What are NSAIDs? What is Diclofenac?

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NSAIDs are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs which are used to treat pain, fever and inflammation. These drugs are considered fairly safe and widely accepted by all groups of people. NSAIDs are also used to treat headaches, muscle aches, soreness from injuries, arthritis, menstrual cramps and also mild fever. Unlike many steroidal drugs, NSAIDs are non-addictive and hence preferred.

What is diclofence used?

Diclofenac is a popular NSAID which is used to treat pain or inflammation in arthritis or injuries. It is also used in conditions of menstrual cramps and migraine headaches. Diclofenac is used as a generic drug in several formulations intended for different purposes.  When a person is injured the damaged cells at the site of injury release prostaglandins.  The prostaglandins make the tissues swell and amplify the pain felt. NSAIDs work by blocking the release of  hormones cox1 and cox2 enzymes which help in synthesizing prostaglandins. And therefore help in feeling less pain.




What is the dosage for Diclofenac?

Diclofenac is available in tablets and dispersible tablets form and should be taken in the recommended dosage and frequency. Generally the dosage may vary from twice a day for a week to 3 months depending on the extent of treatment and damage analysed by the doctor. Since it is both a prescribed drug as well as used extensively over-the-counter, patients should be extra careful to keep track of the dosage they are using. As children are also treated with diclofenac, parents should be extra careful about the dosage and should not administer 2 doses simultaneously or 2 different NSAIDs together. Diclofenac tablets especially should not be crushed, chewed or broken before consuming it as the pill comes with a special protection for the stomach tissue and breaking the pill would mean that we are removing all the protection we could give the tender lining of the stomach walls.



What are the side effects of Diclofenac?

While this has been about the indications of Diclofenac, it is also widely known that Diclofenac brings with itself a host of side effects among which are: stomach pain, stomach upset, loss of appetite, chest pain, short breath, muscle weakness, reduced urination and constipation and fever. Some other side effects include rashes, dizziness, ear pain and rapid weight gain.



What  precautions should one take while on Diclofenac?

Diclofenac should be taken only after a meal failing which it may cause damage or rupture to the tender stomach walls and cause stomach upset, bleeding and gas. The elderly are at an additional risk of developing stomach bleeding problems. Stomach upset may increase if the patient also has smoking habit and alcoholism. Also, if the dosage is continued for a longer duration than prescribed, it may cause damage to the stomach. If the patient experiences severe pain and gas or bleeding on taking Diclofenac, they should discontinue immediately and consult their doctor.


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