VOLTAREN (Diclofenac)

Voltaren is a NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) used to relieve inflammation, pain and swelling associated a variety of conditions.

Diclofenac is strictly restricted to pregnant women and breast feeding women because it can seriously affect the cardiovascular system of the unborn baby. To breast feeding women, this drug can be excreted in the breast milk and can affect the baby. Diclofenac is associated with many probable interactions which may interfere with the action of other drugs in the body for example, it can tremendously reduce the blood pressure by lowering the blood pressure medications, diclofenac can also increase the lithium level by lowering its excretion by the kidneys and it can also lower the elimination of methotrexate from the body and lead to increased side effects from methotrexate.

Drug Uses

Voltaren is used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as a variety of other musculoskeletal injuries and menstrual pain. The active ingredient in Voltaren, diclofenac sodium, reduces pain, swelling and fever. Voltaren can be used to treat other painful conditions.

Dosage

Voltaren should always be used exactly as directed. Never increase or decrease the dose without consulting a medical professional. All doses of Voltaren should be taken with food, milk or an antacid to reduce the risk of stomach irritations. Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, break or chew the tablets. Do not lie down for 30 minutes after a dose – this will help prevent stomach irritations.

Dosage is based on the severity of your medical condition. To minimize side-effects, use the lowest effective dose of Voltaren for the shortest possible time. In certain conditions, e.g. arthritis, treatment may need to continue for up to two weeks before any beneficial effects of Voltaren are observed.

When Voltaren is used to relieve minor musculoskeletal injuries, best results are achieved if treatment with Voltaren begins as soon as pain or inflammation occurs.

Osteoarthritis: 100-150mg a day, divided into smaller doses of 50mg two or three times a day.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: 100-200mg a day, divided into smaller doses of 50mg three or four times a day.

Ankylosing Spondylitis: 100-125mg a day, divided into smaller doses of 25mg four times a day.

Pain and menstrual discomfort: 50mg every eight hours as needed

Missed Dose

If a dose is missed, it can be taken as soon as you remember, as long as it does not clash with the next scheduled dose. In this case, rather skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose.

Precautions

People who have kidney problems, heart disease or high blood pressure should use Voltaren with caution.

Voltaren may cause stomach bleeding which can be further aggravated by alcohol and tobacco.

Voltaren should be used by pregnant women only if absolutely necessary. Treatment with Voltaren should not continue after the first six months of pregnancy. If used during the last three months of pregnancy, Voltaren may cause damage to the unborn fetus.

Side-effects

Side-effects can include abdominal problems (bleeding, pain, cramps or swelling), blood clotting disorders, anemia, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, fluid retention, headaches, gas, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, stomach ulcers, vomiting, and rashes. If any of these side-effects persist, or get worse, contact your doctor.

If any other uncomfortable symptoms occur while using Voltaren contact your doctor.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, call for emergency assistance immediately. Symptoms of Voltaren overdose include vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, drowsiness, dark or bloody stools, shallow breathing, coughing up blood, fainting, or coma.

No PainAll drugs that contain diclofenac sodium are today required to include strong precautions concerning possible liver toxicity. This change came about after the health researchers found out that the Voltaren, diclofenac sodium that is used for relieving osteoarthritis induced pain can lead to very serious liver reactions such as liver failure, hepatitis, necrosis and jaundice. The reports also reveal that the usage of this drug has lead to liver transplant and death. The FDA and diclofenac manufacturers have today highlighted the new precautions and warnings which apply to all products that contain diclofenac sodium because of its effects. The effects of diclofenac to your liver can be realized within the first two months of therapy. Liver abnormalities can also occur at any time when you are under treatment with diclofenac.

Before taking diclofenac, it is very important to know how it works, its side effects and any important information that will prevent severe liver damage after or during the medication. The physicians recommend that patients be given the lowest effective dose of diclofenac for the shortest period of time as possible. It is also required that the patient’s transaminases be monitored closely when they are under this medication for a long period of time. Patient should be aware of the warning signs of the drug’s side effects which may include diarrhea, jaundice, nausea, fatigue, lethargy and right upper quadrant tenderness among others. Other side effects of diclofenac include liver toxicity, gastrointestinal system. Diclofenac can also cause abdominal burning, cramping, ulcerations and other serious gastrointestinal bleeding.

At times the patients who are under diclofenac medication may feel dizzy upon standing, which might be a sign of internal bleeding. Some users of this drug can also experience ringing in the ears, lightheadedness, and kidney impairment. This kind of medication is restricted to the patients who are allergic to other NSAIDs because they lower the blood pressure and lead to low flow of blood into the kidney which is more risky to their health. In most cases, kidney impairment affects the patients whose kidneys are already weak or the ones who have congestive heart failure. In this case, diclofenac should be used cautiously. Also the patients who suffer from asthma can experience certain allergic reactions to diclofenac.