Difflam is a branded version of the anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication benzydamine. It primarily comes in three formulations: mouth spray, mouth rinse and lozenges. It is important that it is taken with food as it can cause stomach irritation.
Difflam is specifically formulated to help with inflammation in the mouth and throat. For throat conditions, it is useful for people suffering from tonsillitis or a sore throat. It can also help with mouth ulcers, pain after dental surgery and inflammation of the mouth that can happen if you have had radiotherapy or chemotherapy to the mouth or jaw area (known as radiation mucositis).
Difflam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) from the same family as aspirin and ibuprofen. Because of this, make sure you aren’t taking Difflam alongside other anti-inflammatories, as this can upset your stomach.
Difflam’s anti-inflammatory effect works by blocking the body’s production of a substance called "prostaglandins", which are released in response to illness or injury. Prostaglandins can cause pain and inflammation to notify the person they are unwell. By stopping prostaglandin production, they can stop the pain, inflammation and even fever.
Difflam also has biocidal properties, which means that it can kill microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. This means that it can also help fight against infection in the throat or mouth.
Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication, if you have severe kidney or liver problems, or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new. Do not take Difflam if you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant already.
If you are asthmatic and haven’t had anti-inflammatories before, they can sometimes cause an acute asthma attack.
The mouth rinse is not suitable for ages under the age of 13 (3). As for the lozenge, due to its nature it isn’t suitable for any child under the age of 7 years old.
If you have a known stomach ulcer or inflammatory bowel disease, you should avoid taking Difflam unless recommended by your doctor.
As with any medications, some people are bound to get some unwanted side effects. An uncommon (1 in 1000 people) side-effect includes numbness and/or stinging in the mouth and/or throat. Very rare side effects (1 in 10,000 people) include difficulty breathing, swelling and itchy skin.
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