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Difflam is used to reduce pain and swelling associated with mouth and throat conditions.

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What is Difflam?

Diffam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It contains an active ingredient called benzydamine hydrochloride.

Difflam acts on local inflammation, reducing pain, discomfort, and swelling. It does this by stopping the production of natural chemicals involved in inflammation. The medicine treats the pain and swelling caused by a number of mouth and throat conditions, such as mouth ulcers, sore throat, dental procedures (and poorly-fitting dentures), teething, and oral surgery (e.g., tonsillectomy). Difflam may be used to treat your pain when you do not have an infection.

How to use Difflam

Difflam is available in several forms. The Difflam Oral Rinse, Sore Throat Rinse, Spray, and Lozenges are used for the mouth and throat; only the Cream is used for the muscles and bones (we do not prescribe the cream). Your prescribing healthcare professional (doctor, dentist or pharmacist) will explain how to use, how much to use, and how long to use the form of Difflam prescribed to you.

Difflam Oral Rinse and Sore Throat Rinse can be used either for rinsing inside the mouth or for gargling for 20–30 seconds. These rinses should always be spat out and never swallowed after use. Difflam Spray is sprayed onto the affected mouth/throat area. Difflam Lozenges are dissolved in your mouth; they must not be chewed nor swallowed whole. Difflam Cream is gently rubbed into the affected muscle or joint area. Generally, the Rinses and the Spray are used every 1.5–3 hours for 7 days maximum; the Lozenges three times a day for 7 days maximum; and the Cream is used for three times a day for 10 days maximum.

Do not use this medicine near your eyes and immediately wash your eyes with cold water should any get in to them. Also avoid using Difflam Cream around your nose or mouth, or on your genitals or anus, and wash these areas immediately with cold water if you do get in or on these body areas.

Contact your healthcare professional if there is no improvement in your symptoms or they worsen. Do not use more of this medicine than you have been told; contact a healthcare professional if you use too much or swallow a lot of the Difflam Oral Rinse, Sore Throat Rinse, or Spray, or take more of the Lozenges than you should. Using more Difflam Cream than you have been told should not cause problems. Do not double your prescribed dose if you miss a dose - continue to follow your dosing schedule.

Who can use Difflam?

Difflam is suitable for adults, older people, and adolescents. The Oral Rinse and Sore Throat Rinse cannot be used by children aged 12 years or younger, and Lozenges by children aged younger than 6 years; ask your healthcare professional before using the Cream on children. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, may be pregnant, or planning pregnancy, ask your healthcare professional for advice before using Difflam. Do not use the Difflam Lozenges during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Do not use any form of Difflam if you are allergic to benzydamine hydrochloride or any of the other ingredients, and take medical advice before use if you are allergic to other NSAIDs or have/have had asthma. There are no known interactions between other medicines and Difflam but you must still mention all your medications, past present and future, as well as those you have bought without a prescription to your prescribing healthcare professional.

Among the ingredients is alcohol (ethanol), although the quantity in each oral dose are very small and unlikely to cause noticeable effects.

Difflam Side Effects

Very rarely, people have an anaphylactic shock after using Difflam. This is a serious allergic reaction with symptoms such as breathing difficulties, wheezing, chest pain/tightness, dizziness, light-headedness; severe skin itching and hives; and swelling of your face, tongue, lips, and throat. Get medical attention immediately if you have a severe allergic reaction.

When using the Rinses and Spray, some people experience stinging and/or numbness in their mouth and/or throat; using water to dilute the next dose can decrease the effect. Lozenges may cause a burning feeling, numbness and/or dryness in the mouth; sips of water can reduce these effects. Both Cream and Lozenges may increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, causing redness, pain, sunburn or a rash. These effects tend to disappear when you stop using Difflam.

Reviewed by: Dr Loraine Haslam MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, LoC SDI, LoC IUT, MRCGP
GMC registration number: 4524038
Date: 30 October 2023
Next review: 29 October 2025
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on
The Medical Register at the GMC website.

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