Generic Name: diclofenac (dye KLOE fen ak)
Brand Names: Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Voltaren-XR, Zipsor
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What is Voltaren?
Voltaren (diclofenac) is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medicine works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain inflammation.
Voltaren is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.
Voltaren may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Voltaren
Voltaren may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term. Do not use Voltaren just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance.
Voltaren 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 taking Voltaren, 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.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or other pain medicine. Medicines similar to diclofenac are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
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Before taking Voltaren
Do not use Voltaren just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Voltaren may 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 taking Voltaren, especially in older adults.
You should not use Voltaren if you are allergic to diclofenac, or if you have a history of allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs.
To make sure you can safely take Voltaren, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure;
a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;
- liver or kidney disease,
polyps in your nose;
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or
if you smoke.
FDA pregnancy category D. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Taking Voltaren during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Do not take Voltaren during pregnancy unless your doctor has told you to. It is not known whether diclofenac passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Voltaren. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 18 years old without medical advice.
See also: Voltaren pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Voltaren?
Take Voltaren exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you switch brands of diclofenac, your dose needs may change. Follow your doctor's instructions about how much medicine to take.
Do not crush, chew, or break a Voltaren extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Do not crush, chew, or break a Voltaren enteric-coated tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. The enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.
If you use Voltaren long-term, your liver function will need to be checked with frequent blood tests. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store Voltaren at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, shallow breathing, and fainting.
What should I avoid while taking Voltaren?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or other pain medicine. Medicines similar to diclofenac are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding. Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Voltaren can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Voltaren side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Voltaren: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Voltaren and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
black, bloody, or tarry stools;
coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
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;
neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions); or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Voltaren side effects may include:
upset stomach, mild heartburn or stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation bloating, gas;
dizziness, headache, nervousness;
skin itching or rash;
blurred vision; or
ringing in your ears.
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.
See also: Voltaren side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Voltaren?
Ask your doctor before using an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft). Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);
rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate);
sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP, and others);
a diuretic (water pill) such as furosemide (Lasix).
steroids (prednisone and others);
antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or voriconazole (Vfend);
aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;
cholesterol-lowering medicine such as fenofibrate (Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, TriCor, Triglide), fluvastatin (Lescol), or lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor); or
heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and others.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Voltaren. 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.
More Voltaren resources
- Voltaren Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Voltaren drops MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Voltaren Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Diclofenac Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Diclofenac Prescribing Information (FDA)
- diclofenac MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Cambia Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Cambia powder packets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Cataflam Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Cataflam immediate-release tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Zipsor Prescribing Information (FDA)
- diclofenac epolamine Monograph (AHFS DI)
Compare Voltaren with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Voltaren.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Voltaren only for the indication prescribed.
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. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. 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. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.01. Revision Date: 8/30/2011 10:52:21 AM.