According to the National Institutes of Health, diclofenac sodium is used to relieve joint pain, swelling and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Diclofenac Is also used to treat headaches, muscle aches and pain due to minor injuries. Diclofenac works by reducing prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain, fever and inflammation.
1. Directions of Use
According to Drugs.com, diclofenac sodium should be taken with a full glass of water to minimize stomach upsets. The doctor may also recommend patients to take diclofenac with food so as to avoid stomach irritation. Patients taking diclofenac sodium should avoid lying down for 30 minutes after taking diclofenac sodium so as to prevent irritation of the esophagus.
Drugs.com states that, diclofenac should not be given to patients who have experienced allergic reactions and asthma after taking aspirin and other NSAIDs. Diclofenac sodium should also not be used to treat pain right before heart bypass surgery.
According to Drugs.com, Diclofenac sodium should be used with caution in patients with previous histories of stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney problems, heart disease and high blood pressure. Diclofenac causes fluid retention which may aggravate existing kidney and heart problems.
4. Side Effects
Patients taking diclofenac sodium may experience diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, heartburn, vomiting, bloating nausea, abdominal pain and blurred vision. Patients taking diclofenac sodium may experience adverse side effects such as stomach ulcers, perforation and bleeding and these symptoms may occur anytime during treatment and without warning signs. Risks of stomach ulcers and bleeding increase with longer use of diclofenac sodium. Signs and symptoms of stomach perforation and active gastrointestinal bleeding include severe abdominal pain, weakness, dizziness when standing up, black tarry stool, coffee ground vomit and coughing blood. Signs and symptoms of diclofenac overdose include lethargy, drowsiness, shallow breathing, rapid heart beat, ringing in the ears, hypertension, acute renal failure, nausea and vomiting.
5. Long-term Effects
According to the National Institutes of Health, Long-term use of diclofenac has been linked to heart attack and stroke in patients with existing heart problems. Diclofenac interferes with platelets formation leading to formation of blood clots. Blood clots cause heart attack and stroke. Diclofenac also causes kidney and liver failure when used for a long-time. Diclofenac sodium causes necrosis of kidney tissues leading to kidney problems that may require long-time dialysis. Signs of kidney failure include decreased urination, sudden weight gain, swelling of feet and ankles, wheezing and shortness of breath. Diclofenac damages the liver especially when used for a long-time. Signs and symptoms of liver failure include itching, nausea, dark urine and yellowing of the eyes and skin.