Diclofenac is currently one of the NSAIDs used to treat inflammatory conditions both musculoskeletal and systemic. It features analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory proprieties. Its mechanism of action is based on the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (also known as Cox) involved in the metabolism of membrane phospholipids.


In the case of trauma or tissue damage to the cells, it is important to undergo a series of modifications such as increasing levels of the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which in turn triggers a series of chain reactions that lead to the synthesis of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are molecules that are capable of facilitating the development of an inflammatory reaction. The activation of this mechanism leads to symptoms characterized by pain, increased body temperature and asthenia. The uses of drugs such as Diclofenac simply serve to modulate the excessive activation of this mechanism.


What is Diclofenac?

Diclofenac has analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used for the treatment of inflammatory and degenerative rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatism), painful conditions and post-traumatic inflammation.


How should Diclofenac be taken?

Diclofenac can be administered orally (in the form of tablets, capsules, granules), parenterally (injections), rectally (suppositories), as a topical medication (creams, sprays) or in the form of transdermal patch.


Side effects associated with Diclofenac

The administration of Diclofenac – as well as of other NSAIDs – may trigger the following:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastritis, peptic ulcer, and melaena;
  • Dermatological disorders: allergic reactions of various types (rash, hives, itching).


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Diclofenac

Particular attention should be paid when administering Diclofenac in patients with hypertension, heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases. Several studies have shown a potential association between the administration of this drug and a worsening of the clinical course of these diseases. As for administration of the drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding, several studies show that the intake of Diclofenac and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs promotes the appearance of cardiopulmonary toxicity, kidney failure, malformations and premature abortions. The drug taken in the immediate prenatal stage could reduce the ability of uterine contraction and increase the risk of bleeding in women.