Rheumatoid arthritis, dysmenorrhea, gout, kidney stones, dental inflammations, migraines, tendonitis, low back pain, joint pain, and post-surgical pain are some of the most frequent conditions your GP may have prescribed diclofenac.
This medicine is part of the family of well-known NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Surely you have heard that there are two types of diclofenac: sodium and potassium, basically differing from each other in the salt with which it is associated, sodium or potassium. Despite this, both have similar pharmacological properties.
Like any drug, there are some risks concerning the dose and duration of treatment, so in this FastlyHealarticle, we will explain everything about this drug and especially we will answer the question, how many days can diclofenac be taken?
Table of Contents
What is diclofenac, and what is it for?
Diclofenac is available under its generic name, which is usually very easy to find, and under different trade names Dioxaflex, Catalan, Voltaren pill, Dolotren, Cinfadol, Diclokern, Lease, Voltadol, Defense.
It is part of the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. It is a phenylacetic acid derivative and has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties.
If you wonder what diclofenac is for, this drug works by reducing substances that cause pain in inflammation in the body (it blocks the synthesis of prostaglandins, which depends on the inhibition of cyclooxygenase).
Diclofenac treats pain of mild to moderate intensity, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Menstrual cramps.
- Migraine crisis.
- Gout crisis.
- Kidney stones
- Dental inflammations.
- Postoperative pain.
- Low back pain
Likewise, diclofenac has a mild antipyretic action. That is, it lowers the temperature. However, it is not ideal to use it when you only have a fever, and there is no associated pain.
Sodium diclofenac or potassium diclofenac?
The difference between the two is practically minimal. Both diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium have similar pharmacological properties. Even their administration dose and adverse effects are almost identical.
The discrepancy between the two lies in the salt to which it is associated, sodium or potassium. The active molecule of the drug is the same in both diclofenac. It has been described that diclofenac potassium usually acts approximately 30 minutes faster than sodium. In the same way, this drug dissolves in stomach acid, while diclofenac sodium usually dissolves in the intestine.
Once dissolved, the distribution of both and their metabolism is usually similar. On the other hand, the maximum concentration of potassium diclofenac is reached when the drug is administered. In contrast, sodium usually comes at its maximum dose between 2 and 3 hours after taking it.
In acute pain, it is advisable to choose diclofenac potassium. Since its effect is usually faster than sodium, the latter is generally used in chronic pain.
How many days can I take diclofenac?
Suppose you wonder how many days you can take diclofenac. It will depend on the condition to be treated since diclofenac varies in its dose: the recommended dose ranges between 25 mg and 100 mg, three times a day, every 8 hours. Diclofenac should not exceed 200 mg per day. However, due to increased side effects, this dose should be avoided.
Like any other NSAID, diclofenac should not be exceeded in its administration for more than seven days unless you are under medical supervision and the doctor indicates otherwise.
Diclofenac can be taken with a glass of water or liquid, preferably before meals.
Do not consume alcohol, aspirin, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs while taking diclofenac; this can increase the risk of adverse effects instead of increasing analgesia, as many people tend to believe.
You may be interested in the article: Can diclofenac be combined with ibuprofen?
Diclofenac: adverse effects and precautions
Now that you know how many days you can take diclofenac, it is also essential to know the adverse effects. Many people believe that this is a harmless drug, and they tend to abuse it in terms of its dose and the days on which diclofenac can be taken, considerably increasing the risk of suffering from the following side effects :
- Stomach ache.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Swelling in the hands or feet
- Ringing in the ears.
- Burning sensation in the stomach.
- Joint pain
On the other hand, diclofenac should be avoided in people who have previously manifested allergy reactions after administering some other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs).
People who suffer from some diseases should exercise caution when it comes to needing to be treated with diclofenac, especially those who suffer from:
- Cardiovascular diseases.
- Heart failure.
- Gastritis or ulcer.
- Previous history of gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Hepatic cirrhosis.
- Active bleeding.
- They are during the stage of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Finally, you have to know that the combination of diclofenac-type NSAIDs usually has some interaction with drugs such as:
In turn, the risk of kidney disease is likely to increase after combining diclofenac with drugs belonging to the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor antagonists, both groups of medicines. Antihypertensives.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.