GENERIC NAME: DICLOFENAC SODIUM ENTERIC-COATED TABLET - ORAL (dye-KLOE-fen-ack SOE-dee-um)
BRAND NAME(S): Voltaren
WARNING: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including diclofenac) may rarely increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or increased risk for heart disease (for example, due to smoking, family history of heart disease, or conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes), or with longer use. This drug should not be taken right before or after heart bypass surgery (CABG).
Also, this drug may infrequently cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. This effect can occur without warning symptoms at any time while taking this drug. Older adults may be at higher risk for this effect. (See also Precautions and Drug Interactions sections.)
Stop taking diclofenac and get medical help right away if you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects: bloody or black/tarry stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, slurred speech.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication.
USES: Diclofenac is used to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This medication may also be used to treat other painful conditions (such as dental pain, muscle aches, pain after surgery or after having a baby). However, if you have sudden severe pain and want quick relief, it may be better to use other pain medications that are faster acting than this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using diclofenac and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces / 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. If you experience stomach upset with this medication, you may take it with food, milk, or an antacid. However, this may slow absorption and delay pain relief, especially if you are not taking this medication on a regular schedule.Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets. Doing so can destroy the special coating on the tablet and may increase side effects.The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To minimize side effect risks (such as stomach bleeding), use this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. For chronic conditions such as arthritis, continue taking it as directed by your doctor. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to 2 weeks of regular use before the full benefits of this drug take effect.If you are taking this drug on an "as needed" basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, gas, headache, drowsiness, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swelling of the hands or feet (edema), sudden or unexplained weight gain, hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, difficult/painful swallowing, unusual tiredness.Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, unexplained stiff neck.This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking diclofenac, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin or other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), bleeding or clotting problems, heart disease (such as previous heart attack), high blood pressure, liver disease, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), stomach/intestinal/esophagus problems (such as bleeding, ulcers, recurring heartburn), stroke.Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including diclofenac. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual change in the amount of urine.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with this medicine, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially stomach/intestinal bleeding, kidney problems, and worsening heart problems.Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.This drug passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, ACE Inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as valsartan, losartan), corticosteroids (such as prednisone), cidofovir, cyclosporine, lithium, methotrexate, pemetrexed.This medication may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as celecoxib, ibuprofen, or ketorolac). These drugs are similar to diclofenac and may increase your risk of side effects if taken together. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe stomach pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, extreme drowsiness, slow/shallow breathing, seizures.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, liver and kidney function tests) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.Non-drug treatment that is approved by your doctor for arthritis (such as weight loss if needed, strengthening and conditioning exercises) may help improve your flexibility, range of motion, and joint function. Consult your doctor for specific instructions.
MISSED DOSE: If you are prescribed this drug on a regular schedule (not just "as needed") and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Pain Management Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.