Compare Diclofenac vs. Naproxen

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Zorvolex
(Diclofenac)

Aleve
(Naproxen)

Treats arthritis pain and swelling. Zorvolex (Diclofenac) is an okay medication used to treat pain and swelling caused by arthritis. However, because of the risk of heart attack, you should limit the amount you take.Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Aleve (Naproxen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, and it lasts longer than other NSAIDs.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Aleve (Naproxen)
78%
22% vs. Zorvolex (Diclofenac)
46%
54% vs. Zorvolex (Diclofenac)
5%
5% vs. Zorvolex (Diclofenac)
Side effects
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • Constipation 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Abdominal pain upper 2%
  • Pain in extremity 2%
  • Itching 1%
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 1%
  • Passing gas 1%
More Diclofenac side effects »

The Naproxen FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Naproxen side effects »
How it works
DiclofenacNaproxen
Zorvolex (Diclofenac) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It stops your body from making chemicals that cause inflammation and pain.Aleve (Naproxen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain.
Type of medication
DiclofenacNaproxen
Pain reliever
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Prescription or OTC
Available as
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Delayed release tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • Osteoarthritis pain
Risk factors for serious side effects
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Taking other blood-thinning medications
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Taking diuretics
  • Taking ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Age 65 or older
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking water pills (diuretics)
Detailed Zorvolex (Diclofenac) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 60 years or older
  • Taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
  • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Hemophilia
  • von Willebrand's disease
  • Low blood platelet count
  • Taking anticoagulant medications
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Aspirin allergy
  • NSAID allergy
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Taking high blood pressure medications
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Aleve (Naproxen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DiclofenacNaproxen
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
  • You should avoid alcohol while on Zorvolex (Diclofenac) since it can increase your risk of stomach issues.
  • Don't drink alcohol while using Zorvolex (Diclofenac).
No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • Take it with food to avoid getting diarrhea.
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
  • If you're taking it on a regular basis, you'll need to get labs done to make sure your liver and kidneys aren't being affected.
  • Zorvolex (Diclofenac), and similar medications in the NSAID family, can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time necessary can lower your risk of kidney problems. It's important to get lab tests to check your kidney function periodically if you use Zorvolex (Diclofenac) for long periods of time.
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
  • Aleve (Naproxen) is an NSAID that can lower kidney function or cause damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Your doctor should check your kidney function if you take Aleve (Naproxen) for any amount of time.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • Clinical studies show that Zorvolex (Diclofenac) is better at relieving arthritis pain than acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Can be used as needed to treat pain and swelling.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Works well to relieve pain, swelling, and fevers.
  • Good for menstrual cramps, toothaches, body aches, and mild arthritis pain.
  • Lasts longer than Ibuprofen, so you can take it less often.
  • Aleve (Naproxen) works as well as Aspirin and Indomethacin to treat arthritis pain, and causes fewer stomach problems.
  • Although not without side effects, it's been around for a long time and is generally safe for short-term use.
Downsides and risks
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • You should avoid alcohol while on Zorvolex (Diclofenac) since it can increase your risk of stomach issues.
  • If you're taking it on a regular basis, you'll need to get labs done to make sure your liver and kidneys aren't being affected.
  • It needs to be taken with food to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Can't be taken by pregnant women.
  • It can cause serious kidney and stomach problems (like ulcers and bleeding) the longer you take it.
  • Like all NSAIDs, it can raise your risk of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DiclofenacNaproxen
  • Take it with food to avoid getting diarrhea.
  • Don't drink alcohol while using Zorvolex (Diclofenac).
  • Don't take other anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) without talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Can cause swelling in your legs, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
  • Don't take antacids with magnesium since they can interact with Zorvolex (Diclofenac).
  • Take Zorvolex (Diclofenac) at the smallest dose possible for the shortest amount of time to prevent an increased risk of heart attack.
  • Starts relieving pain in 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Can make you bruise or bleed more easily and it can also cause stomach ulcers.
  • Don't take it with other blood thinners, like aspirin, unless your doctor tells you it's safe.
  • Can hurt your kidneys, so don't use it if you have a history of kidney problems.
Learn more
More about DiclofenacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about NaproxenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert