Aceclofenac is a medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is also known as 'an NSAID'.
Before you take aceclofenac, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other anti-inflammatory painkiller.
Take one tablet in the morning and one in the evening. Take the tablets during a meal, or after a snack.
What is aceclofenac?
|Type of medicine||A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)|
|Used for||Relief of pain and inflammation in adults with arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis|
Anti-inflammatory painkillers like aceclofenac are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or sometimes just 'anti-inflammatories'. Aceclofenac is prescribed for people with painful rheumatic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. It eases pain and reduces inflammation.
Aceclofenac works by blocking the effect of natural substances called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help to make other chemicals in the body, called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandins are produced at sites of injury or damage, and cause pain and inflammation. By blocking the effect of COX enzymes, fewer prostaglandins are produced, which means pain and inflammation are eased.
Before taking aceclofenac
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking aceclofenac, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other NSAID (such as aspirin, naproxen, diclofenac, and indometacin), or to any other medicine.
- If you have ever had a problem with stomach or duodenal bleeding, such as if you have had an ulcer.
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.
- If you have a heart condition, or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breastfeeding.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have ever had blood clotting problems.
- If you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
- If you have a connective tissue disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus. This is an inflammatory condition which is also called lupus or SLE.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder known as porphyria.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take aceclofenac
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about aceclofenac, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Take aceclofenac exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is one 100 mg tablet twice daily, taken preferably morning and evening.
- Take aceclofenac with food; during a mealtime is ideal. This will help to protect your stomach from side-effects such as indigestion and stomach irritation.
- Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. Do not chew or crush the tablets.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case take the next dose when it is due and leave out the forgotten dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your aceclofenac treatment
- Your doctor will try to prescribe you the lowest dose for the shortest time in order to reduce the risk of side-effects. If you need to take aceclofenac over a period of time, your doctor may want to prescribe another medicine along with it to protect your stomach from irritation.
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- If you have asthma, symptoms such as wheeze or breathlessness can be made worse by anti-inflammatories such as aceclofenac. If this happens to you, you should stop taking the tablets and see your doctor as soon as possible.
- There is known to be a small increased risk of heart and blood vessel problems in people taking some anti-inflammatory painkillers long-term. Your doctor will explain this to you and will prescribe the lowest suitable dose for the shortest time in order to reduce the risk. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with an anti-inflammatory like aceclofenac. This is because you should not take these tablets with any other anti-inflammatory painkiller, some of which are available in cold and flu remedies which can be bought 'over the counter'.
- If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can aceclofenac cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with aceclofenac. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common aceclofenac side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Indigestion, heartburn (reflux), stomach pain||Remember to take the tablets with something to eat. If the discomfort continues, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling sick (nausea)||Stick to simple meals - avoid fatty or spicy foods|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids|
|Feeling dizzy||Do not drive and do not use tools or machines while affected|
|Increased liver enzymes||If this becomes a concern, your doctor may ask you to have a blood test to check for this|
Important: if you experience any of the following less common but possibly serious symptoms, stop taking aceclofenac and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- If you have any breathing difficulties such as wheeze or breathlessness.
- If you have any signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling around your mouth or face, or a severe itchy skin rash.
- If you pass blood or black stools, bring up blood, or have severe tummy (abdominal) pains.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store aceclofenac
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
Manufacturer’s PIL, Preservex® film-coated tablets; Almirall Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2018.
British National Formulary, 79th Edition (Mar 2020); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.