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Diclofenac Sodium: Dosage, Benefits and Side Effects | Good Doctor

One of the drugs commonly prescribed to treat pain and inflammation is diclofenac sodium. However, this drug has drinking rules that must be obeyed.

This is so that it remains safe for the body and no side effects are caused.

What is diclofenac sodium (diclofenac sodium)?

Diclofenac sodium is a drug nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs). These drugs work by reducing substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation.

Uses of diclofenac sodium

Diclofenac is used to treat mild to moderate pain, or signs and symptoms osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it is also useful for:

  • Sprains and strains in muscles and ligaments
  • Pain in the back
  • Treat ankylosing spondylitis – pain caused by inflammation of the spine and other parts of the body
  • Toothache
  • Migraine

Packaging and medicinal preparations

Diclofenac comes as a tablet, capsule, and suppository. It is available only by prescription. It can also be given as an injection or as eye drops. These are usually only given in the hospital.

There are also gels and plasters for joint pain, and they are usually available at pharmacies.

Diclofenac tablets come as diclofenac potassium or diclofenac sodium. They work as well as each other.

What you need to know about diclofenac

  • Take diclofenac tablets or capsules with a meal or snack, or immediately after a meal
  • It is best to take the lowest dose of diclofenac for the shortest time, to suit your symptoms
  • The most common side effects are headache, dizziness, stomach pain, diarrhea and rash
  • Diclofenac is also referred to by the brand names Voltarol, Dicloflex, Econac and Fenactol

Who can take diclofenac sodium?

diclofenac sodium
Take diclofenac. Photo source:

Most adults can consume this. For children can be given a prescription to treat joint problems.

Diclofenac tablets, capsules and suppositories can also be used for children aged 1 year and older, of course, it is recommended to consult a doctor first.

But diclofenac is also not suitable for certain people. This group must also consult and have a doctor’s prescription first, namely:

  • Have an allergic reaction to diclofenac or a history of other drug allergies
  • Allergy to aspirin or medications nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Have ever had signs or symptoms of asthma (wheezing), runny nose, swelling of the skin (angioedema) or a rash after taking the drug nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs)
  • Have had stomach ulcers, bleeding in the stomach or intestines, or wounds in the stomach
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease
  • Suffer from lupus
  • Have a disease crohn or ulcerative colitis
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding

Medication rules

  • You will usually be recommended to take diclofenac tablets, capsules, or suppositories 2 to 3 times a day
  • If your doctor prescribes diclofenac for a child, they will use the child’s weight as a consideration to determine the right dose
  • The standard dosage is 75 mg to 150 mg daily, depending on what your doctor prescribes for you. Follow your doctor’s advice on how many tablets to take, and how many times a day
  • If you experience pain throughout the day, your doctor may recommend an adjusted dose of diclofenac tablets or capsules
  • If you take diclofenac twice a day, give yourself 10 to 12 hours between doses.

What if you miss the time to consume it?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as usual.

Never use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

If you frequently forget doses, it’s a good idea to set an alarm to remind you when to take it.

How to use diclofenac sodium

Using diclofenac suppositories

Suppositories are a type of medicine that are used by gently pushing them into your back (anus).

  • Go to the toilet before wearing it
  • Wash your hands before and after using the medicine. Also clean around the back (anus) with soap and water, rinse and dry
  • Unpack the diclofenac suppository
  • Push the suppository into the back (anus) with the pointed end first. It needs to go in about 3 centimeters (1 inch)
  • Sit or lie still for about 15 minutes. The suppository will melt inside your back (anus). This is normal

Using diclofenac gel

  • Press the package (usually in the form of a tube) gently and evenly against the dispensing nozzles – to remove a little gel
  • Place the gel on the sore or swollen area and gently rub it in. It may feel cold on your skin. Wash and rinse your hands afterwards

You will usually use the gel 2 to 4 times a day, depending on how strong it is. Check the packaging for more information or contact your pharmacist if you have questions.

If you use the gel twice a day, use it once in the morning and once at night. If you use it 3 or 4 times a day, wait at least 4 hours before using it the next time.

Warning: do not use diclofenac gel more than 4 times in a 24 hour period.

Use diclofenac plaster

Place a medicated plaster on the painful area twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. Apply gentle pressure with your palms until they are completely against the skin.

Do not use more than 2 medicated plasters in a 24 hour period.

When you want to remove the plaster, use water which will help moisten it first. Once you’ve removed it, wash the affected skin and gently rub in a circular motion to remove excess glue from the plaster.

What if you use too much diclofenac sodium?

Taking too many diclofenac tablets, capsules or suppositories can be dangerous. It can cause side effects such as:

  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black stool or blood in your vomit, it could be a sign of bleeding in the stomach
  • Headache
  • Often sleepy
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

If you accidentally take too much diclofenac, call your doctor immediately. If you need to go to the hospital immediately, bring along a package of diclofenac or leaflet it also includes any remaining medicine that you have not taken.

Meanwhile, if you accidentally use too much plaster or too much gel, it won’t be too harmful.

But if you use too much and then get side effects, tell your doctor right away.

Interaction diclofenac with other painkillers

Diclofenac is safe to take with paracetamol or codeine.

Do not take diclofenac with similar painkillers – such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen – without first consulting your doctor.

Diclofenac, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen all belong to the same group of drugs called drugs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs).

Taking diclofenac with other NSAIDs can increase your chances of getting side effects such as stomach upset.

NSAIDs are also used in medicines that you can buy from pharmacies. For example, cough and cold medicines. Before taking any other medication, check the label to see if it contains aspirin, ibuprofen or another NSAID.

Side effects diclofenac

Like all medicines, diclofenac can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them.

Common side effects

Common side effects from diclofenac tablets, capsules and suppositories occur in more than 1 in 100 people. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist, if these side effects bother you, the symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy or vertigo
  • Stomach pain, or loss of appetite
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

You are less likely to have side effects if you use diclofenac in the form of a gel or patch. This is of course because not many drugs enter the body.

But you may still get the same side effects, especially if you apply a lot of gel on large areas of skin.

Also, using diclofenac gel or patches can affect your skin. It can make the skin become:

  • More sensitive to sunlight than usual
  • Develop a rash where the gel or plaster has been applied to an area of ​​your body
  • The skin becomes dry or irritated
  • Itching or inflammation (dermatitis)

How to deal with side effects

What to do if you experience the following:

Make sure you get enough rest and drink lots of water. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to recommend alternative pain relievers.

Headaches usually go away after the first week of taking diclofenac. Consult your doctor again, if what you feel lasts more than one week or even gets worse.

  • Feeling dizzy or vertigo

If you feel dizzy or your body becomes unstable, stop for a moment what you are doing. Immediately sit or lie down until you feel better.

Do not drive or use dangerous tools or machines if you feel dizzy.

If you feel that way, take diclofenac after eating. It may also help if you avoid spicy foods.

If you have diarrhea, immediately drink lots of water or ORS fluids. Talk to a pharmacist or doctor if you have signs of dehydration, such as urinating less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling urine.

Do not take any medication without first consulting a pharmacist or doctor.

Dry or irritated, itchy or inflamed skin. If you experience this, apply cream or ointment emollient which can be used to moisturize the area being treated (use of gel/plaster).

If it doesn’t get better within a week or you’re worried, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

  • The skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight

If you experience this, stay away from direct sunlight on your skin and use sun protection cream (SPF 15 or higher).

Serious side effects

These serious side effects are rare and even if they do occur the ratio is only 1 in 1,000 people.

Side effects that need to be consulted to the doctor

  • Vomiting accompanied by blood and feces (feces) is black. Be careful these can be signs of bleeding in your stomach or intestines
  • You have severe indigestion, heartburn or stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea. These could be signs of an ulcer, or inflammation of the stomach or intestines
  • You have a skin rash that is raised, itchy, or swollen, this could be a sign of hives (urticaria) or oedema
  • You have shortness of breath, fatigue and swollen feet or ankles, these could be signs of heart failure
  • Your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, this can be a sign of a problem in your liver
  • You experience chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling weak or dizzy, or feeling anxious, these can also be signs of a heart attack
  • You have a control weakness in one part of your body, for example it becomes difficult to speak or think, lose your balance or have blurred vision. These can be signs strokes

If you experience or even the people closest to you experience signs like this, immediately go straight to the hospital to ask for further treatment.

Once again, consult your doctor first when you are going to take diclofenac.

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