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Precautions and Warnings With Diclofenac Sodium

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Diclofenac Sodium

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking diclofenac sodium include the following:
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Weakness
    • Slurring of speech.
  • All NSAIDs may cause high blood pressure or make it worse. Therefore, diclofenac sodium should be used with caution in people with known high blood pressure.
  • All NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium, may cause congestive heart failure or swelling. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice unexplained weight gain or swelling. The medication should be used with caution in people with congestive heart failure.
  • All NSAIDs have been reported to cause problems in the stomach and intestines, including bleeding (known as gastrointestinal bleeding), stomach ulcers, or holes in the stomach or intestines (called perforations). These problems can lead to serious complications or even loss of life. Therefore, extreme caution should be used when diclofenac sodium is prescribed to those with a history of ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, you should take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs of stomach ulcers or bleeding, including:
    • Stomach pain
    • Indigestion
    • Black, tarry stools
    • Vomiting blood.
  • People taking NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium, can suffer kidney damage. It is more common in the elderly and people with kidney disease, heart failure, or liver problems. It is also more common in those taking diuretics or ACE inhibitors.
  • Some people taking diclofenac sodium can suffer liver damage. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice:
    • Nausea
    • Tiredness
    • Lethargy
    • Itchy or yellowing skin
    • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Flu-like symptoms.
  • NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium, have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as difficulty breathing and swelling of the face and throat.
  • In rare cases, people taking diclofenac sodium can develop a serious rash. If you notice an unexplained rash or blisters, fever, or itchy skin, stop taking the drug and call your healthcare provider.
  • If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting diclofenac sodium. Alcohol can affect the way the liver works, indirectly affecting how diclofenac sodium works.
  • NSAIDS have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, you should have a blood test that looks at your liver function before starting diclofenac sodium and then again 12 weeks after treatment has started.
  • Diclofenac sodium has been known to cause anemia. If you are taking this medication for an extended amount of time and show signs of anemia, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • You should not take diclofenac sodium with any other NSAID, as this may increase your risk of any of the problems discussed in this article. Many NSAIDs are available without a prescription, so read labels carefully. A partial list of NSAIDs includes:
  • Diclofenac sodium is a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning that it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. If you are pregnant, you should take this medication only if the benefit outweighs the possible risk to the fetus. Diclofenac sodium is not recommended for women in the third trimester of pregnancy -- it can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Diclofenac and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is unknown if diclofenac sodium passes through breast milk (see Diclofenac and Breastfeeding).


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