Compare Diclofenac vs. Tramadol

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

Zorvolex
(Diclofenac)

Ultram
(Tramadol)

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.Treats moderate to severe pain. Ultram (Tramadol) works well to treat severe pain and mood changes. Although it's a little weaker than other opioids, it can still be addictive.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Ultram (Tramadol)
61%
39% vs. Zorvolex (Diclofenac)
39%
61% vs. Zorvolex (Diclofenac)
16%
16% vs. Zorvolex (Diclofenac)
Side effects
DiclofenacTramadol
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness (not vertigo) 21%
  • Flushing 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Positional low blood pressure 3%
More Tramadol side effects »
How it works
DiclofenacTramadol
Zorvolex (Diclofenac) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It stops your body from making chemicals that cause inflammation and pain.Ultram (Tramadol) is an atypical opioid pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it alters certain brain chemicals to lower pain perception and improve mood.
Type of medication
DiclofenacTramadol
Pain reliever
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
DiclofenacTramadol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
DiclofenacTramadol
  • Osteoarthritis pain
Risk factors for serious side effects
DiclofenacTramadol
  • 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 »
  • Higher dose
  • Using other medicines that can cause seizures
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders
  • Brain infections
  • Suicidal or at risk
  • Taking other medications that affect serotonin
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of allergic reactions to codeine or other opioid pain relievers
  • Phenylalanine sensitivity
  • Stopping Ultram (Tramadol) suddenly
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    Detailed Ultram (Tramadol) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    DiclofenacTramadol
    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).
    • Serious side effects may include drug abuse, dependence, slowed breathing rate (respiratory depression), and death. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes or take with alcohol, illegal drugs, or other opioid pain relievers.
    Food
    • Take it with food to avoid getting diarrhea.
    • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid 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.
    • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    DiclofenacTramadol
    • 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.
    • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
    • Compared to typical opioids, it provides unique pain relief and effects on your mood when taken regularly.
    • Has a lower chance of causing breathing problems compared to other typical opioids.
    • Doesn't cause as much constipation as other opioid pain medicines. Staying hydrated and taking laxatives can help treat this side effect.
    Downsides and risks
    DiclofenacTramadol
    • 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.
    • Some people think it's weaker than other opioid pain medications. It can also cause more upset stomach.
    • Like other opioid pain relievers, Tramadol has a high risk of addiction, abuse, misuse, overdose, and death. It should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
    • It isn't used for short-term, as-needed pain relief.
    • It's a controlled substance regulated by the federal government. This means that your use of Ultram (Tramadol) will be tracked to prevent potential prescription abuse.
    • To get Ultram (Tramadol) in the pharmacy, you'll need to bring in a paper prescription directly from your doctor.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    DiclofenacTramadol
    • 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 working in one hour and works best if you take it regularly.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
    • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
    • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
    • Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. They're designed to release the drug slowly and breaking, crushing, or chewing them could cause a serious overdose.
    Learn more
    More about DiclofenacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert