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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Diclofenac Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(dye KLOE fen ak)

U.S. Brand Names

Cataflam®; Flector®; Pennsaid®; Solaraze®; Voltaren Ophthalmic®; Voltaren® Gel; Voltaren® [DSC]; Voltaren®-XR; Zipsor™

Canadian Brand Names

Apo-Diclo Rapide®; Apo-Diclo SR®; Apo-Diclo®; Cataflam®; Diclofenac ECT; Diclofenac SR; Dom-Diclofenac; Dom-Diclofenac SR; Novo-Difenac ECT; Novo-Difenac K; Novo-Difenac Suppositories; Novo-Difenac-SR; Nu-Diclo; Nu-Diclo-SR; Pennsaid®; PMS-Diclofenac; PMS-Diclofenac SR; PMS-Diclofenac-K; PRO-Diclo-Rapide; Sandoz-Diclofenac; Sandoz-Diclofenac Rapide; Sandoz-Diclofenac SR; Voltaren Ophtha®; Voltaren Rapide®; Voltaren SR®; Voltaren®; Voltaren® Emulgel™

Mexican Brand Names

Cataflam; Deflox; Flankol

Pharmacologic Category

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID); Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID), Ophthalmic; Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID), Oral; Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID), Topical

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• This medicine may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. This has been observed with long-term use or at critical times (right after heart surgery). Use caution if you have risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, diabetes, cigarette smoking, male older than 40 years of age, other family members with early heart disease, postmenopausal female).

• Do not use this medicine right before or after heart bypass surgery.

• This medicine may increase the risk of ulcer or bleeding from the stomach or intestines. Talk with healthcare provider.

• This medicine does not mix well with some medicines. Serious reactions may occur. Check all medicines with healthcare provider.

• Please read the medication guide.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to diclofenac or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

• If you are more than 24 weeks pregnant.

• Patch: Do not use on damaged skin.

How does it work?

• Diclofenac blocks production and release of chemicals that cause pain and inflammation.

How is it best taken?

Tablets and capsules:

• Take this medicine with food to prevent stomach upset.

• Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

• Long-acting products: Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.


• Take this medicine on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 1 hour after meals.

• Empty contents of packet into 2-4 tablespoonfuls (30-60 mL) of water and drink right away.


• For the eye only.

• Take out contact lenses before using medicine. Lenses can be replaced 15 minutes after medicine is given. Do not put contacts back in if eyes are irritated or infected.

• Do not touch the container tip to the eye, lid, or other skin.

• Tilt head back and drop medicine into eye.

• After using medicine, keep your eyes closed. Apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye. Do this for 3-5 minutes. This keeps the medicine in your eye.

• Separate each eye medicine by 5 minutes.


• Do not take this medicine by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Do not wash hands after use if applying to the hand area.

• Clean affected area before use. Make sure to dry well.

Skin gel:

• Apply a thin layer to the affected skin and rub in gently.

• Do not apply sunscreens or other medicines to affected area.

Skin patch:

• Apply patch to clean, dry, healthy skin.

• Do not bathe, shower, or swim after applying.

• If the patch falls off, replace with a new one.

• If patch loosens, apply tape over it to hold in place.

Skin solution:

• Apply to clean, dry, healthy skin.

• Apply 10 drops at a time. You may apply directly to knee or on hand then to knee.

• Spread evenly on front, back, and side of knee.

• Allow to dry before covering with clothing.

• Do not bathe, shower, or swim for 30 minutes after applying.

• You may apply cosmetics, lotions, insect repellant, sunscreen, or other skin medicines to treated area once it has dried.

• Do not apply heat or bandages to treated area.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)


• Take a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

• Many times this medicine is taken on an as needed basis.


• Instill a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not instill a double dose or extra doses.


• Apply a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not apply a double dose or extra doses.

What should I monitor?


• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• Check blood work (liver function). Talk with healthcare provider.


• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• Store at room temperature. Do not freeze gel.

• Protect gel from heat.

• Protect capsules and tablets from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

• After you remove a skin patch, be sure to fold the sticky sides of the patch together.

• Throw away unused patches when they are no longer needed. Remove them from pouch, remove liner, and fold in half.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2006-10-13 11:56:21.0

Modified: 2010-07-06 14:55:13.0

Lexi-PALS TM © (1977)-(2007) Lexi-Comp, Inc. All rights reserved.



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