Pharmacology of diclofenac sodium

Am J Med. 1986 Apr 28;80(4B):34-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(86)90077-x.


Diclofenac sodium is the active ingredient in Voltaren, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug designed by selection of appropriate physicochemical and steric properties. Its pharmacologic activity, specifically its effects in acute and subchronic inflammation, and its analgesic activity have been assessed in animal models. The tolerability of the compound as judged by several parameters (i.e., ratio between the acute lethal dose or the dose inducing gastrointestinal blood loss and the desired pharmacologic activity) is favorable in comparison with other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Diclofenac sodium acts by potent cyclo-oxygenase inhibition, reduction of arachidonic acid release, and enhancement of arachidonic acid uptake. It thereby results in a dual inhibitory effect on both the cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Arachidonic Acids / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Diclofenac / adverse effects
  • Diclofenac / pharmacology*
  • Diclofenac / toxicity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fever / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Leukocytes / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Rats


  • Analgesics
  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Diclofenac
  • Arachidonic Acid