Arthritis Home > Diclofenac Side Effects

The potential side effects of diclofenac will vary, depending on whether the specific product is taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or used as an eye drop. Common side effects of the oral forms include abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. For the gels and skin patches, skin irritation is the most common side effect. The eye drops may cause tear problems, burning, and inflammation.

An Introduction to Diclofenac Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with diclofenac. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with diclofenac. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of diclofenac side effects with you. Also, please see your specific diclofenac medication within for a more complete discussion of side effect information specific to the particular product.)

Side Effects With Diclofenac to Report

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID). As such, it can cause certain serious side effects that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:


    • Slurred speech
    • Weakness on one side of the face or body
    • Confusion



    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties
    • Pain in the shoulder, arm, or jaw


  • Worsening of asthma
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Signs of bleeding of the digestive tract such as dark, tarry stools or bloody vomit
  • Signs of liver problems, such as yellow eyes or skin (jaundice) or elevated liver enzymes (found using a blood test)
  • Rapid weight gain, water retention, or unusual swelling of the arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:


    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing or difficulty breathing or swallowing.


Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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