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Voltaren

Generic Name: diclofenac (dye KLOE fen ak)

Brand Names: Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Voltaren-XR, Zipsor, Zorvolex

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What is Voltaren?

Voltaren (diclofenac) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medicine works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation.

Voltaren is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

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

Important information

You should not use Voltaren if you have a history of allergic reaction to aspirin or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Voltaren may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or have heart disease. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

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Voltaren may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are taking diclofenac.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Voltaren if you have a history of allergic reaction to aspirin or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Voltaren may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or have heart disease. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Voltaren may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are taking Voltaren.

To make sure Voltaren is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, or history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;

  • a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;

  • liver or kidney disease,

  • asthma;

  • 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 diclofenac during pregnancy unless your doctor has told you to.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

It is not known whether diclofenac passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 18 years old without medical advice.

How should I take Voltaren?

Take Voltaren exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take Voltaren in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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.

If you use Voltaren long-term, you may need frequent medical tests at your doctor's office.

Store 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.

What should I avoid?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medication. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or other medicines similar to Voltaren. 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:

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing;

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • little or no urinating;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;

  • fever, neck stiffness, 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.

Common Voltaren side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, mild heartburn or stomach pain, bloating, gas;

  • mild diarrhea, constipation;

  • dizziness, mild headache;

  • mild skin rash; 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: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Voltaren?

Ask your doctor before using Voltaren if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Voltaren, especially:

  • cyclosporine;

  • lithium;

  • methotrexate;

  • rifampin;

  • antifungal medication--fluconazole, voriconazole;

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin);

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • heart or blood pressure medication--amiodarone, benazepril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, or trandolapril; or

  • other NSAIDs--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with diclofenac, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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