Common brand names:
Diclofenac is used to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This long-acting medication is not intended to relieve sudden severe pain because it starts working slowly.
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using diclofenac and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces / 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise, usually once daily. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. To prevent stomach upset, take this medication with food, milk, or an antacid.
Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
There are different brands and forms of this medication available. Because different brands deliver different amounts of medication, do not switch brands of diclofenac without your doctor's permission and directions.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To minimize side effect risks (such as stomach bleeding), use this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. It may take up to 2 weeks of regular use before the full benefits of this drug take effect.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
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Information expires June 2016.