Bulas and Medicines 2022

Diclofenac: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

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Diclofenac: what it is for, how to use it and side effects
Diclofenac: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

Diclofenac is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic remedy, which acts by reducing the production of inflammatory substances in the body, being indicated to relieve pain and inflammation in cases of osteoarthritis, rheumatism, menstrual cramps or pain after surgery, for example.

This medicine can be purchased in pharmacies or drugstores in the form of a tablet, drops, oral suspension, suppository, solution for injection or ointment, and can be found under the trade names Cataflam or Voltaren, or in its generic forms diclofenac potassium or diclofenac sodium, for example.

Although it is relatively safe, diclofenac should only be used under medical supervision.

What is it for

Diclofenac is indicated for the short-term treatment of pain and inflammation in the following conditions:

  • Postoperative pain and inflammation, such as after orthopedic or dental surgery;
  • Painful inflammatory states after an injury, such as a sprain or strain;
  • Arthritis;
  • Chronic Juvenile Arthritis;
  • Rheumatism;
  • Back pain;
  • Worsening of osteoarthritis;
  • Acute attacks of gout;
  • Tennis Elbow;
  • Frozen Shoulder Syndrome;
  • Painful or inflammatory conditions in gynecology, such as menstrual cramps or inflammation of the uterine appendages;

In addition, diclofenac can also be used in the treatment of serious infections, when pain and inflammation occur in the ear, nose or throat.

How to use

The way to use diclofenac varies according to the presentation:

1. 50 mg tablets

The recommended starting dose of diclofenac for adults is 100 to 150 mg per day, i.e. 2 to 3 tablets of 50 mg per day, and in milder cases the dose can be reduced to 75 to 100 mg per day. You should not take more than 3 tablets of diclofenac 50 mg per day.

The duration of treatment with diclofenac should be guided by the doctor, as it depends on the indication and severity of pain or inflammation.

Diclofenac tablets should be taken orally, with a glass of water, before meals. If the person forgets to take the dose at the right time, take it as soon as they remember but if it is close to the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait for the next time to take it. In no case should the dose be doubled to make up for the missed dose.

2. 15 mg/mL drops

The dose of diclofenac in drops must be adapted for use in children, and the dose must be adjusted according to body weight. Thus, for the treatment of chronic juvenile arthritis, in children aged 1 to 14 years, the recommended dose is 0.5 to 2 mg for each kg of body weight, which is equivalent to 1 to 4 drops, divided into two to three servings per day.

For adolescents aged 14 years and over, the recommended dose is 75 to 100 mg per day, divided into 2 to 3 doses, not exceeding 150 mg per day.

It is important to shake the bottle of diclofenac drops before use and the dose should not be mixed with water, juices or milk. It is recommended to use a spoon to give the dose to the child orally, preferably during a meal.

This medicine in drops can be found with the commercial name Cataflam or in the generic form as diclofenac resinate and should always be used with medical advice, especially for babies and children, as the pediatrician must indicate the amount to be taken and treatment time.

3. 2 mg/mL oral suspension

Diclofenac oral suspension contains 2 mg of diclofenac potassium for every 1 mL of suspension, and is indicated for the treatment of chronic juvenile arthritis in children aged 1 to 14 years. The dose must be calculated by the pediatrician according to the child's weight, and the recommended dose is 0.25 mL to 1 mL for each kg of body weight.

For adolescents over 14 years of age, the recommended dose is 37.5 to 50 mL per day, divided into 2 to 3 doses, not exceeding 75 mL per day.

Before using diclofenac oral suspension, the bottle should be shaken, and the dose should be taken orally, before a meal.

4. 50 mg suppositories

Diclofenac suppository contains 50 mg of diclofenac sodium, and is indicated for use in adults only, with the recommended initial dose ranging from 100 to 150 mg per day, ie 2 to 3 suppositories per day.The suppository should be applied to the anus, in the lying position, and after defecation.

5. 75 mg injectable ampoule

Injectable diclofenac should be applied directly to the gluteal muscle by a physician, nurse or trained he althcare professional, and the recommended dose for adults is 1 ampoule of 75 mg per day. In some cases, the doctor may increase the daily dose or combine treatment of the injectable with tablets or suppositories, for example, up to a maximum dose of 150 mg per day.

6. Ointment/gel

Diclofenac ointment is a gel containing diclofenac diethylammonium, indicated to reduce pain, inflammation or swelling of muscles and joints, in adults or adolescents over 14 years.

This ointment should be applied directly to the skin of the affected area, about 3 to 4 times a day, massaging lightly to aid in the absorption of the ointment. Do not apply to areas of the skin with open wounds.It is recommended to wash hands thoroughly after applying the ointment to avoid accidental contact with eyes, mouth or nose.

Diclofenac ointment can be found in its generic form or under the trade names Cataflan emulgel 11, 6 mg/g or Voltaren emulgel 10 mg/g.

What to do if you forget?

If you forget to take a dose at the right time of the tablet, solution, drops or oral suspension, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait for the next time to take it. In no case should the dose be doubled to make up for the missed dose.

Possible side effects

Some of the most common side effects that may occur during treatment with diclofenac are headache, dizziness, vertigo, pain in the pit of the stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dyspepsia, abdominal cramps, excess intestinal gas, decreased appetite, blistering of the skin.

In the case of injectable diclofenac, irritation, pain or stiffness at the injection site may also occur. Diclofenac ointment can cause side effects such as redness, itching, swelling, blisters or peeling of the skin in the area where it was applied.

Furthermore, although it is more rare, there may also be side effects that need immediate medical attention such as myocardial infarction or stroke that can be noticed with symptoms such as chest pain that spreads to the face or shoulder, numbness or sudden tingling on one side of the body, slurred speech or difficulty speaking, or feeling short of breath.

Diclofenac can also cause severe allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. Therefore, you should stop treatment and seek the nearest emergency room if you have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, cough, feeling of a closed throat, swelling in the mouth, tongue or face.Know how to identify the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

Who should not use

Diclofenac should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by people who have a stomach or intestinal ulcer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, severe liver, kidney or heart disease, or high blood pressure. high.

This remedy should not be used by people allergic to diclofenac or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, such as acetylsalicylic acid, naproxen or ibuprofen, for example. In addition, diclofenac should also not be used by people who have asthma, rhinitis, nasal polyps, or hives caused or exacerbated by the use of aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition, diclofenac may increase the effect of anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding.

Diclofenac ointment should not be used on open wounds or eyes and the suppository should not be used if the person has pain in the rectum.

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