Diclofenac Sodium and Diclofenac Potassium are two forms of Diclofenac drug. Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs called NSAID are used in many parts of the world to relieve pain and also to reduce inflammation. Diclofenac is also given for the treatment of arthritis, menstrual pain, and dysmenorrheal. Diclofenac is one of these drugs. Diclofenac is considered to be safer than ibuprofen and also faster acting. It remains active longer than Paracetamol. Diclofenac exists in two forms known as Diclofenac Sodium and Diclofenac Potassium. These are actually salts of Diclofenac also known as Sodium and Potassium salts. Both are similar in the sense that their base is Diclofenac. The real difference lies in the fact that potassium salt of Diclofenac is more soluble in water than sodium salt.
As far as response time is concerned, it is Diclofenac potassium that gets absorbed quickly and starts analgesic activity in a much quicker time than Diclofenac sodium. Both sodium and potassium salts of Diclofenac are different in nature and function and cannot be treated as equivalent though their dose may be same. Diclofenac potassium is immediate release, while Diclofenac sodium is delayed release. This implies that for acute and severe pain, it is better to take Diclofenac potassium than Diclofenac sodium.
One tendency that has been noted is for doctors to simply write Diclofenac when they mean Diclofenac sodium, whereas they clearly write full name of Diclofenac potassium. In UK, US, Brazil and India, Diclofenac is available both as sodium as well as potassium salts. In China, it is sold as Diclofenac sodium, while in some countries, only potassium salt is available. As a generic drug, Diclofenac is available in many forms such as crèmes, gels and tablets. Injections of Diclofenac are also very common when the pain is acute and the patient cannot wait for the drug to show effect if taken orally.
• Diclofenac is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug.
• It exists as two salts known as Diclofenac sodium and Diclofenac potassium.
• Potassium salt is faster acting and dissolves in water faster.
• Both are used to reduce pain.