taking Diclofenac Sodium without the consent of your doctor. Take this medicine at the same time and in the same way each day. With a full glass of water, swallow the medicine as a whole. Do not chew, break, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule if it is nearly time for your next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.  

What are the side effects of Diclofenac Sodium?

Common side effects:

  • Nausea 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Gas

Tell your doctor right away if you have these side effects:

  • Sudden or unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling of the ankles, hands or feet
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Signs of kidney problems such as changes in the amount of urine 

Warnings and Precautions

  • This medication causes drowsiness, dizziness, or visual disturbances. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects you and is sure it won’t affect your performance. 
  • It is usually fine to drink alcohol in moderation if you’re taking Diclofenac Sodium. Take note that long-term use or high doses of Diclofenac Sodium may have a risk of irritating the stomach lining and drinking alcohol more than the daily suggested limit.
  • Do not take Diclofenac Sodium is you are allergic to any of its ingredients. 
  • Tell your doctor if you have any allergies or if you ever had an allergic reaction to this medication before. 
  • This is not recommended for use in people with severe liver failure or kidney failure, those in the last three months of pregnancy, who have heart disease, stroke, or poor blood circulation in legs or feet. 
  • Some people may need a lower dose or extra monitoring form your doctor when taking Diclofenac Sodium. Make sure you tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and have ever had a disorder affecting your stomach or intestines. 
  • If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first before taking this drug.