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Diclofenac Sodium Side Effects

Common side effects of diclofenac sodium, like headache, constipation, and diarrhea, are usually mild and easily treated. However, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience red or purple spots on the skin or blood in the urine. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience potentially serious side effects, such as shortness of breath or chest pain -- this could signify a heart attack or stroke.

Diclofenac Sodium Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with diclofenac sodium (Voltaren®, Voltaren®-XR); however, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in many cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with diclofenac sodium. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of diclofenac sodium side effects with you. In addition, this article does not apply to diclofenac sodium gel [Voltaren® Gel and Solaraze®], diclofenac sodium eye drops [Voltaren Ophthalmic®], or diclofenac sodium topical solution [Pennsaid®].)

Common Side Effects of Diclofenac Sodium

Diclofenac sodium has been studied extensively in clinical trials, with thousands of people worldwide having been evaluated. In these studies, side effects are always documented and compared to side effects that occurred in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common diclofenac sodium side effects include:
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn or indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Gas
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Ulcer in the stomach or intestines (peptic ulcer)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling
  • Increase in liver enzymes
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Unexplained rash
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
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