VOLTAREN ORAL AND GEL DRUG INFO
IMPORTANT NOTE: The
following information is intended to supplement and not substitute
for, the expertise and judgment of your doctor, pharmacist or
other healthcare professional. It should not be misconstrued to indicate
that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you specifically.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Voltaren Oral (Diclofenac Sodium) and Gel
What are the uses?: Voltaren Gel contains diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs). Diclofenac works within the body by
reducing hormones that result in inflammation and pain. Oral Voltaren is used to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness from arthritis. Reducing these symptoms will aid you
in your normal daily activities. Voltaren is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Voltaren Topical Gel is used to treat pain in various parts of the body including the hands, wrists, knees, elbows, ankles, or feet caused
by osteoarthritis. This medication may not be effective in treating arthritis pain elsewhere in the body.
Oral Voltaren may also be used to treat other painful conditions (such as dental pain, muscle aching, pain following surgery or after giving birth to a baby).
However, if you have sudden severe pain and want quick relief, it may be better to use other pain medications that are faster acting than Voltaren.
Consult your doctor for more details.
How should I use this the gel form?: Use this gel exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid using larger or smaller amounts
or for longer than is recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Using the oral form Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)
Take Voltaren by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces / 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for
at least 10 minutes after taking Voltaren. If you experience stomach upset with Voltaren, you may take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
However, this may slow absorption and delay pain relief, especially if you are not taking Voltaren on a regular schedule.
When treating osteoarthritis, keep using any oral medications that your doctor has prescribed and you have already been taking.
Do not use Voltaren Gel on an open skin wound, or on areas of eczema, infection, skin rash, or burn injury.
Avoid using a bandage to cover the recently exposed area. Heat from a hot tub, heating pad, sauna, or
heated water bed may also reduce the effective properties of this drug. Heat or bandaging can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin and may cause harmful effects.
Always remember to wash your hands after applying Voltaren Gel, unless you are treating the skin on your hands. Do not wear
gloves for at least 10 minutes after applying Voltaren Gel to the hands.
After you apply Voltaren Gel, wait at least 10 minutes before dressing and at least 1 hour before you bathe or shower.
To treat osteoarthritis pain (with Voltaren Topical): A dosing card is supplied to demonstrate how much
gel to use for a 2-gram dose or a 4-gram dose. Squeeze the gel onto this card along the line for your dose. Use no more gel than will fit on the length of your dosing line. Wipe the card directly onto the treatment area and rub gently into the skin.
To treat arthritis pain in the foot, spread the Voltaren gel out onto all areas of the foot including the toes and soles.
When treating the hand, spread the gel out onto all areas of the hand including the fingers and palms.
What are the potential side effects?: Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Voltaren Gel: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although the risk of serious side effects is low when diclofenac is applied to the skin, you should be aware of side effects that can occur if the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Stop using Voltaren and contact your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, and feeling weak or short of breath;
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that has the appearance of coffee grounds;
- pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion;
- swelling or rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual;
- 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;
- sore throat, fever and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild.
Less serious Voltaren side effects may include:
- mild nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach;
- diarrhea, gas, bloating; or
- mild itching, dryness, redness, scaling of the skin or other irritation where the medicine was applied.
This is not a complete list of Voltaren Gel side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What precautions should I take?: While the risk of absorbing diclofenac from Voltaren Topical Gel into your bloodstream is low, an NSAID can 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 using Voltaren Gel, especially in older adults.
Do not use Voltaren if you have ever had asthma or a severe allergic reaction caused by aspirin, diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren),
or another NSAID. Do not use diclofenac just before or after having heart bypass surgery (also called coronary artery bypass graft, or (CABG).
To make sure you can safely use Voltaren Oral or Gel, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- a history of drug allergies;
- a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
- heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure;
- a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding;
- liver or kidney disease;
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or
- asthma, or polyps in your nose.
Voltaren may be harmful to an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to use Voltaren Gel.
Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Diclofenac can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.
You should not breast-feed while using Voltaren Gel.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
- cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);
- a diuretic (water pill);
- steroids (prednisone and others); or
- heart or blood pressure medication such as benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and others.
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied diclofenac. But many drugs can interact with each other. 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.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding. Do not use cosmetics, sunscreen, lotions,
insect repellant, or other medicated skin products on the same area you treat with Voltaren Gel. Avoid getting this medication in your mouth,
nose, or eyes. If this does happen, rinse with water. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds) while you are using Voltaren Gel.
Avoid taking aspirin, oral (pill form) diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), or other NSAIDs without your doctor's advice. This includes
ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), indomethacin, piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medication. Aspirin and other medicines similar to diclofenac
are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug.
Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or Naproxen.
What if there is an overdose?: If overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222
Additional information: Do not share Volteran with others.
What if I miss a dose?: Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose.
Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
How should I store Voltaren?: Store Voltaren Gel at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.