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Voltaren Ophthalmic Side Effects

Generic Name: diclofenac ophthalmic

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug diclofenac ophthalmic. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Voltaren Ophthalmic.

Common side effects of Voltaren Ophthalmic include increased intraocular pressure and keratitis. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to diclofenac ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution

As well as its needed effects, diclofenac ophthalmic (the active ingredient contained in Voltaren Ophthalmic) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking diclofenac ophthalmic, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common
  • Eye redness, irritation, or pain
  • tearing of the eyes
Less common
  • Blindness
  • blurred vision
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • clear or yellow fluid from the eye
  • decreased vision or any change in vision
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • sensitivity to light
  • sticky or matted eyelashes
  • throbbing pain
Incidence not known
  • Feeling of something in the eye

Some diclofenac ophthalmic side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Burning and stinging of the eye
Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • chills
  • cold flu-like symptoms
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • headache
  • lack or loss of strength
  • nausea
  • pain
  • runny nose
  • sleeplessness
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • swelling or puffiness of the face
  • trouble with sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to diclofenac ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution


Ocular side effects including transient burning and stinging upon instillation has been reported in approximately 15% of patients.
In cataract surgery studies, keratitis was reported in up to 28% of patients, although in many of these cases keratitis was initially noted prior to the initiation of treatment. Elevated intraocular pressure following cataract surgery was reported in approximately 15% of patients undergoing cataract surgery. Lacrimation complaints were reported in approximately 30% of case studies undergoing incisional refractive surgery. The following adverse reactions were reported in approximately 10% or less of patients: abnormal vision, acute elevated IOP, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, corneal deposits, corneal edema, corneal opacity, corneal lesions, discharge, eyelid swelling, eye pain, injection (redness), iritis, irritation, itching, lacrimation disorder, and ocular allergy.

Postmarketing reports have included corneal erosion, corneal infiltrates, corneal perforation, corneal thinning, corneal ulceration, epithelial breakdown, and superficial punctate keratitis.[Ref]

The use of diclofenac eyedrops has been associated with the development of persistent epithelial defects of the cornea (ranging from punctate superficial keratopathy to corneal melt) in patients undergoing ocular surgery. Diclofenac eyedrops should be used with great care in patients with disorders of the corneal epithelium. Blurred vision, dry eyes, scotoma, conjunctivitis, corneal deposits, corneal edema, corneal opacity, corneal lesions, discharge, eyelid swelling, eye pain, injection (redness), iritis, irritation, itching, lacrimation disorder, ocular allergy, transient stinging or burning and amblyopia have been reported.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects include nausea or vomiting in 1% to 3% of patients. Abdominal pain has also been reported.[Ref]


Local hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in 1% of patients.[Ref]

Nervous system

Rarely, headache and insomnia have been reported. Asthenia and dizziness have also been reported.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included reports of drug-induced hepatotoxicity occurring in the first month, and in some cases, the first 2 months of therapy, but have occurred at any time during treatment with diclofenac. Postmarketing surveillance has reported cases of severe hepatic reactions, including liver necrosis, jaundice, fulminant hepatitis with and without jaundice, and liver failure. Some of these reported cases resulted in fatalities or liver transplantation.


General side effects have included chills, facial edema, fever, pain, and viral infection.


Respiratory side effects have included rhinitis.[Ref]


1. Lin JC, Rapuano CJ, Laibson PR, Eagle RC, Cohen EJ "Corneal melting associated with use of topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs alter ocular surgery." Arch Ophthalmol 118 (2000): 1129-32

2. Shimazaki J, Saito H, Yang HY, Toda I, Fujishima H, Tsubota K "Persistent epithelial defect following penetrating keratoplasty: an adverse effect of diclofenac eyedrops." Cornea 14 (1995): 623-7

3. "Product Information. Voltaren (diclofenac)." Ciba Vision Ophthalmics, Duluth, GA.

4. Valsecchi R, Pansera B, Leghissa P, Reseghetti A "Allergic contact dermatitis of the eyelids and conjunctivitis from diclofenac." Contact Dermatitis 34 (1996): 150-1

5. Yamada M, Ogata M, Kawai M, Mochizuki H, Mashima Y "Topical diclofenac sodium decreases the substance P content of tears." Arch Ophthalmol 120 (2002): 51-4

6. Sharir M "Exacerbation of asthma by topical diclofenac." Arch Ophthalmol 115 (1997): 294-5

It is possible that some side effects of Voltaren Ophthalmic may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.