What Is Diclofenac Used For?
Diclofenac can help treat a number of different conditions, including pain, arthritis, migraine headaches, and inflammation or light sensitivity after certain eye surgeries. The approved uses for this medication will vary depending on the particular diclofenac product. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend off-label uses of diclofenac, such as for the treatment of gout, fibromyalgia, or lupus symptoms.
An Overview of What Diclofenac Is Used For
Although diclofenac is probably most commonly used to treat pain, it is actually approved for a wide variety of other uses. The approved uses for the various diclofenac products include the treatment of the following conditions:
- Pain (Cataflam®, Flector®, Zipsor™)
- Osteoarthritis (Cataflam, Voltaren®, Voltaren®-XR, Voltaren® Gel, Pennsaid®)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (Cataflam, Voltaren, Voltaren-XR)
- Migraines (Cambia™)
- Actinic keratosis, a precancerous skin condition (Solaraze®)
- Inflammation, pain, and light sensitivity after certain eye surgeries (Voltaren Ophthalmic®)
- Painful menstrual periods (Cataflam)
- Ankylosing spondylitis (Voltaren).
How Does Diclofenac Work?
Like other NSAIDs, diclofenac works by blocking a specific enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (COX), blocking the production of various inflammatory substances in the body. This action helps to treat pain and inflammation but also seems to help treat seemingly unrelated conditions (such as actinic keratosis).
Diclofenac Use in Children
Diclofenac is not approved for use in children. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using diclofenac in children.