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Diclofenac ophthalmic

Generic name: diclofenac ophthalmic [ dye-KLOE-fen-ak-off-THAL-mik ]
Brand name: Voltaren Ophthalmic
Dosage form: ophthalmic solution (0.1%)
Drug class: Ophthalmic anti-inflammatory agents

Medically reviewed by on May 29, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is diclofenac ophthalmic?

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Diclofenac ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to reduce swelling, pain, and light sensitivity after certain eye surgeries.

Diclofenac ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use diclofenac ophthalmic if you are allergic to diclofenac.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Also tell your doctor about any other recent or planned eye surgeries.

May harm an unborn baby if used during late pregnancy.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

Diclofenac ophthalmic is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use diclofenac ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Diclofenac ophthalmic is usually given 24 hours before eye surgery and continued for 3 to 14 days. Do not use for longer than prescribed or you could have serious side effects.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

To apply the eye drops: Pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.

Use only the prescribed number of drops.

Do not touch the dropper tip or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye and lead to serious vision problems.

Your doctor may insert a special contact lens, to be left in your eye for 3 days after surgery. Do not use any other type of contact lens during this time.

You may need vision exams for up to a year after your eye surgery.

Store at room temperature, tightly closed and protected from light. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.

What should I avoid while using diclofenac ophthalmic?

For at least 3 days after your surgery, do not wear any contact lens that has not been approved by your doctor.

Do not use other eye medications during treatment with diclofenac ophthalmic unless your doctor tells you to.

Diclofenac ophthalmic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Diclofenac ophthalmic may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe burning, stinging, or itching of your eyes;

  • worsening eye pain, redness, or excessive watering;

  • swollen or puffy eyelids;

  • white discoloration over your pupil or iris (the colored part of your eye);

  • crusting or drainage from your eyes; or

  • headache, dizziness, stomach pain, vomiting, weakness, fever, chills, cold or flu symptoms (can occur if the medicine is absorbed into your bloodstream).

Common side effects of diclofenac ophthalmic may include:

  • eye pain or redness;

  • watery eyes; or

  • vision changes.

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.

Diclofenac ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Postoperative Ocular Inflammation:

1 drop in the affected eye, 4 times per day beginning 24 hours after cataract surgery and continuing throughout the first 2 weeks of the post-operative period

Use: Treatment of post-operative inflammation in patients who have undergone cataract extraction

Usual Adult Dose for Inhibition of Intraoperative Miosis:

1 or 2 drops in the operative eye within the hour prior to corneal refractive surgery; within 15 minutes after surgery, 1 or 2 drops should be applied to the operative eye and continued 4 times per day for up to 3 days

Use: Temporary relief of pain and photophobia in patients undergoing corneal refractive surgery

What other drugs will affect diclofenac ophthalmic?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially a steroid medicine applied to the skin.

Other drugs may affect diclofenac ophthalmic, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.