Diclofenac Sodium vs. Diclofenac Potassium

The main difference between diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium is that diclofenac sodium is prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis while diclofenac potassium is prescribed to treat a moderate amount of swelling and pain.

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Diclofenac Sodium vs. Diclofenac Potassium

Both the drugs diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium belong to class NSAIDs of drugs.  The drugs of this family reduce the inflammation anywhere in the body and then, in turn, decrease the pain. Nowadays, headache, migraine, backache and joint pains are very common due to lifestyle changes and some other factors. With the increasing age, the risk of these diseases also enhance. Since the past century, dramatic progress has been taken place in the field of medicine. Many excellent drugs have been prepared to relieve pain and inflammation. NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is also a group of drug used to treat pain and swelling in the body. Both drugs, i.e., diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium belong to this group. Diclofenac sodium is generally used to treat two major forms of arthritis, i.e., rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. The mechanism of action of this drugs is that it decreases the swelling or inflammation of the joints which in turn decreases the joint pain and stiffness. This drug are also prescribed to treat muscle aches or headache. On the other hand, diclofenac potassium is used to correct moderate amount of inflammation and pain.  It is used when the patient is suffering from mild joint pain, inflammation or arthritis.

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Every drug has its side effects. Side effects of diclofenac sodium include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastric irritation, heartburn, gastric ulcers, liver problem, and cardiac problems, etc. It should not be given to patients of chronic kidney disease. The side effects of diclofenac potassium include bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lightheadedness. It should also be avoided in patients of chronic kidney disease. Diclofenac sodium is less soluble in water, and diclofenac potassium is more soluble in water. That is why diclofenac potassium is preferred over diclofenac sodium.

The pain-relieving action of diclofenac potassium is also faster than diclofenac sodium. Thus, if you want early results, diclofenac potassium is the drug of choice. Diclofenac potassium is a sort of quick release drug while diclofenac sodium is a sort of delayed release drug. That is why mostly diclofenac potassium is prescribed by doctors. Fatal risk of both drugs includes CVS related problems, mostly myocardial infarction. So, the minimum dosage of these drugs is prescribed.

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Comparison Chart

Basis Diclofenac sodium Diclofenac potassium
Definition It is a drug of NSAID family which is used to reduce pain and inflammation in the body.It is also a drug of NSAID family which is used to treat aches and swelling in the body.
Used forMainly, it is used to treat arthritis, either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.Mainly it is used to treat a moderate amount of pain and swelling. Mainly it is used for headache, migraine, backache or moderate amount of joint swelling.
Availability It is not available over the counter. A doctor prescription is needed for it.It is not available over the counter. A doctor prescription is required to get it.
Side effects Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastric irritation, heartburn, gastric ulcers, liver disease, and cardiac problems.Side effects of this drug include gastric upset, constipation, bloating, lightheadedness and liver problems.
Avoided in which patients It must be avoided in the patient of chronic kidney disease because it is excreted through kidneys and in such patient it causes severe side effects.Diclofenac potassium is also metabolized and excreted through kidneys. So it must not be given to the patients of chronic kidney disease.
Solubility It is less soluble in water.It is more soluble in water.
Response time Its response time is slowIts response time is very rapid.
Release time It is a delayed release form of drugIt is a quick release form of the drug.
for immediate results For immediate results, it is a less preferable drugFor immediate results, it is a preferable drug.
Severe risk factor Its severe risk factor includes cardiac problem. So it is used in a low dose.Its severe risk factor also includes heart problems even myocardial infarction can occur. So it is used with caution.

What is Diclofenac Sodium?

Diclofenac sodium is a drug of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) family.  It is used to correct pain and inflammation anywhere in the body, but its main domain is to use it in either form of arthritis, i.e., rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. It is also prescribed in backache, joint pain and stiffness or inflammation of the throat. This drug is metabolized and secreted through kidneys so it must be avoided in the patient of chronic kidney disease because in such patients it fails to excrete from the body and cause severe reactions and even sudden death can take place. Its other side effects include gastric irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, liver disease, and gastric upset. Since it is less soluble in water, it has a slow release time in the body, and thus its pain and swelling reducing action is slow. It is available in slow or delayed release form.

The mechanism of action of reducing pain and joint stiffness is the reduction of inflammation in the body which in turn decreases the other inflammatory signs which also include pain and resulting in the reduction of joint stiffness. One of the major risks of its use is cardiac problems. So it must be used with caution under the instructions of a qualified doctor. It is not available over the counter. You can get it only by the prescription of a doctor. It is available in oral or injectable form. The injectable form is given via IM injection. An IV injection of this drug is not given.

What is Diclofenac Potassium?

It is also a drug of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) family. The domain of its use is also to reduce the swelling and pain in the body, but it is used to correct moderate amount of swelling and pain. It is prescribed for headache, backache, migraine, moderate amount of joint pain and swelling. It is more soluble in water, and that is why it has a rapid onset of action. It is a preferred drug to be prescribed by doctors in cases where early pain relief is required. Its metabolism and excretion take place in kidneys so it must not be used in the patients of kidney diseases. Its side effects include headache, vomiting, nausea, constipation, bloating, abdominal distension, lightheadedness, and liver disease. It is an early release sort of drug and has a quick action of reducing pain and swelling. It is available in oral or injectable form. IM injection is given. IV route is avoided.

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Key differences

  1. Both diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium are drugs of NSAIDs family. Diclofenac sodium is used in cases of arthritis while diclofenac potassium is used for a moderate amount of swelling and pain.
  2. Diclofenac sodium is less soluble in water while diclofenac potassium is more soluble in water.
  3. Diclofenac potassium has a rapid onset and duration of action than diclofenac potassium.
  4. Diclofenac potassium is preferred by doctors when early pain relief is needed.
  5. Side effects of diclofenac sodium are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage and cardiac problems, etc while those of diclofenac potassium are lightheadedness, abdominal distension, bloating, constipation and cardiac problems, etc.

Video Explanation

Conclusion

Both diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium are painkillers commonly prescribed by doctors. It is important for medical students to know the differences between drugs. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between diclofenac sodium and diclofenac potassium.

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