- Drugs Type : Multum
- Date : 8th Jul 2015 04:02 am
- Brand Name : Pennsaid, Solaraze, Voltaren Topical
- Generic Name : diclofenac topical (Pronunciation: dye KLOE fen ak TOP ik al)
VOLTAREN® GEL (diclofenac sodium topical gel) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for topical use only. It contains the active ingredient, diclofenac sodium, in an opaque, white gel base. Diclofenac sodium is a white to slightly yellow crystalline powder. Diclofenac sodium is a benzeneacetic acid derivative. The chemical name is 2-[(2,6dichlorophenyl)amino]benzeneacetic acid, monosodium salt. The molecular weight is 318.14. Its molecular formula is C14H10Cl2NNaO2. It has the following structural formula:
VOLTAREN® mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether, propylene glycol, purified water, and strong ammonia solution.
What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical (Pennsaid, Solaraze, Voltaren Topical)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although the risk of serious side effects is low when diclofenac is applied to the skin, you should be aware of side effects that can occur if the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, and feeling weak or...
Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Voltaren Gel »
VOLTAREN® GEL is indicated for the relief of the pain of osteoarthritis of joints amenable to topical treatment, such as the knees and those of the hands.
- VOLTAREN® GEL has not been evaluated for use on the spine, hip, orshoulder.
[See the Patient Instructions for Use]
The dosing card can be found attached to the inside of the carton. The proper amount of VOLTAREN® GEL should be measured using the dosing card supplied in the drug product carton. The dosing card is made of clear polypropylene. The dosing card should be used for each application of drug product. The gel should be applied within the oblong area of the dosing card up to the 2 gram or 4 gram line (2 g for each elbow, wrist, or hand, and 4 g for each knee, ankle, or foot). The 2 g line is 2.25 inches long. The 4 g line is 4.5 inches long. The dosing card containing VOLTAREN® GEL can be used to apply the gel. The hands should then be used to gently rub the gel into the skin. After using the dosing card, hold with fingertips, rinse, and dry. If treatment site is the hands, patients should wait at least one (1) hour to wash their hands.
Lower Extremities, Including The Knees, Ankles, And Feet
Apply the gel (4 g) to the affected foot or knee or ankle, 4 times daily. VOLTAREN® GEL should be gently massaged into the skin ensuring application to the entire affected foot or knee or ankle. The entire foot includes the sole, top of the foot and the toes. Do not apply more than 16 g daily to any single joint of the lower extremities.
Upper Extremities Including The Elbows, Wrists And Hands
Apply the gel (2 g) to the affected hand or elbow or wrist, 4 times daily. VOLTAREN® GEL should be gently massaged into the skin ensuring application to the entire affected hand or elbow or wrist. The entire hand includes the palm, back of the hands, and the fingers. Do not apply more than 8 g daily to any single joint of the upper extremities.
Total dose should not exceed 32 g per day, over all affected joints.
- Showering/bathing should be avoided for at least 1 hour after the application. Patient should wash his/her hands after use, unless the hands are the treated joint. If VOLTAREN® GEL is applied to the hand(s) for treatment; patient should not wash the treated hand(s) for at least 1 hour after the application.
- VOLTAREN® GEL should not be applied to open wounds.
- Contact of VOLTAREN® GEL with eyes and mucous membranes should be avoided.
- External heat and/or occlusive dressings should not be applied to treated joints.
- Exposure of the treated joint(s) to sunlight should be avoided.
- Avoid concomitant use of VOLTAREN® GEL on the treated skin site with other topical products, including sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, insect repellants, or other topical medications [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
- Concomitant use of VOLTAREN® GEL with oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has not been evaluated, and may increase adverse NSAIDs effects.
- Wearing of clothing or gloves should be avoided for at least 10 minutes after applying VOLTAREN® GEL.
Dosage Form And Strength
Storage And Handling
VOLTAREN® GEL is available in tubes containing 100 g of the topical gel in each tube. Each tube contains diclofenac sodium in a gel base (10 mg of diclofenac sodium per gram of gel or 1%).
100 g tube………………………………..…NDC 63481-684-47
3 Pack (3 Tubes containing 100 g each)....…..NDC 63481-684-03
5 Pack (5 Tubes containing 100 g each)……..NDC 63481-684-05
Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Keep from freezing. Store the dosing card with your VOLTAREN® GEL.
Marketed by: Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Malvern, PA 19355 Manufactured by: Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. Parsippany, NJ 07054-0622 OR Novartis Pharma Produktions GmbH, Wehr, Germany. Revised: November 2014
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
During clinical development, 913 patients were exposed to VOLTAREN® GEL in randomized, double-blind, multicenter, vehicle-controlled, parallel-group studies in osteoarthritis of the superficial joints of the extremities. Of these, 513 patients received VOLTAREN® GEL for osteoarthritis of the knee and 400 were treated for osteoarthritis of the hand. Additionally, 583 patients were exposed to VOLTAREN® GEL in an uncontrolled, open-label, long-term safety trial in osteoarthritis of the knee. Of these, 355 patients were treated for osteoarthritis of 1 knee and 228 were treated for osteoarthritis of both knees. Duration of exposure ranged from 8 to 12 weeks for the placebo-controlled studies, and up to 12 months for the open-label safety trial.
Short-Term Placebo-Controlled Trials
Adverse reactions observed in at least 1% of patients treated with VOLTAREN® GEL: Non-serious adverse reactions that were reported during the short-term placebo-controlled studies comparing VOLTAREN® GEL and placebo (vehicle gel) over study periods of 8 to 12 weeks (16 g per day), were application site reactions. These were the only adverse reactions that occurred in > 1% of treated patients with a greater frequency in the VOLTAREN® GEL group (7%) than the placebo group (2%).
Table 1 lists the types of application site reactions reported. Application sitedermatitis was the most frequent type of application site reaction and was reported by 4% of patients treated with VOLTAREN® GEL, compared to 1% of placebo patients.
Table 1: Non-serious Application Site Adverse Reactions ( ≥ 1% Voltaren® Gel Patients) — Short-term Controlled Trials
|ADVERSE REACTION†||VOLTAREN® GEL
N = 913
N = 876
|Any application site reaction||62 (7)||19(2)|
|Application site dermatitis||32 (4)||G ( < 1)|
|Application site pruritus||7 ( < 1)||1 ( < 1)|
|Application site erythema||6 ( < 1)||3 ( < 1)|
|Application site paresthesia||5 ( < 1)||3 ( < 1)|
|Application site dryness||4 < < 1)||3 ( < 1)|
|Application site vesicles||3 ( < 1)||0|
|Application site irritation||2 (< 1)||0|
|Application site papules||1 ( < 1)||0|
|† Preferred Term according to MedDRA 9.1|
In the placebo-controlled trials, the discontinuation rate due to adverse reactions was 5% for patients treated with VOLTAREN® GEL, and 3% for patients in the placebo group. Application site reactions, including application site dermatitis, were the most frequent reason for treatment discontinuation.
Long-Term Open-Label Safety Trial
In the open-label, long-term safety study, distribution of adverse reactions was similar to that in the placebo-controlled studies. In this study, where patients were treated for up to 1 year with VOLTAREN® GEL up to 32 g per day, application site dermatitis was observed in 11% of patients. Adverse reactions that led to the discontinuation of the study drug were experienced in 12% of patients. The most common adverse reaction that led to discontinuation of the study was application site dermatitis, which was experienced by 6% of patients.
When diclofenac is administered with aspirin, the binding of diclofenac to protein is reduced, although the clearance of free diclofenac is not altered. The clinical significance of this interaction is not known; however, as with other NSAIDs, concomitant administration of diclofenac and aspirin is not generally recommended because of the potential of increased adverse effects.
The effects of anticoagulants such as warfarin and NSAIDs on GI bleeding are synergistic, such that users of both drugs together have a risk of serious GI bleeding higher than users of either drug alone.
NSAIDs may diminish the antihypertensive effect of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. This interaction should be given consideration in patients taking NSAIDs concomitantly with ACE-inhibitors.
Clinical studies, as well as post-marketing observations, have shown that NSAIDs can reduce the natriuretic effect of furosemide and thiazides in some patients. The response has been attributed to inhibition of renalprostaglandin synthesis. During concomitant therapy with NSAIDs, the patient should be observed closely for signs of renal failure [see WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS], as well as to assure diuretic efficacy.
NSAIDs have produced an elevation of plasma lithium levels and a reduction in renal lithium clearance. The mean minimum lithium concentration increased 15% and the renal clearance was decreased by approximately 20%. These effects have been attributed to inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis by the NSAID. Thus, when NSAIDs, including diclofenac, and lithium are administered concurrently, patients should be observed carefully for signs of lithium toxicity.
NSAIDs have been reported to competitively inhibit methotrexate accumulation in rabbit kidney slices. This may indicate that they could enhance the toxicity of methotrexate. Caution should be used when NSAIDs, including diclofenac, are administered concomitantly with methotrexate.
Diclofenac, like other NSAIDs, may affect renal prostaglandins and increase the toxicity of certain drugs. Therefore concomitant therapy with diclofenac may increase cyclosporine's nephrotoxicity. Caution should be used when diclofenac is administered concomitantly with cyclosporine.
Oral Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Specific interaction studies of VOLTAREN® GEL and oral NSAIDs were not performed. Also, the clinical trials of VOLTAREN® GEL prohibited concomitant use of oral NSAIDS. There is systemic exposure to diclofenac following normal use of VOLTAREN® GEL, up to 6% of the systemic levels of a single oral dose of diclofenac sodium [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Therefore, concomitant administration of VOLTAREN® GEL with oral NSAIDs or aspirin may result in increased adverse NSAID effects.
Concomitant use of VOLTAREN® GEL with other topical products, including topical medications, sunscreens, lotions, moisturizers, and cosmetics, on the same skin site has not been tested and should be avoided because of the potential to alter local tolerability and absorption.
Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.
Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular(CV) thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. All NSAIDs, both COX-2 selective and nonselective, may have a similar risk. Patients with known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease may be at greater risk. To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in patients treated with NSAIDs, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the signs and/or symptoms of serious CV toxicity and the steps to take if they occur.
There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAIDs use. The concurrent use of aspirin and NSAIDs such as diclofenac, does increase the risk of serious GI events [see Gastrointestinal Effects – Risk of GI Ulceration, Bleeding, and Perforation].
Two large, controlled, clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10-14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke [seeCONTRAINDICATIONS].
Gastrointestinal Effects – Risk Of GI Ulceration, Bleeding, And Perforation
NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach, small intestineor large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occur in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3-6 months, and in about 2-4% of patients treated for one year. These trends continue with longer duration of use, increasing the likelihood of developing a serious GI event at some time during the course of therapy. However, even short-term therapy is not without risk.
NSAIDs should be prescribed with extreme caution in patients with a prior history of ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding. Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or gastrointestinal bleeding who use NSAIDs have a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients with neither of these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include concomitant use of oral corticosteroids or anticoagulants, longer duration of NSAIDs therapy, smoking, use of alcohol, older age, and poor general health status. Most spontaneous reports of fatal GI events are in elderly or debilitated patients and therefore special care should be taken in treating this population.
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse GI event, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible duration. Physicians and patients should remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during diclofenac therapy and promptly initiate additional evaluation and treatment if a serious GI adverse event is suspected. For high-risk patients, alternate therapies that do not involve NSAIDs should be considered.
Elevations of one or more liver tests may occur during therapy with diclofenac sodium. These laboratory abnormalities may progress, may remain unchanged, or may be transient with continued therapy. Borderline elevations (i.e. less than 3 times the ULN [ULN = the upper limit of normal range]) or greater elevations of transaminases occurred in about 15% of diclofenactreated patients. Of the markers of hepatic function, ALT (SGPT) is recommended for the monitoring of liver injury.
In clinical trials, meaningful elevations (i.e., more than 3 times the ULN) of AST (GOT) (ALT was not measured in all studies) occurred in about 2% of approximately 5,700 patients at some time during diclofenac treatment. In a large, open-label, controlled trial of 3,700 patients treated for 2-6 months, patients were monitored first at 8 weeks and 1,200 patients were monitored again at 24 weeks. Meaningful elevations of ALT and/or AST occurred in about 4% of patients and included marked elevations (i.e., more than 8 times the ULN) in about 1% of the 3,700 patients. In that open-label study, a higher incidence of borderline (less than 3 times the ULN), moderate (3-8 times the ULN), and marked ( > 8 times the ULN) elevations of ALT or AST was observed in patients receiving diclofenac when compared to other NSAIDs. Elevations in transaminases were seen more frequently in patients withosteoarthritis than in those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Almost all meaningful elevations in transaminases were detected before patients became symptomatic. Abnormal tests occurred during the first 2 months of therapy with diclofenac in 42 of the 51 patients in all trials who developed marked transaminase elevations.
In postmarketing reports, cases of drug-induced hepatotoxicity have been reported in the first month, and in some cases, the first 2 months of therapy, but can occur at any time during treatment with diclofenac. Postmarketing surveillance has reported cases of severe hepatic reactions, including livernecrosis, jaundice, fulminant hepatitis with and without jaundice, and liver failure. Some of these reported cases resulted in fatalities or liver transplantation.
Physicians should measure transaminases periodically in patients receiving long-term therapy with diclofenac, because severe hepatotoxicity may develop without a prodrome of distinguishing symptoms. The optimum times for making the first and subsequent transaminase measurements are not known. Based on clinical trial data and postmarketing experiences, transaminases should be monitored within 4 to 8 weeks after initiating treatment with diclofenac. However, severe hepatic reactions can occur at any time during treatment with diclofenac.
If abnormal liver tests persist or worsen, if clinical signs and/or symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, etc.), diclofenac sodium should be discontinued immediately. To minimize the possibility that hepatic injury will become severe between transaminase measurements, physicians should inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea,pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms), and the appropriate action patients should take if these signs and symptoms appear. To minimize the potential risk for an adverse liver related event in patients treated with diclofenac sodium, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest duration possible. Caution should be exercised in prescribing diclofenac sodium with concomitant drugs that are known to be potentially hepatotoxic (e.g., antibiotics, anti-epileptics).
NSAIDs, including VOLTAREN® GEL, can lead to the onset of newhypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of cardiovascular events. Patients taking thiazides or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs. NSAIDs, including VOLTAREN® GEL should be used with caution in patients with hypertension. Blood pressure should be monitored closely during the initiation of therapy with VOLTAREN® GEL and throughout the course of therapy.
Congestive Heart Failure And Edema
Fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs, including VOLTAREN® GEL. VOLTAREN® GEL should be used with caution in patients with fluid retention or heart failure.
Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renalperfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE-inhibitors, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.
No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of VOLTAREN® GEL in patients with advanced renal disease. Therefore, treatment with VOLTAREN® GEL is not recommended in patients with advanced renal disease. If VOLTAREN® GEL therapy is initiated, close monitoring of the patient's renal function is advisable.
As with other NSAIDs, anaphylactoid reactions may occur in patients without prior exposure to VOLTAREN® GEL. VOLTAREN® GEL should not be given to patients with the aspirin triad. This symptom complex typically occurs inasthmatic patients who experience rhinitis with or without nasal polyps, or who exhibit severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Emergency help should be sought in cases where an anaphylactoid reaction occurs.
NSAIDs, including VOLTAREN® GEL, can cause serious skin adverse events such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxicepidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Patients should be informed about the signs and symptoms of serious skin manifestations, and the use of the drug should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash or any other signs of hypersensitivity.
VOLTAREN® GEL should not be applied to open skin wounds, infections, inflammations, or exfoliative dermatitis, as it may affect absorption and tolerability of the drug. VOLTAREN® GEL should not be allowed to come into contact with the eyes or with mucous membranes. The effect of VOLTAREN® GEL under occlusive dressings has not been evaluated, and should be avoided.
As with other NSAIDs, VOLTAREN® GEL should be avoided in late pregnancy, because it may cause premature closure of the ductusarteriosus.
VOLTAREN® GEL cannot be expected to substitute for corticosteroids or to treat corticosteroid insufficiency. Abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids may lead to exacerbation of corticosteroid-responsive illness. Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should have their therapy tapered slowly if a decision is made to discontinue corticosteroids.
The pharmacological activity of diclofenac in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of these diagnostic signs in detecting infectious complications of presumed noninfectious, painful conditions.
Anemia is sometimes seen in patients receiving NSAIDs. This may be due to fluid retention, occult or gross GI blood loss, or an incompletely described effect upon erythropoeisis. Patients on long-term treatment with NSAIDs, including VOLTAREN® GEL, should have their hemoglobin or hematocritchecked if they exhibit any signs or symptoms of anemia or blood loss.
NSAIDs inhibit platelet aggregation and have been shown to prolong bleeding time in some patients. Unlike aspirin, their effect on platelet function is quantitatively less, of shorter duration, and reversible. Patients treated with VOLTAREN® GEL who may be adversely affected by alteration in platelet function, such as those with coagulation disorders or patients receiving anticoagulants should be carefully monitored.
Patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma. The use of aspirin in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma has been associated with severe bronchospasm, which can be fatal. Since cross reactivity, including bronchospasm, between aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, VOLTAREN® GEL should not be administered to patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity and should be used with caution in patients with preexisting asthma.
Patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight on treated areas because studies in animals indicated topical diclofenac treatment resulted in an earlier onset of ultraviolet light induced skin tumors. The potential effects of VOLTAREN® GEL on skin response to ultraviolet damage in humans are not known.
Contact of VOLTAREN® GEL with eyes and mucosa, although not studied, should be avoided. Patients should be advised that if eye contact occurs, they should immediately wash out the eye with water or saline and consult a physician if irritation persists for more than an hour.
Because serious GI tract ulcerations and bleeding can occur without warning symptoms, physicians should monitor for signs or symptoms of GI bleeding. Patients on long-term treatment with NSAIDs, should have a CBC and a chemistry profile checked periodically. If abnormal liver tests or renal tests persist or worsen, VOLTAREN® GEL should be discontinued.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (NSAIDsMedication Guide and Instructions for Use) prior to using VOLTAREN® GEL.
Inform patients of the following information before initiating therapy with an NSAID and periodically during the course of ongoing therapy
VOLTAREN® GEL, like other NSAIDs, may cause serious CV side effects, such as MI or stroke, which may result in hospitalization and even death. Although serious CV events can occur without warning symptoms, patients should be alert for the signs and symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, slurring of speech, and should ask for medical advice when observing any indicative sign or symptoms. Advise patients of the importance of this follow-up [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
VOLTAREN® GEL, like other NSAIDs, can cause GI discomfort and, rarely, more serious GI side effects, such as ulcers and bleeding, which may result in hospitalization and even death. Although serious GI tract ulcerations and bleeding can occur without warning symptoms, patients should be alert for the signs and symptoms of ulcerations and bleeding. Instruct patients to ask for medical advice when observing any indicative sign or symptoms including epigastric pain, dyspepsia, melena, and hematemesis. Patients should be apprised of the importance of this follow-up [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms). If these occur, patients should be instructed to stop therapy with VOLTAREN® GEL and seek immediate medical therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Adverse Skin Reactions
VOLTAREN® GEL, like other NSAIDs, can cause serious skin side effects such as exfoliative dermatitis, SJS, and TEN, which may result in hospitalization and even death. Although serious skin reactions may occur without warning, patients should be alert for the signs and symptoms of skin rash and blisters, fever, or other signs of hypersensitivity such as itching. Instruct patients to ask for medical advice when observing any indicative signs or symptoms [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients to stop VOLTAREN® GEL immediately if they develop any type of rash and contact their physicians as soon as possible.
Instruct patients not to apply VOLTAREN® GEL to open skin wounds, infections, inflammations, or exfoliative dermatitis, as it may affect absorption and tolerability of the drug.
Instruct patients to avoid concomitant use of VOLTAREN® GEL with other topical products, including sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, and insect repellants. Concomitant use may result in skin reactions or change the absorption of VOLTAREN® GEL.
Instruct patients to minimize or avoid exposure of treated areas to natural or artificial sunlight.
Weight Gain and Edema
Instruct patients to report to their physicians signs or symptoms of unexplained weight gain or edema following treatment with VOLTAREN® GEL [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients of the signs of an anaphylactoid reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat). If these occur, patients should be instructed to seek immediate emergency help [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Effects During Pregnancy
In late pregnancy, as with other NSAIDs, VOLTAREN® GEL should be avoided because it will cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus [seeWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Instruct patients to avoid contact of VOLTAREN® GEL with the eyes and mucosa, although not studied, should be avoided. Patients should be advised that if eye contact occurs, they should immediately wash out the eye with water or saline and consult a physician if irritation persists for more than an hour.
Instruct patients how to use the dosing card to measure the proper dose of VOLTAREN® GEL to apply.
If the patient loses their dosing card, instruct them that they can call 1-800-452-0051 to request a replacement dosing card or ask their pharmacist for a new dosing card. Instruct patients how to correctly measure the 2.25 inches (2 g) dose or 4.5 inches (4 g) dose while waiting for a replacement dosing card.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats administered diclofenac sodium as a dietary constituent for 2 years at doses up to 2 mg/kg/day resulted in no significant increases in tumor incidence corresponding to a human equivalent dose approximately 0.5- and 1-fold (mouse and rat, respectively) of the maximum human topical dose of VOLTAREN® GEL (based on bioavailability and body surface area comparison).
In a dermal carcinogenicity study conducted in albino mice, daily topical applications of a diclofenac sodium gel product for two years at concentrations up to 0.035% diclofenac sodium (a 29-fold lower diclofenac sodium concentration than present in VOLTAREN® GEL) did not increaseneoplasm incidence. In a photococarcinogenicity study conducted in hairless mice, topical application of a diclofenac sodium gel product at doses up to 0.035% diclofenac sodium (a 29-fold lower diclofenac sodium concentration than present in VOLTAREN® GEL) resulted in an earlier median time of onset of tumors.
Diclofenac was not mutagenic or clastogenic in a battery of genotoxicity tests that included the bacterial reverse mutation assay, in vitro mouse lymphomapoint mutation assay, chromosomal aberration studies in Chinese hamsterovarian cells in vitro, and in vivo rat chromosomal aberration assay of bone marrow cells.
Diclofenac did not affect male or female fertility in rats at doses up to 4 mg/kg/day which induced toxicity, corresponding to a human equivalent dose approximately 2-fold greater than the maximum human topical dose of Voltaren® Gel (based on bioavailability and body surface area comparison).
Use In Specific Populations
The safety of VOLTAREN® GEL has not been established during pregnancy. There are no well-controlled studies of diclofenac in pregnant women. Human and animal studies indicate that diclofenac crosses the placenta. In late pregnancy, as with other NSAIDs, VOLTAREN® GEL should be avoided because it may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.
Pregnancy Category C
Studies in mice, rats, and rabbits in which diclofenac was administered orally throughout gestation revealed no evidence of teratogenicity despite the induction of maternal toxicity and fetal toxicity corresponding to a human equivalent dose approximately 4.5-, 2-, and 9-fold (mouse, rat, rabbit, respectively) of the maximum human topical dose of VOLTAREN® GEL (based on bioavailability and body surface area comparison).
The use of diclofenac, as with other NSAIDs, is associated with the adverse fetal cardiovascular effect of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.
Labor And Delivery
In rat studies with oral NSAIDs, including diclofenac, as with other drugs known to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, there is an increased incidence ofdystocia and delayed parturition corresponding to a human equivalent dose approximately similar to the maximum recommended clinical dose (based on bioavailability and body surface area comparison). The effects of VOLTAREN® GEL on labor and delivery in pregnant women are unknown.
It is not known whether diclofenac is excreted in human milk; however, studies in animals detected diclofenac in the milk after oral administration. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from VOLTAREN® GEL a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Of the total number of subjects treated with VOLTAREN® GEL in clinical studies, 498 were 65 years of age and over. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, but greater sensitivity to the effect of NSAIDs in some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Diclofenac, as with any NSAID, is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to VOLTAREN® GEL may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken when using VOLTAREN® GEL in the elderly, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
There has been no experience of overdose with VOLTAREN® GEL. No events of accidental ingestion have been reported with VOLTAREN® GEL. Effects similar to those observed after an overdose of diclofenac tablets can be expected if substantial amounts of VOLTAREN® GEL are ingested. Symptoms following acute oral NSAID overdoses are usually limited tolethargy, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and epigastric pain, which are generally reversible with supportive care. Gastrointestinal bleeding can occur. Hypertension, acute renal failure, respiratory depression, and coma may occur. Anaphylactoid reactions have been reported with therapeutic ingestion of NSAIDs, and may occur after an overdose.
In the event of oral ingestion resulting in significant systemic side effects, it is recommended that the stomach be emptied by vomiting or lavage. Forceddiuresis may theoretically be beneficial because the drug is excreted in the urine. The effect of dialysis or hemoperfusion in the elimination of diclofenac (99% protein-bound) remains unproven. In addition to supportive measures, the use of oral activated charcoal may help to reduce the absorption of diclofenac. Supportive and symptomatic treatment should be given for complications such as renal failure, convulsions, gastrointestinal irritation, and respiratory depression.
For additional information about overdose treatment, call a Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).
The use of VOLTAREN® GEL is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to diclofenac. VOLTAREN® GEL should not be administered in patients who have experienced asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, rarely fatal, anaphylactic-like reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
VOLTAREN® GEL is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Mechanism Of Action
The mechanism of action of diclofenac is similar to that of other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Diclofenac inhibits the enzyme, cyclooxygenase(COX), an early component of the arachidonic acid cascade, resulting in the reduced formation of prostaglandins, thromboxanes and prostacylin. It is not completely understood how reduced synthesis of these compounds results in therapeutic efficacy.
Diclofenac, the active component of VOLTAREN® GEL has anti-inflammatory, anti-nociception, and anti-pyretic effects.
The pharmacokinetics of VOLTAREN® GEL were assessed in healthy volunteers following repeated applications during 7 days of VOLTAREN® GEL to 1 knee (4 x 4 g per day) or to 2 knees and 2 hands (4 x 12 g per day) versus the recommended oral dose of diclofenac sodium for the treatment ofosteoarthritis (3 x 50 mg per day). A summary of the pharmacokinetic parameters is presented in Table 2.
Table 2: Pharmacokinetic Parameters and Comparison of Voltaren® Gel to Oral Diclofenac Sodium Tablets After Repeated Administration
|TREATMENT||CMAX (NG/ML) MEAN ± SD % OF ORAL (CL)||TMAX(HR) MEDIAN (RANGE)||AUC0-24(NG•H/ML) MEAN ± SD % OF ORAL (CL)|
4 x 4 g per day
(=160 mg diclofenac sodium per day)
|233 + 128
4 x 12 g per day
(=480 mg diclofenac sodium per day)
|53.8 ± 32
|807 ± 478
|Diclofenac sodium tablets, orally 3 x 50 mg per day (=150 mg diclofenac sodium per day)||2270 ± 778 100%||6.5
|Cmax = maximum plasma concentration; tmax = time of Cmax; AUC0-24 = area under the concentration-time curve; SD = standard deviation; Cl = confidence interval.|
Systemic exposure (area under the concentration-time curve) and maximum plasma concentrations of diclofenac are significantly lower with VOLTAREN® GEL than with comparable oral treatment of diclofenac sodium.
Systemic exposure with recommended use of VOLTAREN® GEL (4 x 4 g per day applied to 1 knee) is on average 17 times lower than with oral treatment. (Basis: treatment with Voltaren® Gel of 1 knee, 4 times a day versus 50 mg, 3 times a day of oral diclofenac tablets.) The amount of diclofenac sodium that is systemically absorbed from VOLTAREN® GEL is on average 6% of the systemic exposure from an oral form of diclofenac sodium.
The average peak plasma concentration with recommended use of VOLTAREN® GEL (4 x 4 g per day applied to 1 knee) is 158 times lower than with the oral treatment.
The pharmacokinetics of VOLTAREN® GEL has been tested under conditions of moderate heat (application of a heat patch for 15 minutes prior to gel application) and of moderate exercise (first gel application followed by a 20-minute treadmill exercise). No clinically relevant differences of systemic absorption and of tolerability were found between applications of Voltaren® Gel (4 x 4 g per day on 1 knee) with and under the conditions tested. However, the pharmacokinetics of VOLTAREN® GEL were not tested under the condition of heat application following gel application. Therefore, concurrent use of VOLTAREN® GEL and heat is not recommended.
Pivotal Studies In Osteoarthritis Of The Superficial Joints Of The Extremities
Study 1 evaluated the efficacy of VOLTAREN® GEL for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee in a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. VOLTAREN® GEL was administered at a dose of 4 g, 4 times daily, on 1 knee (16 g per day). Pain as assessed by the patients at Week 12 using the WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) Pain Subindex was lower in the VOLTAREN® GEL group than the placebo group.
Study 2 evaluated the efficacy of VOLTAREN® GEL for the treatment of osteoarthritis in subjects with osteoarthritis of the hand in an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study. VOLTAREN® GEL was administered at a dose of 2 g per hand, 4 times daily, on both hands (16 g per day). Pain in the target hand as assessed by the patients at Weeks 4 and 6 on a visual analog scale from 0 to 100 was lower in the VOLTAREN® GEL group than the placebo group.
Table 3: Efficacy Outcomes of Voltaren® Gel in Studies 1 and 2
|VOLTAREN® GEL||PLACEBO (VEHICLE)||ADJUSTED DIFFERENCE (PLACEBO -VOLTAREN® GEL)|
|Study 1 (Knee) WOMAC Pain*# at Week 12||Sample Size||127||119|
|95% Confidence Interval||(1,12)|
|Study 2 (Hand) Pain Intensity# at Week 4||Sample Size||198||187|
|95% Confidence Interval||(2,12)|
|Study 2 (Hand) Pain Intensity# at Week 6||Sample Size||198||187|
|95% Confidence Interval||(1,13)|
* WOMAC = Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index.
Medication Guide for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
(See the end of this Medication Guide for a list of prescription NSAID medicines.)
What is the most important information I should know about medicines called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
NSAID medicines may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases:
- with longer use of NSAID medicines
- in people who have heart disease
NSAID medicines should never be used right before or after a heart surgery called a “coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).”
NSAID medicines can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment. Ulcers and bleeding:
- can happen without warning symptoms
- may cause death
The chance of a person getting an ulcer or bleeding increases with:
- taking medicines called “corticosteroids” and “anticoagulants”
- longer use
- drinking alcohol
- older age
- having poor health
NSAID medicines should only be used:
- exactly as prescribed
- at the lowest dose possible for your treatment
- for the shortest time needed
What are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
NSAID medicines are used to treat pain and redness, swelling, and heat (inflammation) from medical conditions such as:
- different types of arthritis
- menstrual cramps and other types of short-term pain
Who should not take a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)?
Do not take an NSAID medicine:
- if you had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction with aspirin or any other NSAID medicine
- for pain right before or after heart bypass surgery
Tell your healthcare provider:
- about all of your medical conditions.
- about all of the medicines you take. NSAIDs and some other medicines can interact with each other and cause serious side
- effects. Keep a list of your medicines to show to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
- if you are pregnant. NSAID medicines should not be used by pregnant women late in their pregnancy.
- if you are breast-feeding. Talk to your healthcare provider.
What are the possible side effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
|SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:||OTHER SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:|
Get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- chest pain
- weakness in one part or side of your body
- slurred speech
- swelling of the face or throat
Stop your NSAID medicine and call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- more tired or weaker than usual
- your skin or eyes look yellow
- stomach pain
- flu-like symptoms
- vomit blood
- there is blood in your bowel movement or it is black and sticky like tar
- unusual weight gain
- skin rash or blisters with fever
- swelling of the arms and legs, hands and feet
These are not all the side effects with NSAID medicines. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information about NSAID medicines.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Other information about Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):
- Aspirin is an NSAID medicine but it does not increase the chance of aheart attack. Aspirin can cause bleeding in the brain, stomach, and intestines. Aspirin can also cause ulcers in the stomach and intestines.
- Some of these NSAID medicines are sold in lower doses without a prescription (over-the-counter). Talk to your healthcare provider before using over-the-counter NSAIDs for more than 10 days.
NSAID medicines that need a prescription
|Diclofenac||Flector®, Cataflam®, Cambia®, Voltaren®, Voltaren® Gel, Arthrotec® (combined with misoprostol), Pennsaid®, Zipsor®, Zorvolex™|
|Etodolac||Lodine®, Lodine® XL|
|Fenoprofen||Nalfon®, Nalfon® 200|
|Ibuprofen||Motrin®, Tab-Profen®, Vicoprofen®* (combined with hydrocodone), Combunox™ (combined with oxycodone), Duexis® (combined with famotidine)|
|Indomethacin||Indocin®, Indocin® SR, Indo-LemmonTM, Indomethagan™|
|Naproxen||Naprosyn®, Anaprox®, Anaprox® DS, EC-Naprosyn®, Naprelan®, Naprapac® (co-packaged with lansoprazole), Treximet® (combined with sumatriptan succinate), Vimovo® (combined with esomeprazole magnesium)|
|Tolmetin||Tolectin®, Tolectin® DS, Tolectin® 600|
|*Vicoprofen® contains the same dose of ibuprofen as over-the-counter (OTC) NSAID, and is usually used for less than 10 days to treat pain. The OTC NSAID label warns that long-term continuous use may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.|
Instructions for Use
Important: Use the dosing card that is inside the VOLTAREN® GEL carton to correctly measure each dose. The dosing card is re-usable. Do not throw the dosing card away. Before you use VOLTAREN® GEL for the first time, your healthcare provider or pharmacist should show you how to correctly measure your dose using the dosing card.
Read this Instructions for Use before you start using VOLTAREN® GEL and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.
Your healthcare provider has prescribed VOLTAREN® GEL to help relieve arthritis pain in some of your joints. VOLTAREN® GEL may be used to treat arthritis pain in the arms (hands, wrists, and elbows) and in the legs (feet, ankles, and knees). It is not known if Voltaren® Gel is safe and effective if used on your spine, hips, or shoulders.
- Use VOLTAREN® GEL exactly how your healthcare provider prescribes it for you. Do not apply VOLTAREN®GEL anywhere other than where your healthcare provider tells you to.
- Do not use more than a total of 32 grams of VOLTAREN® GEL each day. If you add up the amount of VOLTAREN® GEL as directed by your healthcare provider, it should not be more than 32 grams in one day.
The dose for your hands, wrists, or elbows is 2 grams of VOLTAREN® GEL each time you apply it.
- Apply VOLTAREN® GEL 4 times a day (a total of 8 grams each day). Do not apply more than 8 grams each day to any one of your affected hands, wrists, or elbows.
The dose for your feet, ankles, or knees is 4 grams of VOLTAREN® GEL each time you apply it.
- Apply VOLTAREN® GEL 4 times a day (a total of 16 grams each day). Do not apply more than 16 grams each day to any one of your affected feet, ankles, or knees.
Some examples of VOLTAREN® GEL application include:
- If you use 2 grams of VOLTAREN®GEL on one hand, 4 times a day, your total dose for one day is 8 grams.
- If you use 4 grams of VOLTAREN®GEL on one knee, 4 times a day, your total dose for one day is 16 grams.
- Your total dose for one day, treating one hand and one knee, is 8 grams plus 16 grams, which equals 24 grams of VOLTAREN® GEL.
- Before you use a new tube of VOLTAREN® GEL for the first time, open the foil seal that covers the tube opening by using the spiked top of the cap. Remember to remove the dosing card from the carton to measure your dose (See Figure A).
- Apply VOLTAREN® GEL to clean, dry skin that does not have any cuts, open wounds, infections, or rashes.
- Do not use heating pads or apply bandages to where you have applied VOLTAREN® GEL.
- Avoid exposing skin where you apply VOLTAREN® GEL to sunlight and artificial light, such as tanning booths.
- Do not use sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, insect repellants, or other topical medicines on the same skin areas where you have applied VOLTAREN® GEL.
- Do not get VOLTAREN® GEL in your eyes, nose, or mouth. VOLTAREN® GEL is only to be used on your skin (topical use). If you get VOLTAREN® GEL in your eyes, rinse your eyes right away with water or saline. Talk with your healthcare provider if eye irritation lasts for more than one hour.
What if I miss a dose?
- If you miss a dose of VOLTAREN® GEL, continue with your next scheduled dose using the prescribed amount of VOLTAREN® GEL. Do not double the dose.
Applying 2 grams (2 g) of VOLTAREN® GEL to hands, wrists, or elbows:
Step 1. Remove the dosing card that is attached inside the VOLTAREN® GEL carton. Use the dosing card to correctly measure each dose of VOLTAREN® GEL. To measure the correct amount of VOLTAREN® GEL, place the dosing card on a flat surface so that you can read the print. If the print is backwards, flip dosing card over (See Figure A). If you lose or misplace your dosing card, you can ask your pharmacist for a new one or call 1-800-4520051. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist to show you how to correctly measure your dose of VOLTAREN® GEL while you are waiting to receive your new dosing card.
Figure B, C and D
Step 2. Squeeze VOLTAREN® GEL onto the dosing card evenly, up to the 2 g line (a 2.25 inch length of gel). Make sure that the gel covers the 2 g area of the dosing card (See Figure B). Put the cap back on the tube of VOLTAREN® GEL. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure how to correctly measure your dose of VOLTAREN® GEL.
Step 3. Apply the gel to your hand, wrist, or elbow. You can use the dosing card to apply the gel (see Figure C). Then, use your hands to gently rub the gel into the skin (see Figure D). Do not share your dosing card with another person. Make sure to cover the entire affected hand, wrist, or elbow with the gel. Remember that the hand includes the palm of your hand, the top of your hand, and your fingers.
Step 4. After using the dosing card, hold end with fingertips, rinse and dry. Store the dosing card until next use. Do not shower or bathe for at least 1 hour after applying VOLTAREN® GEL. Do not wash your treated hands for at least 1 hour after applying the VOLTAREN®GEL.
Step 5. After applying VOLTAREN®GEL, wait 10 minutes before covering the treated skin with gloves or clothing.
Applying 4 grams (4 g) of VOLTAREN® GEL to feet, ankles, or knees:
Step 1. Refer to Step 1 above.
Step 2. Squeeze VOLTAREN® GEL onto the dosing card evenly up to the 4 g line (a 4.5 inch length of gel), making sure the gel covers the 4 g area of the dosing card (See Figure E). Put the cap back on the tube of VOLTAREN® GEL. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure how to correctly measure your dose of VOLTAREN® GEL.
Figure E, F and G
Step 3. Apply VOLTAREN® GEL to your foot, ankle, or knee. You can use the dosing card to apply the gel (See Figure F). Then, use your hands to gently rub the gel into the skin (See Figure G). Do not share your dosing card with another person. Make sure to cover your entire foot, ankle, or knee area with the gel. For example, cover the skin above, below, inside and outside the knee cap. Remember that the foot includes the sole of your foot, the top of your foot, and your toes.
Refer to Steps 4 and 5 above. Wash your hands after applying VOLTAREN® GEL to your foot, ankle, or knee.
What are the ingredients in VOLTAREN® GEL?
Active ingredient: diclofenac sodium
Inactive ingredients: carbomer homopolymer Type C, cocoyl caprylocaprate, fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether, propylene glycol, purified water, and strong ammoniasolution.
How should I store VOLTAREN® GEL?
Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Do not freeze VOLTAREN® GEL. Store the dosing card with your VOLTAREN® GEL.
Keep VOLTAREN® GEL, the dosing card, and all medicines out of the reach of children.
No Information Available!
No Information Available!
No Information Available!
Brand Names: Pennsaid, Solaraze, Voltaren Topical
Generic Name: diclofenac topical (Pronunciation: dye KLOE fen ak TOP ik al)
- What is diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- How should I use diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Voltaren Gel)?
- What happens if I overdose (Voltaren Gel)?
- What should I avoid while using diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What other drugs will affect diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- Where can I get more information?
What is diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.
Diclofenac topical 1% gel (Voltaren Topical) is used to treat joint pain in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, or feet caused by osteoarthritis. This medication may not be effective in treating arthritis pain elsewhere in the body.
Diclofenac topical 1.5% solution (Pennsaid) is used to treat pain in the knees caused by osteoarthritis. This medication may not be effective in treating arthritis pain elsewhere in the body.
Diclofenac topical 3% gel (Solaraze) is used to treat warty overgrowths of skin (actinic keratoses) on sun-exposed areas of the body.
Diclofenac topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Although the risk of serious side effects is low when diclofenac is applied to the skin, you should be aware of side effects that can occur if the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, and feeling weak or short of breath;
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion;
- swelling or rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach;
- diarrhea, gas; or
- mild itching, dryness, redness, scaling, or other skin irritation where the medicine was applied.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium gel) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Do not use this medication if you have ever had asthma or a severe allergic reaction caused by aspirin, diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Do not use diclofenac just before or after having heart bypass surgery (also called coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, a history of heart attack or stroke, a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding, liver or kidney disease, a blood clotting disorder, asthma, or nasal polyps.
While the risk of absorbing diclofenac topical into your bloodstream is low, an NSAID may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term.
Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance.
This medicine may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac topical, especially in older adults.
Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of stomach bleeding such as black, bloody, or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
While the risk of absorbing diclofenac topical into your bloodstream is low, an NSAID can cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term.
This medicine may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac topical, especially in older adults.
Do not use this medication if you have ever had asthma or a severe allergic reaction caused by aspirin, diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), or another NSAID. Do not use diclofenac just before or after having heart bypass surgery (also called coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
To make sure you can safely use diclofenac topical, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- a history of drug allergies;
- a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
- heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure;
- a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding;
- liver or kidney disease;
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or
- asthma, or polyps in your nose.
This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to use diclofenac topical. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Diclofenac topical can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using diclofenac topical.
How should I use diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. When treating osteoarthritis, keep using any oral medications your doctor has prescribed.
Do not use diclofenac topical on an open skin wound, or on areas of eczema, infection, skin rash, or burn injury. Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage or expose it to heat from a hot tub, heating pad, sauna, or heated water bed. Heat or bandaging can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin and may cause harmful effects.
Wash your hands after applying this medication, unless you are treating the skin on your hands. Do not wear gloves for at least 10 minutes after applying diclofenac topical to the hands.
After you apply diclofenac topical gel, wait at least 10 minutes before dressing and at least 1 hour before you bathe or shower.
To treat actinic keratosis (with Solaraze): Apply enough gel to cover each lesion and rub in gently. Do not apply Solaraze gel more than 2 times daily and never use more than your prescribed dose.
To treat osteoarthritis knee pain (with Pennsaid): Apply the solution only to clean, dry skin. Place 10 drops at a time into your hand and spread the solution over the front, back, and sides of the knee. Apply a total of 40 drops to each affected knee, 4 times per day. You may also drop the medicine directly onto the knee, spreading after every 10 drops.
Wait until the solution is completely dry before covering treated skin with clothing or applying any other skin products, including sunscreen.
To treat osteoarthritis pain (with Voltaren Topical): This medicine is supplied with dosing cards that show you how much gel to use for a 2-gram dose or a 4-gram dose. Squeeze the gel onto this card along the line for your dose. Use no more gel than will fit on the length of your dosing line. Wipe the card directly onto the treatment area and rub gently into the skin.
To treat arthritis pain in the foot, spread the gel out onto all areas of the foot including the toes and soles. When treating the hand, spread the gel out onto all areas of the hand including the fingers and palms.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose (Voltaren Gel)?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose (Voltaren Gel)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Do not use cosmetics, sunscreen, lotions, insect repellant, or other medicated skin products on the same area you treat with diclofenac topical.
Avoid getting this medication in your mouth, nose, or eyes. If this does happen, rinse with water.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds) while you are using diclofenac topical.
Avoid taking aspirin, oral (pill form) diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), or other NSAIDs without your doctor's advice. This includes ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), indomethacin, piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medicine. Aspirin and other medicines similar to diclofenac are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.
What other drugs will affect diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
- cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);
- a diuretic (water pill);
- steroids (prednisone and others); or
- heart or blood pressure medication such as benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and others.
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied diclofenac. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about diclofenac topical.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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