Diclofenac Sodium is an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (OTC).
The most common of these is diclofenac. All OTC NSAIDs increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. This risk increases the more you take OTC NSAIDS, and whether you take high doses or low doses.
If you already have cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, your risks will be even higher. You also have more of a chance of having a stroke from taking diclofenac. High doses increase the risk significantly. People who have heart disease and high blood pressure are especially at risk for a stroke from this drug. High blood pressure has been linked to the risk for both men and women.
Women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of diclofenac, which has been linked to high cholesterol. There are other risk factors such as diabetes, kidney problems, liver disease, smoking, obesity, alcohol use and lack of exercise. When you combine these other risk factors, it becomes easier to see why you’re at a greater risk from using diclofenac.
It’s possible that many of these things can be avoided by doing some things differently. For example, quitting smoking can dramatically decrease your chances of developing the problem. Exercise and a good diet can also help prevent some of these conditions. However, it’s a difficult thing to do without the help of drugs. Drugs can help control some of the risk.
If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, you may have some additional risk for developing them in the future. For example, if your risk factors were diabetes or high blood pressure, you may be at increased risk from taking diclofenac.
If you’ve had strokes, you may have some risk from taking diclofenac. If you’ve had heart valve disease, you may have increased risk because of the drugs.
Some people may need to avoid taking diclofenac if they’ve had kidney failure or liver failure. Or it may cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Some of the more serious side effects of diclofenac include heart blockage, vomiting, nausea, stomach bleeding, seizures, vision problems, depression, and coma. These side effects may happen with long term use.
Long term use of diclofenac may lead to permanent nerve damage. The results may not always be reversible. That’s why some doctors may not recommend taking this drug in patients with certain medical conditions or with a history of heart attacks or strokes.
When taken in larger amounts, this drug can lead to serious side effects such as ulcers and stomach bleeding, stomach cancer, nerve damage and liver toxicity. The biggest risk is that it can lead to kidney damage if taken for prolonged periods of time.
Other people may experience some serious side effects, including: confusion, seizures, hallucinations, breathing problems, dizziness, headache, stomach cramps, vision changes, depression, and muscle weakness. You may experience some mild effects, including: abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and abdominal bloating.
If you’re pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of having more serious side effects. Diclofenac may also pose risks to your unborn child. Your baby may develop problems such as jaundice, birth defects, mental retardation, hearing loss, lower IQ and growth problems, heart failure, and problems with the central nervous system. Some of these problems may occur with even moderate doses of the drug.
You may be at risk of developing some serious side effects, too, if you’re taking any other drugs that contain acetaminophen (NSAIDS), aspirin or ibuprofen. If you’re taking birth control pills, you may experience stomach bleeding and stomach ulcers. Diclofenac can cause your heart to beat slower and increase your risks for high blood pressure.
Serious complications of using diclofenac include liver problems. It can cause stomach bleeding, liver failure and sometimes death. It may damage your heart valves or lungs and kidneys.