What Is the Medicine Diclofenac Used for?
Diclofenac is a medication available in generic form and under brand names such as Cataflam and Voltaren. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), diclofenac is prescribed to treat conditions that cause pain, inflammation and fever.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved various brands of diclofenac products to relieve pain, swelling, stiffness and inflammation associated with the joint conditions osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Other Approved Uses
The medication also is approved to treat migraine headaches, painful menstruation and the precancerous skin condition actinic keratosis. Additionally, Voltaren ophthalmic solution can relieve pain, inflammation and sensitivity to light after eye surgery.
Off-Label Joint and Muscle Use
Some doctors prescribe diclofenac for the off-label (unapproved) uses of treating pain associated with the joint and muscle disorders juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia. It’s also effective at relieving pain associated with lupus, tendinitis, bursitis, kidney stones and gallstones; it’s also prescribed for post-surgery pain and pain due to injury.
Doctors also prescribe diclofenac to relieve chronic pain caused by cancer, particularly when inflammation is present.
If you develop blood in your urine or black stools, this may be an indication of stomach bleeding. Also be aware of changes in your amount of urine or painful urination, swelling of the feet or yellowing of the skin. These could be signs of serious side effects, so contact your doctor.