Diclofenac: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions & More



Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is meant to relieve pain and reduce inflammation by eliminating the root cause or factors causing pain in the body. It can be injected orally, intravenously (inside veins), rectally (through the rectum), or subcutaneously (through the skin). It works by inhibiting the prostaglandin enzyme, which is the reason for the pain and inflammation.

Let us get to all the aspects related to Diclofenac.

What are the uses of diclofenac?

It helps relieve swelling (inflammation), pain, and joint stiffness (immobile joints) caused by any type of arthritis. The drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain and the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (a disorder affecting small joints) and osteoarthritis (a disorder affecting long joints).

It is used to treat ankylosis spondylitis (inflammation of the spine). Eliminating these symptoms can help enhance the quality of patients’ lives.

However, before taking this drug for chronic (long-term) conditions like arthritis, patients must consult a doctor.

How and when to take diclofenac?

It is prescribed to treat long-lasting and unbearable pain occurring due to conditions such as arthritis, menstrual cramps, migraines, etc.  

Diclofenac is administered through various routes, but the most common way to take it is by mouth, or orally. The drug comes in various forms like liquid-filled capsules, tablets, hard gelatin capsules, and powders so that it can be taken orally.

Liquid-filled diclofenac capsules are generally taken 4 times a day, whereas hard gelatin capsules are taken 3 times a day on an empty stomach. Diclofenac tablets are taken once a day, but 2 tablets a day are prescribed in severe conditions. For migraine headaches, a single dose of diclofenac powder solution is recommended without food. Patients should take the drug at the same time every day if they are advised to take it regularly.

What are the side effects of diclofenac?

Diclofenac can show signs of various allergic reactions, such as difficulty in breathing, inflammation of the face and throat, or severe skin reactions (skin pain, blisters, peeling, and skin rash). Stop using diclofenac or seek medical help in severe conditions like sudden numbness, chest pain, muscle aches, swollen glands, etc.

 If the patient has any of the following symptoms, contact a doctor immediately and discontinue use of the medication.

  • Signs of skin rashes (mild or moderate)

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Cardiac problems: shortness of breath, rapid weight gain

  • Kidney problems: less or no urination, painful urine discharge, swelling in legs and arms.

  • Liver problems: stomach pain, diarrhoea, jaundice

 Some common side effects of the drug include:

  • Bloating, gas, and nausea

  • Constipation

  • Drowsiness, headaches

  • Sweating, itching

  • High blood pressure

What precautions are to be taken before taking diclofenac?

Before taking this drug, patients should keep the following points in mind:

  • The patient must tell the doctor if he/she is allergic to diclofenac, aspirin, NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen, celecoxib) or any other drugs.

  • Inform the doctor about the medical history, particularly: asthma (having a history of shortness of breath after taking NSAIDs or aspirin), coagulation or bleeding problems, cardiac issues (such as a previous heart attack), liver disease, nasal polyps, intestinal or stomach problems.

  • It can cause kidney damage when used for prolonged periods. In the case of any existing kidney issues, the chances of kidney failure can increase with diclofenac consumption.

  • Inform the doctor about previous surgeries and drug prescriptions.

  • Do not drive after consuming this drug as it can cause dizziness and drowsiness.

  • It can cause stomach bleeding, and the risk can increase with the use of tobacco and alcohol.

  • Older people are at a high risk of intestinal and stomach bleeding, heart attack, and stroke when consuming this drug.

What if I missed a dose of diclofenac?

If you miss taking a diclofenac dose, then you should take this tablet as soon as you recall. If it is the time of the next dose, then it is advised to skip the missed dose and take the usual dose as scheduled.

You should not take the extra dose to cover up the forgotten dose. Set a reminder alarm so that you cannot forget to take your medicine on time. 

What if I overdose diclofenac?

Patients are suggested not to take excessive amounts of this tablet. Overdosing on the diclofenac tablet can result in poisoning and other serious side effects. Also, the side effects and symptoms of this overdosing cannot be changed by consuming more medicines. Share detailed information about an overdose so that doctors can help the patient reduce the symptoms and side effects.

What are the storage conditions for diclofenac?

All the medicines should be stored at room temperature and kept away from direct heat and light to prevent them from getting ruined. Do not store medications in refrigerators. Never throw these drugs in the drainage systems or flush them in the washrooms. People can contact doctors or pharmacists to know which to store and when to discard the medicines.

Can I take diclofenac with other medications?

Patients can take diclofenac with codeine or paracetamol. However, it should be avoided with painkillers like naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Though these painkillers belong to the same class of NSAID drugs as diclofenac, they can cause stomach aches, headaches, etc.

If you have to take these or any other medications, consult a doctor first. 

How quickly will diclofenac show results?

Diclofenac capsules or tablets take 20 to 30 minutes to work. It takes a few hours for suppositories to show results. There is no difference in how the suppositories, capsules, and tablets work. The dose of each drug is small.

Comparison of Diclofenac and Aceclofenac

Both aceclofenac and diclofenac are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Patients with inflammatory rheumatic and non-rheumatic diseases are prescribed diclofenac tablets. Aceclofenac tablets provide symptomatic relief in painful conditions such as joint pain.





  • It is a non-steroidal tablet

  • It is a non-steroidal tablet


  • This tablet is used to treat pain and inflammatory diseases

  • It is used to relieve pain and inflammation

Safe Dosage

For osteoarthritis (adults)- 50 milligrams 2-3 times a day

For rheumatoid arthritis (adults)- 50 milligrams, 3-4 times a day. 

Recommended dose- 200 milligrams daily, 100 milligrams tablet in morning and evening each. 


Diclofenac is one of the most popularly used drugs for pain relief caused by arthritis. Limited amounts of diclofenac are safe and effective. However, excess amounts can cause severe problems. Hence, professionals' advice is a must before taking this medicine. 





Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to substitute an advice from a healthcare professional. The information is not intended to cover all the possible uses, side-effects, precautions, and drug interactions. This information is not intended to suggest that using a specific drug is suitable, safe, or efficient for you or anyone else. The absence of any information or warning regarding the drug should not be interpreted as an implicit guarantee from the organisation. We strongly advise you to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about the drug and never use the medication without a doctor’s prescription.