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Diclofenac

Last updated on June 27, 2019.

Overview   |   Dosage   |   Side Effects   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Diclofenac 

CHINESE NAME: 雙氯芬酸

COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Voltaren 服他靈, Olfen 奧爾芬, Panaflex 必理絡

What is Diclofenac for?

Diclofenac belongs to a class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Celecoxib. These drugs are used to treat pain, fever, and reduce inflammation.

Diclofenac is available in many formulations: oral tablets/capsules/powder, topical patches, topical gels, rectal suppositories, eye drops, and injections. Topical forms of Diclofenac allow for direct treatment of the painful site and help to minimize side effects associated with taking Diclofenac by mouth.

Some specific uses of each Diclofenac formulation are as follows:

 Diclofenac 24-hour patch

  • Symptomatic relief of pain, inflammation and swelling in conditions affecting the joints and muscles

Diclofenac emulgel 

  • Local treatment of pain, inflammation and swelling caused by sports-related injuries or accidents (eg sprains, bruises, strains, back pain) 

Diclofenac tablets/capsules/powder, and injection (Note: for some products SR stands for sustained release) 

  • Painful syndromes of the vertebral column (tablets / SR tablets / suppositories / injections) 
  • Inflammatory forms of rheumatism (tablets / SR tablets / suppositories / injections) 
  • Post-trauma (tablets / SR tablets / suppositories / injections) 
  • Post-operative pain and inflammation (tablets / SR tablets / suppositories / injections) 
  • Acute gout (tablets / suppositories / injections) 
  • Primary dysmenorrhoea or adnexitis (tablets / SR tablets / suppositories) 
  • Migraine attacks (suppositories / injections) 
  • Renal and biliary colic (injection) 

Diclofenac eye drops

  • Post-operative inflammation
  • Eye pain or discomfort (especially after surgery)

How to use it?

When taking Diclofenac by mouth, take with food to avoid stomach irritation. Your doctor may also prescribe a short course of a proton pump inhibitor (e.g., omeprazole, pantoprazole), or a stomach acid reducing antihistamine (e.g., famotidine) to prevent this side effect. 

What follows are some dosage guidelines for each specific form of Diclofenac.

For Diclofenac 24 Hr Patch

To the skin 

Apply 1 patch / day to the skin in the painful area

For Diclofenac Emulgel 

To the skin 

Apply 3-4 times daily to the skin in the painful area and rub-in gently 

For Diclofenac  / Diclofenac SR (sustained release)

Orally using tablets / Rectally using suppositories 

75-150 mg/day in divided doses (for immediate-release products: 25-50 mg 2-4 times daily; for sustained-release products: once daily) 

For Diclofenac eye drops

To the eye

Usually 1 drop into the affected eye 4 times daily

What are the side effects of Diclofenac?

Like all NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), the main side effects of Diclofenac are indigestion, nausea, bleeding gastric ulcer, and allergic reaction. With long-term use Diclofenac can cause kidney injury, bleeding and increase the risk of a cardiovascular event.

Where to buy Diclofenac in Hong Kong?

Diclofenac skin patches / gels are pharmacy only medicines and can be purchased without a prescription in a pharmacy by speaking with the pharmacist. They can be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

Diclofenac tablets / suppositories / injections are prescription only medicines and require a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. They can also be obtained from doctors. 

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

For detailed information about the use of Diclofenac in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

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