What is this medication and its most common uses?Diclofenac sodium is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine).
What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?How does this medication work?
Diclofenac sodium blocks a substance in your body that is involved in causing inflammation and pain in parts of the body where there is arthritis.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Diclofenac sodium may relieve your arthritis symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and stiffness.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take diclofenac sodium exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
You may feel relief in your arthritis symptoms after you start taking diclofenac sodium. This is a good indicator that the medicine is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.
What are the possible side effects of this medication?The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Diclofenac sodium may increase the chance of a life-threatening heart attack or stroke. The risk of heart attack or stroke may be increased with longer use and in people who have heart disease. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or slurring of your speech while taking diclofenac sodium.
Diclofenac sodium should never be used right before or after a heart surgery called a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
Diclofenac sodium can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment. Ulcers and bleeding can be life-threatening and may happen without warning symptoms. The chance of a person getting an ulcer or bleeding increases with longer use, smoking, drinking alcohol, older age, having poor health, and if you are taking medicines called corticosteroids (such as prednisone) or blood thinners (such as warfarin). Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop stomach pain, indigestion, bloody or tarry stools, or you vomit blood while taking diclofenac sodium.
More common side effects may include: stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, gas, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, ringing in your ears.
Less common side effects may include:
Liver problems with symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, weakness, itchiness, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, right upper stomach pain, and flu-like symptoms.
Severe allergic reactions with symptoms such as skin rash, blisters, fever, itching, trouble breathing, or swelling of your face or throat.
Diclofenac sodium may cause high blood pressure, anemia (low red blood cell counts), kidney problems, or unexplained weight gain or swelling.
Who should not take this medication?Do not take diclofenac sodium if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take diclofenac sodium if you have had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction with aspirin or any other NSAID (such as ibuprofen or naproxen).
Do not take diclofenac sodium for pain right before or after a heart bypass surgery.
Do not take diclofenac sodium during the late stages of your pregnancy.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with diclofenac sodium. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma; high blood pressure or heart failure; kidney or liver problems; a history of ulcers or bleeding in your stomach or intestines; are dehydrated; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults: The recommended dose is 50 milligrams (mg) two or three times a day or 75 mg twice a day.
Adults: The recommended dose is 50 mg three or four times a day or 75 mg twice a day.
Adults: The recommended dose is 25 mg four or five times a day.
If you have liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
How should I take this medication?Take diclofenac sodium exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.
What should I avoid while taking this medication?Do not take other NSAIDs in combination with diclofenac sodium without first talking to your healthcare provider.
What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?If diclofenac sodium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining diclofenac sodium with the following: aspirin, blood pressure/heart medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (such as lisinopril and enalapril), cyclosporine, furosemide, lithium, methotrexate, voriconazole, or warfarin.
May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Do not take diclofenac sodium if you are in the late stage of your pregnancy. The effects of diclofenac sodium during early pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking diclofenac sodium. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?If you miss a dose of diclofenac sodium, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store this medication?Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture.