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Diclofenac (Flector, Cambia, Zorvolex) may not be the right choice for every patient. In such cases, it is important to discuss with a licensed medical provider potential diclofenac alternatives.

Diclofenac Alternatives

What are your options when it comes to alternatives for a diclofenac?

For Migraines

Like diclofenac, indomethacin (Indocin) is an NSAID sometimes provided to treat migraine headaches. The mechanism of action behind this drug is very similar to diclofenac, as well. As such, it can be a suitable alternative. (there are many other medications that can treat migraines not listed here)

For Dogs

There are a number of NSAIDs that vets can offer dog owners to help manage their best friend’s pain and inflammation. Common options include carprofen (Novox) and meloxicam (Metcam) for dogs. They would work in much the same way as diclofenac. (NEVER give your pet any medications unless authorized by a veterinarian.)

For Muscle Pain

Any NSAID should be effective for muscle pain, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or even prescription-grade naproxen sodium (Aleve). They all work in very similar ways. 

For Menstrual Cramps

It’s possible to take any NSAID for menstrual cramps, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. In some cases, severe cramps might indicate the symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical treatment, such as endometriosis. In that case, it is a good idea to see a licensed medical provider and get a professional recommendation for pain management options. 

For Back Pain

One could take a different NSAID for back pain, such as naproxen or meloxicam. They work quite similarly to diclofenac. 

For Nerve Pain

There are other NSAIDs, such as naproxen, that could be effective in treating nerve pain. Some common non-NSAID medications for nerve pain include amitriptyline (Amitid, Amitril, Elavil, Endep, and Vanatrip), duloxetine (Cymbalta), or gabapentin (Neurontin)

For Actinic Keratosis (AK, Solar Keratosis)

Fluorouracil (Adrucil), which is a chemotherapy medication, is sometimes effective on actinic keratosis (skin precancer). Also, imiquimod (Zyclara, Aldara), an immune response modifier, is often prescribed to replace topical diclofenac in the treatment of AK.  

For Gout

There are a variety of treatments for gout, including other NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Colchicine (Mitigare, Colcrys), a medication used for acne, can be helpful for gout treatment as well. 

For Diabetics

Diabetics will sometimes take NSAIDs like diclofenac to help manage nerve pain. Other NSAIDs may work, too, like naproxen. Some physicians provide antidepressants to treat diabetic nerve pain like amineptine (Survector, formerly) or doxepin (Silenor, Zonalon, Prudoxin). 

Natural Alternative

Lifestyle changes, supplements, and relaxation techniques can all contribute to pain management. Another alternative treatment, acupuncture, has been around for centuries and often helps those with pain. One study found that Boswellia serrata, also called frankincense, might be helpful in the treatment of pain. It’s important that patients always consult with their prescribing medical provider before supplementing their treatments with alternative ones.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


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