How Does Diclofenac and Naproxen Help With Pain Relief?

31 December 2022

By Pilldoctor

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are a class of medications that are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. They are widely available over-the-counter (OTC) or by prescription and can be effective in relieving pain caused by a variety of conditions, including arthritis, muscle strains and sprains, and dental pain. While NSAIDs are generally safe and effective, they can have potential side effects, and it is important to use them as directed by a healthcare provider or according to the label instructions.

How do NSAIDs work?

NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are substances produced by the body that can cause inflammation and pain. Prostaglandins are produced by the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), and there are two main types of COX enzymes: COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 is responsible for producing prostaglandins that help protect the stomach lining and maintain normal blood flow to the kidneys, while COX-2 is responsible for producing prostaglandins that contribute to inflammation and pain. NSAIDs block the action of COX enzymes, which reduces the production of prostaglandins and, in turn, reduces inflammation and pain. While NSAIDs can be effective in relieving pain, they can also have potential side effects, including gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, ulcers, and an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Types of NSAIDs

There are several types of NSAIDs available, including:

  • Nonselective NSAIDs: These NSAIDs block both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. Examples of nonselective NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
  • Selective COX-2 inhibitors: These NSAIDs specifically block the COX-2 enzyme. Examples of selective COX-2 inhibitors include celecoxib and etoricoxib.
  • Aspirin: Aspirin is a nonselective NSAID that has been used for decades to treat pain and inflammation. It is also used to prevent blood clots and is sometimes used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin is available OTC and by prescription. Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen is a nonselective NSAID that is available OTC and by prescription. It is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis, toothaches, and muscle strains and sprains.
  • Naproxen: Naproxen is a nonselective NSAID that is available OTC and by prescription. It is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis and gout.
  • Celecoxib: Celecoxib is a selective COX-2 inhibitor that is available by prescription. It is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis and acute pain.
  • Etoricoxib: Etoricoxib is a selective COX-2 inhibitor that is available by prescription. It is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Diclofenac and naproxen are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation.

Diclofenac:

  • Diclofenac is available OTC and by prescription in various forms, including tablets, capsules, gels, and suppositories. It is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Diclofenac has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in patients with these conditions. In a study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, diclofenac was found to be as effective as acetaminophen in reducing pain and improving function.
  • Diclofenac may also be used to treat acute pain, such as pain following surgery or dental procedures.
  • As with all NSAIDs, diclofenac can have potential side effects, including gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, ulcers, and an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. It is important to use diclofenac as directed by a healthcare provider or according to the label instructions.

Naproxen:

  • Naproxen is available OTC and by prescription in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and suspension. It is commonly used to treat pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
  • Naproxen has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in patients with these conditions. In a study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, naproxen was found to be more effective than placebo in reducing pain and improving function.
  • Naproxen may also be used to treat acute pain, such as pain following surgery or dental procedures.
  • As with all NSAIDs, naproxen can have potential side effects, including GI bleeding, ulcers, and an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. It is important to use naproxen as directed by a healthcare provider or according to the label instructions.

In conclusion, diclofenac and naproxen are both effective NSAIDs for the treatment of pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. They may also be used to treat acute pain. As with all NSAIDs, it is important to use them as directed by a healthcare provider or according to the label instructions to minimize the risk of potential side effects.