Diclofenac is a member of a group of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is efficient against inflammation due to effects it achieves. The drug is capable of reducing the amount of substances responsible for the process of inflammation.
Diclofenac is prescribed for patients suffering from arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and is also efficient against migraines (used in a form of powder). The drug is, however, not recommended for people with cluster headaches.
More about Diclofenac
It is essential to be familiar with all potential side effects a person prescribed with diclofenac may develop.
Firstly, the drug is associated with severe conditions such as heart attack and stroke. The risk of these circulatory problems is higher in individuals who take diclofenac for a long period of time.
Secondly, the drug is never prescribed prior to or after heart bypass surgery. Any symptoms that may point to heart problems such as chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath etc. as well as symptoms that might point to the presence of stroke like slurred speech, problems with vision/balance during treatment with diclofenac must be reported promptly.
Gastrointestinal tract side effects are bleeding and perforation. Intestinal bleeding is associated with black, bloody or tarry stools. Vomiting blood or stomach content that resembles coffee grounds points to the presence of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Finally, it is also essential to pay close attention to potential interactions between diclofenac and other medications a person is currently taking. Furthermore, alcohol is strictly forbidden during treatment with diclofenac because it increases the risk of bleeding.
Prior to Taking Diclofenac
People who are at risk of cerebrovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke must never be prescribed diclofenac. People allergic to diclofenac, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs must never take diclofenac as well.
Previous or current liver and kidney disease may also be considered as a contraindication for diclofenac. Asthma patients, those suffering from nasal polyps, patients with blood clotting disorders and heavy smokers are also not advised to take this drug.
As far as pregnant women are concerned, diclofenac is classified as FDA pregnancy category D drug. This means that it is strictly forbidden during the entire pregnancy. As a matter of fact, diclofenac is not even supposed to be taken if a woman is planning to conceive. There is no sufficient data available regarding whether diclofenac passes into breast milk and whether it can cause any harm to a breastfed baby. So the drug should not be used while breastfeeding. Finally, diclofenac must never be taken by children younger than 18 years of age without previous consultation with a doctor.