Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with various conditions such as arthritis, gout, menstrual cramps, and certain types of injuries. It’s available under different brand names, including Voltaren and Cataflam.
Here are some key points about diclofenac:
Mechanism of Action
Similar to other NSAIDs, diclofenac works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, substances in the body that contribute to pain and inflammation. By reducing prostaglandin levels, diclofenac helps alleviate these symptoms.
It is commonly prescribed to manage pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and other musculoskeletal conditions. It’s also used for acute conditions like sprains, strains, and menstrual cramps.
Dosage Forms and Administration
It is available in various forms such as tablets, capsules, gels, patches, and topical solutions. However the dosages and application methods may vary based on the specific formulation and condition being treated.
While it can provide short-term relief for acute pain, chronic conditions may require longer-term use, under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and duration recommended by your doctor.
Common side effects include stomach upset, heartburn, nausea, headache, dizziness, and skin irritation at the application site (for topical forms). Moreover Long-term use or higher doses may increase the risk of stomach ulcers, bleeding, and cardiovascular issues.
Precautions and Interactions
Individuals with a history of stomach ulcers, heart problems, kidney issues, or asthma should use diclofenac cautiously and consult a healthcare professional. Otherwise Diclofenac may interact with other medications, including blood thinners (anticoagulants), other NSAIDs, certain antidepressants, and some blood pressure medications.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Availability
While some forms and strengths of diclofenac require a prescription, lower doses may be available over-the-counter in some regions.
Always use diclofenac as directed by a healthcare professional, and carefully follow the recommended dosage and usage instructions provided on the label or by your doctor. If you experience any adverse effects or have concerns about using diclofenac, consult your healthcare provider.