Diclofenac is used to relieve pain and swelling (inflammation) from various mild to moderate painful conditions. It is used to treat muscle aches, backaches, dental pain, menstrual cramps, and sports injuries. It also reduces pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
How to use Diclofenac Potassium
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using diclofenac and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces /240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. To prevent stomach upset, take this medication with food, milk, or an antacid.
There are different brands and forms of this medication available. Because different brands deliver different amounts of medication, do not switch brands of diclofenac without your doctor's permission and directions.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To minimize side effect risks (such as stomach bleeding), use this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. For chronic conditions such as arthritis, continue taking it as directed by your doctor. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to 2 weeks of regular use before the full benefits of this drug take effect.
If you are taking this drug on an "as needed" basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens. Side Effects
Upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, gas, headache, drowsiness, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, difficult/painful swallowing, symptoms of heart failure (such as swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain).
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), unexplained stiff neck.
This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist