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Voltaren Gel Side Effects

Generic Name: diclofenac topical

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

For the Consumer

Applies to diclofenac topical: topical application cream, topical application gel/jelly, topical application patch extended release, topical application solution

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

Major Side Effects

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

More common:
  • Application site reactions, including skin rash, pain, tingling, or burning sensation
  • flu-like syndrome (body ache, headache, fever, with or without chills)
  • itching skin
Less common or rare:
  • Blood in the urine
  • cough
  • dry, itching, or burning eyes
  • eye pain
  • headaches, including migraines
  • increased sensitivity of the skin
  • nasal congestion
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • redness of the skin
  • redness or swelling of the eyes
  • skin rash other than at the application site
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing
  • ulcers or sores on the skin, other than at the application site

Minor Side Effects

Some diclofenac topical 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 skin
  • dry skin
  • scaly skin
  • thickened skin
  • tingling skin
Less common:
  • Acne
  • back pain
  • belching
  • bleeding skin
  • chest pain
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint pain
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss or thinning of the hair
  • muscle pain
  • neck pain
  • runny nose
  • stomach upset or pain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to diclofenac topical: topical cream, topical film extended release, topical gel, topical solution


The most frequently reported side effects were application site reactions.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dryness (up to 32%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dermatitis, burning sensation, pruritus, exfoliation, erythema, pain, induration, rash, scabbing, contusion, inflammation, irritation, itching, tingling, blistering, localized paresthesia
Frequency not reported: Vesicles, papules, localized hair discoloration, vasodilation, purpuric rash, atrophy[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Contact dermatitis, eczema, dry skin, rash, scaly rash, skin hypertrophy, skin ulcer, vesiculobullous rash, exfoliation, urticaria, acne, alopecia, skin nodule
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Face edema, maculopapular rash, photosensitivity reaction, seborrhea
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Bullous dermatitis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pustular rash
Frequency not reported: Skin hypertrophy[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hemorrhage
Postmarketing reports: Palpitation, cardiovascular disorder, blood pressure increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, halitosis, nausea, flatulence, constipation
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
Frequency not reported: Upper abdominal pain
Postmarketing reports: Dry mouth, gastroenteritis, mouth ulceration, rectal hemorrhage, ulcerative stomatitis, lip swelling, swollen tongue[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, migraine, hypokinesia, dysgeusia, somnolence, hypertonia, hyperesthesia, paresthesia
Postmarketing reports: Dizziness, drowsiness, lethargy, taste perversion[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Creatinine increased
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Renal failure[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): SGOT increased, SGPT increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia
Postmarketing reports: Appetite decreased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, neck pain, arthralgia, arthrosis, myalgia
Postmarketing reports: Leg cramps[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Eye pain, conjunctivitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Lacrimation disorder
Postmarketing reports: Abnormal vision, blurred vision, cataract, eye disorder[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthma, dyspnea, pharyngitis, pneumonia, rhinitis, sinusitis, sinus congestion
Postmarketing reports: Laryngismus, laryngitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Accidental injury, asthenia, chest pain, flu-like syndrome, infection, pain, creatine phosphokinase increased, edema
Postmarketing reports: Lack of drug effect, body odor, ear pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Skin carcinoma[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hematuria, urinary tract infection[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Allergic reaction[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Depression[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Flector Patch (diclofenac topical)." Actavis U.S. (Alpharma USPD), Owings Mills, MD.

4. "Product Information. Voltaren Topical (diclofenac topical)." Endo Laboratories LLC, Chadds Ford, PA.

5. "Product Information. Solaraze (diclofenac topical)" SkyePharma, San Diego, CA.

6. "Product Information. Pennsaid (diclofenac topical)." Horizon Pharma USA Inc, Northbrook, IL.

It is possible that some side effects of Voltaren Gel 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.