Ibuprofen and diclofenac are both medications used to reduce symptoms of inflammation such as pain, swelling and tenderness 12. Prescription ibuprofen is available in 800 milligram strength, while diclofenac comes in strengths of 100 to 200 milligrams 12.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Features and Use
Both medications belong to the class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs 3. According to Drugs.com, they reduce the hormones in your body that promote inflammation 1. Both diclofenac and ibuprofen can be used to treat joint inflammation and menstrual pain 12. However, ibuprofen can also reduce a fever and pain from a headache, toothache or injury 1.
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Serious side effects of ibuprofen that require medical attention include:
- chest pain
- black stools
- yellowing of the skin
- fever accompanied by a rash or peeling skin 1
Diclofenac side effects that require attention include
- weight gain
- flu symptoms
- discolored urine
- rapid heartbeat
- difficulty breathing 2
Allergies and Warning
You should not take either medication if you are allergic to aspirin or any other NSAIDs. Difficulty breathing, hives and swelling of your tongue and throat can result if you are allergic to these medications and take ibuprofen or diclofenac 12. Both ibuprofen and diclofenac can increase your risk for stomach bleeding and intestinal perforation 12. They can also increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. According to a report in the November 2013 issue of "American Journal of Managed Care," both ibuprofen and diclofenac increase your risk of heart failure, especially if you take more than the standardized dose 12. Never take more than the label or your doctor prescribes.
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Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.