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What Is a Diclofenac Injection?

By L. Whitaker
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A diclofenac injection is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is injected intramuscularly to treat pain and inflammation related to certain medical conditions. This drug is an analgesic as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is sometimes used in the treatment of conditions such as gout, back injuries, arthritis, or fractures.

Diclofenac as an intramuscular injection is typically used to treat general inflammation or pain resulting from certain joint or musculoskeletal conditions. These can include arthritis or gout, among others. This medication is sometimes prescribed to aid in reducing pain and swelling due to other causes, such as tendinitis or a back injury. It is also occasionally prescribed for dysmenorrhea, or painful periods in women or adolescent girls, as well as for management of pain related to gallstones or kidney stones.

Side effects of a diclofenac injection could commonly include headaches, changes in vision, sleepiness, or dizziness. More seriously, potential adverse effects are tissue damage or pain at the site of the injection, gastrointestinal problems, internal bleeding, ulcers, rash, or kidney problems. Anyone who is allergic to other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen should not use this medication.

This medication is not appropriate for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Occasionally, it can have negative fertility effects in some women. It is also contraindicated for individuals who have a history of asthma or peptic ulcers, and those who are in recovery from a recent heart surgery. Patients exhibiting symptoms of dehydration could be endangered by the use of this medication. Elderly patients could also be at greater risk of adverse reactions to this drug.

Known drug interactions for a diclofenac injection include high blood pressure medications, diuretics, lithium, and certain antibiotics. Anyone who is currently taking other NSAIDs or corticosteroids should not use diclofenac. This drug is also known to adversely interact with some types of antidepressants as well as a wide variety of other prescription medications.

The diclofenac injection is available in the U.S. as a 50 or 75 mg ampoule. Diclofenac is manufactured under a wide variety of trade names worldwide. In addition to the injection format given intramuscularly, this drug is sometimes used intravenously, orally, as a topical gel, or as an ophthalmic solution in the form of eye drops. In some countries, diclofenac is available over the counter for at-home treatment of fever or discomfort from minor infections and other maladies.

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Discussion Comments
By anon989025 — On Feb 16, 2015

I don't understand why this pain medication, which is incredibly effective, is not available in the US. Meanwhile there are hundreds of addictive opiates which have destroyed people's lives even when taken as directed.

By anon347726 — On Sep 09, 2013

I have a hard lump on my left gluteus maximus two days after they've administered diclofenac IM. Will this dissolve on its own? They also did it on my right and it's fine.

By fBoyle — On Aug 12, 2013

@burcinc-- Diclofenac worked for me too, but it caused a lot of side effects. And as far as I know, it's hard on the liver and shouldn't be used often. I only had two injections, I didn't want any more.

By burcinc — On Aug 11, 2013

I had a diclofenac injection for arthritis in my knee last week and wow, it has made such a difference. The pain is practically gone and my knee is not stiff anymore. I can walk on my own and I even climbed the stairs. I couldn't do any of this a week ago.

I have no idea if diclofenac is as effective for everyone, but I'm very impressed with this medication. I hope the pain relief will last me for a while.

By discographer — On Aug 11, 2013

@anon344319-- I have never seen diclofenac injections sold over the counter in the US. I used it once and it was prescribed for me.

I would assume that it's legal but I'm not sure, you might want to check with the US airport authorities. If it is legal, you might need to carry the doctor's prescription with you to prove that you need to be using this drug.

By anon344319 — On Aug 08, 2013

Do you need a prescription for a voltaren injection and is it legal to enter the US?

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