Diclofenac Sodium topicalPronunciation
Class: Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents, Miscellaneous
VA Class: DE900
Chemical Name: 2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino]-benzeneacetic acid monosodium salt
Molecular Formula: C14H10Cl2NNaO2
CAS Number: 15307-79-6
Uses for Diclofenac Sodium
Diclofenac Sodium Dosage and Administration
Complete healing of the lesions or optimal therapeutic response may not occur until 30 days after cessation of therapy.1
Apply to actinic keratosis lesions as a 3% gel.1
Apply a sufficient amount (usually 0.5 g for each 5 cm × 5 cm lesion) and rub gently onto the lesions twice daily for 60–90 days.1
Cautions for Diclofenac Sodium
Known hypersensitivity to diclofenac or any ingredient in the formulation.1
Use with caution in patients with active GI ulceration or bleeding.1
Safety and efficacy of concomitant use with other topical products (e.g., sunscreens, cosmetics, other topical medications) unknown.1
Discontinue nursing or the drug because of potential risk to nursing infants.1
Use with caution in patients with severe hepatic impairment.1
Use with caution in patients with severe renal impairment.1
Common Adverse Effects
Contact dermatitis, rash, dry skin, exfoliation (scaling).1
Interactions for Diclofenac Sodium
Potential pharmacologic interaction with oral NSAIAs including analgesic/anti-inflammatory dosages of aspirin.1
Diclofenac Sodium Pharmacokinetics
Minimal systemic absorption following topical application (serum diclofenac concentrations averaged 20 ng/mL following topical application twice daily for up to 105 days versus 1417 ng/mL following a single 50-mg oral dose of diclofenac sodium).1 6
Plasma Protein Binding
Bound to albumin.1
Metabolized in the liver via hydroxylation and conjugation following oral administration; metabolism following topical administration is expected to be similar to that following oral administration.1
Mainly excreted in urine following oral administration.1
1–2 hours following oral administration.1
NSAIAs, including diclofenac, may inhibit angiogenesis through inhibition of substance P or by blocking the angiogenic effects of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).2
For topical use in the treatment of actinic keratoses, diclofenac sodium is commercially available as a 3% gel with benzyl alcohol, hyaluronate sodium, polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether, and purified water.1 The contribution of individual vehicle components to the efficacy of diclofenac sodium gel remains to be established.1
Advice to Patients
Risk of adverse effects, including irritant or allergic contact dermatitis.1 Importance of reporting signs and symptoms of adverse dermal reactions.1 Necessity of interrupting therapy if severe dermal reactions occur.1
Avoid exposure to sunlight and use of sunlamps.1
Importance of monitoring and follow-up evaluation.1
Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription, OTC, or herbal products, as well as any concomitant illness.1 Safety and efficacy of use with other topical products (e.g., sunscreens, cosmetics, other topical medications) is unknown.1
Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.1
Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information. (See Cautions.)
Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.
Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.
Solaraze (with benzyl alcohol)
AHFS DI Essentials. © Copyright, 2016, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.
Date published: May 01, 2004
Last reviewed: January 29, 2016
Date modified: February 08, 2016
1. Bioglan Pharma Inc. Solaraze (diclofenac sodium 3%) topical gel prescribing information. Malvern, PA: 2001 Jun 1.
2. Rivers JK, McLean DI. An open study to assess the efficacy and safety of topical 3% diclofenac in a 2.5% hyaluronic acid gel for the treatment of actinic keratoses. Arch Dermatol. 1997; 133:1239-42. [IDIS 392849] [PubMed 9382562]
3. Peters DC, Foster RH. Diclofenac/Hyaluronic acid. Drugs Aging. 1999; 14:313-9. [PubMed 10319244]
4. McEwan LE, Smith JG. Topical diclofenac/hyaluronic acid gel in the treatment of solar keratoses. Australas J Dermatol. 1997; 38:187-9. [PubMed 9431711]
5. Hamor GH. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In: Foye WO, ed. Principles of medicinal chemistry. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger; 1989:503-30.
6. Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Cataflam diclofenac potassium (immediate- release tablets), Voltaren diclofenac sodium (delayed-release tablets), Voltaren-XR diclofenac sodium (extended-release tablets) prescribing information (dated 2000 May). In Physicians’ desk reference. 55th ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2001:2151-5.
7. Bioglan Pharma, Malvern, PA: Personal communication.
a. Bioglan Pharma Inc. Solaraze (diclofenac sodium 3%) topical gel prescribing information. Malvern, PA: 2003 May.