Q: What is diclofenac?
A: Diclofenac belongs to the generic class for prescription medicine for relief of pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness related with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and akylosing spondylitis or a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Diclofenac immediate-release or short –acting tablets are also applied to cure menstrual periods and other kinds of pains. Part of the medication is called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatments or the NSAIDs, diclofenac is manufactured and marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals under the brand names Cataflam and Voltaren-XR. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals is also known to produce and market diclofenac.
Q: Is there any serious health risks linked with the use of diclofenac?
A: Individuals, who are taking NSAIDs, other than the aspirin like diclofenac, may have more chances of having a heart attack or a stroke compared to those who do not use this treatment. These risks may occur without warning that may lead to death. These risks are also higher for those who are taking the NSAIDs for a longer period.
NSAIDs like diclofenac can cause ulcers, bleeding, or holes in the stomach or intestines. These health problems may also develop at any time while on treatment and may occur without warning that can cause death. The risks are greater for those who are taking NSAIDs for a long time, those who are older, those with poor health condition, and those who drink a lot of alcohol while using diclofenac.
Q: What are the preventive measures should I take before or while taking Diclofenac?
A: Do keep your appointments with your healthcare provider and the laboratory. Inform him/her how you feel so that he/she will be able to prescribe the right dose of diclofenac to cure your illness with the lowest risks of severe side effects. Read thoroughly the manufacturer’s patient information sheet or the Medication Guide as you start the treatment, and ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist any inquiries that you have.
Q: What should I tell the healthcare provider before he/she prescribes Diclofenac?
A: Inform your healthcare provider if you
- Have allergies with diclofenac, NSAIDs, aspirin, and other medications, or any of the inactive components contained in diclofenac
- If you or any of your family members has or had heart problems like heart attack, or stroke
- If you are smoking
- Have or had high cholesterol level
- Ulcers, bleeding in your stomach or intestines or any other bleeding problems
- Have asthma or persistent stuffed or runny nose or nasal polyps
- Are suffering from lupus
- Have porphyria
- Have liver and kidney problems
- Have some issues with swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Pregnant, or planning to be pregnant, or are breastfeeding your baby
- If you are taking diclofenac before going through a surgery which includes the dental surgery.
Q: What are the side effects linked with Diclofenac?
A: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms linked with diclofenac persistenly:
- Ringing in the ears
- Gas or bloating sensations
Call your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of the following side effects:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Extreme tiredness
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper right side of the stomach
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Flu-like symptoms
- Hives, rashes, blisters
- Swelling of the face, eyes, tongue, lips throat, arms, hands, feet ankles, or lower legs
- Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
- Cloudy, discolored or bloody urine
- Back pain
- Difficulty or painful urination
Q: Is there any interaction between diclofenac and other drugs or foods?
A: Diclofenac and some medicines can work with one another. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take including the prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Unless your healthcare provider advises you otherwise, you may continue with your normal diet.
Q: What should I do if I think I have been injured as a consequence of taking diclofenac?
A: If you or any of your family members are suffering from any of the symptoms while taking diclofenac, you must contact first your physician or healthcare provider. Then, you should find a reliable and experienced lawyer to find the right legal options you may take for the injury you have sustained as a result of using diclofenac.