Diclofenac

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Diclofenac is an anti-inflammatory drug that provides pain relief for medical problems such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and migraines.

Learn About:

How to take - Side Effects - Things To Avoid - Pregnancy

It works by reducing substances in the body that cause swelling.

If you need painkillers for joint pain, migraines or any other medical condition, ask our doctors about diclofenac. They’ll talk to you about your symptoms and recommend the most effective course of treatment.

Diclofenac
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Diclofenac Dosage

You should take your diclofenac exactly as instructed by your doctor. They may prescribe a slow-release tablet, which you should swallow whole without chewing, or a powder that you stir into water and drink.

Because diclofenac is found in many different brands of drug, it’s important that you don’t switch brands without talking to your doctor first. It could lead to you taking an incorrect dose, which would potentially be harmful to your health.

Each brand must also be taken a different way - while most diclofenac products should be taken after food, some are most effective on an empty stomach.

If you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember. The only time this doesn’t apply is if it’s nearly time for your next dose, in which case you should leave it. Never double dose - it won’t make diclofenac any more effective and you could increase your risk of side effects.

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What Are The Side Effects of Diclofenac?

The more common side effects of diclofenac include:

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Wind
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizzy spells
  • Drowsiness
  • Blocked nose
  • Itching
  • Swollen arms/legs

These will usually pass once you stop taking diclofenac.

There are also a few potential side effects that are more serious. While they happen rarely, if you notice any of the following symptoms you must tell a doctor straight away.

  • Trouble urinating
  • Signs of liver problems, e.g. jaundice
  • Anaemia
  • Red or black poo - this could be a sign of a stomach or intestinal bleed

There’s also a very small chance that diclofenac will cause an allergic reaction. Call for emergency medical help if you’re having trouble breathing, you develop a sudden rash or you notice swelling around your face, lips or throat.

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Side effects of diclofenac

Things to avoid

Diclofenac might not be suitable for people who smoke, or have:

  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • A history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure

Diclofenac shouldn’t be given to children, or mixed with other painkilling medicine such as aspirin.

Long term use could increase your risk of heart attacks and stroke, so make sure to stop taking diclofenac as soon as your doctor tells you to.

Diclofenac and alcohol

Drinking alcohol while taking diclofenac increases your chance of stomach bleeding. As such, it’s best to avoid it completely during your treatment.

Is It Safe to Take Diclofenac During Pregnancy?

Diclofenac can cause harm to your baby if taken during your third trimester. If you need anti-inflammatory medication earlier in your pregnancy, you should discuss this with a doctor first to assess the possible risks.

It’s not known whether or not diclofenac can pass into breast milk and harm your baby. To be on the safe side, if you’re breastfeeding then it’s worth discussing other options with your doctor.

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Pregnancy and diclofenac

Talk to a doctor Today

If you’re suffering from a pain or ache that’s preventing you going about your day, talk to one of our doctors today.


We’ll be able to see you in just six minutes and your doctor can write a prescription if needed, allowing you to pick up your diclofenac from a pharmacy of your choice.

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