Diclofenac is a medication that relieves pain, swelling, and tenderness caused by different conditions. Mixing alcohol with diclofenac may increase its risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers.
Many medications interact with other medications, food, and substances such as alcohol. These affect how a drug works and may raise the risk of side effects.
People use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Zorvolex) to relieve pain and inflammation.
However, gastrointestinal (GI) complications are among the
This article details diclofenac, discusses whether it is safe to drink alcohol while taking diclofenac, and the possible side effects and precautions. We also look at frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding the topic.
Diclofenac is an NSAID used to treat sudden (acute) and long-standing (chronic) pain associated with inflammatory conditions, especially those affecting the musculoskeletal system. These include:
It also addresses inflammation caused by injuries from events such as surgery and physical trauma. Doctors can also prescribe it to treat migraine and painful menstrual periods.
Diclofenac comes in various forms, which a person takes at particular schedules. These release the drug differently in the body. These forms include:
- liquid-filled capsule
- hard gelatin capsule
- extended-release tablet
- delayed-release tablet
- powder for solution
Diclofenac works by inhibiting the activity of enzymes responsible for producing prostaglandins. These are substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation.
Aside from diclofenac, other
Alcohol is a
As many as 1 in 4 individuals take alcohol to manage chronic pain. However, the effect is temporary.
A person should speak with a doctor about over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers. They should discuss any possible effects and risks of medications before trying any other remedies or treatments.
Drinking alcohol can irritate the lining of the stomach, and doing so while on diclofenac may mean a person has a greater risk of side effects from the drug.
Mixing the two may
- GI ulcers
- GI bleeding
- liver damage
The risk may be higher for people who take NSAIDs for a longer duration or drink large units of alcohol while taking diclofenac. However, doctors will recommend a person not mix the two to avoid adverse effects from occurring or other possible complications.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drinking alcohol increases a person’s chance of GI bleeding. Other risk factors include:
- taking anticoagulants and corticosteroids
- taking the drug for a long time
- older age
- having other health conditions
On their own, NSAIDs may lead to GI complications such as:
Experts also associate chronic use of these drugs with potentially severe upper GI adverse drug reactions.
This is because of the inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 enzymes that inhibit prostaglandins’ production, which also reduces the secretion of the mucus lining. This lining protects the GI tract against acidic juices in the stomach and small bowel.
The FDA also issued a boxed warning on the risk of cardiovascular and GI events associated with using Zorvolex (diclofenac) for oral use. These include:
- blood clot formation
- myocardial infarction
- stomach bleeding
- stomach ulceration and perforation
- liver damage
- kidney damage
- fluid retention and edema
- skin adverse events such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis
Before taking diclofenac, a person should tell their doctor if they are:
- allergic to any ingredients in diclofenac, other NSAIDs, or medications
- taking any other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, or supplements
- pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, due to the possible risks this medication may have for the pregnant person or fetus
- 75 years of age or older
Below are some FAQs.
What should someone avoid while taking diclofenac?
While taking diclofenac, a person should avoid taking:
- oral corticosteroids
- other NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
They should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Is diclofenac a strong painkiller?
Some studies found that diclofenac is one of the
The drug’s increased effectiveness may be because, unlike traditional NSAIDs, it is more effective in inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme, which produces prostaglandins that mediate pain and inflammation.
What kind of medication is diclofenac?
Diclofenac is a type of NSAID used to treat pain and swelling, especially pain caused by inflammatory disorders such as arthritis.
This NSAID is available in different forms, such as tablets, as well as capsules and solutions, dependent on the person and the recommended treatment from their doctor.
Diclofenac is an NSAID commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. As with other NSAIDs, drinking alcohol while taking diclofenac may increase the risk of side effects, including stomach ulcers and bleeding.
It is essential to consult a medical professional before taking diclofenac or drinking alcohol while on this medication. It is also crucial for a person to tell their doctor about all their medications and other health conditions.