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Frequently Asked Questions
Diclofenac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG). Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal.
Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to treat mild to moderate pain, or signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Diclofenac powder (Cambia) is used to treat a migraine headache attack. Cambia will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.
Diclofenac may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Diclofenac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac, especially in older adults.
You should not use diclofenac if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.
Do not use Cambia to treat a cluster headache. Do not use Zipsor if you are allergic to beef or beef protein.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- heart disease, high blood pressure;
- ulcers or bleeding in your stomach;
- liver or kidney disease; or
- if you smoke.
Diclofenac can affect ovulation and it may be harder to get pregnant while you are using this medicine.
If you are pregnant, you should not take diclofenac unless your doctor tells you to. Taking an NSAID during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause serious heart or kidney problems in the unborn baby and possible complications with your pregnancy.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Diclofenac is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
Different brands of diclofenac contain different amounts of this medicine, and may have different uses. If you switch brands, your dose needs may change. Follow your doctor's instructions about how much medicine to take. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the brand of diclofenac you receive at the pharmacy.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.
Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Take Zorvolex on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Dissolve diclofenac powder (Cambia) with 1 to 2 ounces of water. Do not use any other type of liquid. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. Diclofenac powder works best if you take it on an empty stomach.
Call your doctor if your headache does not completely go away after taking Cambia.
If you use diclofenac long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
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.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Avoid taking aspirin or other NSAIDs unless your doctor tells you to.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to diclofenac (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Stop using diclofenac and seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.
Stop using diclofenac and call your doctor at once if you have:
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
- flu-like symptoms;
- heart problems--swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
- kidney problems--little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your arms or legs, feeling tired or short of breath;
- liver problems--nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Common side effects may include:
- indigestion, gas, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- diarrhea, constipation;
- headache, dizziness, drowsiness;
- abnormal lab tests;
- itching, sweating;
- stuffy nose;
- increased blood pressure; or
- swelling or pain in your arms or legs.
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.
Ask your doctor before using diclofenac if you take an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic or "water pill";
- other forms of diclofenac (Arthrotec, Flector, Pennsaid, Solaraze, Voltaren Gel);
- a blood thinner--warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven; or
- other NSAIDs--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect diclofenac, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Your pharmacist can provide more information about diclofenac.
|Brand Name Examples||Supplied As||Strength|
|Diclofono||Gel In Packet||1.60%|
|Pennsaid||Solution In Metered-Dose Pump||20Mg/G(2%)|
|Generic Examples||Supplied As||Strength|
|Tablet DR||75 Mg50 Mg25 Mg|
|Diclofenac Sodium ER||Tablet ER 24 Hr||100 Mg|
|Diclofenac Sodium Ophthalmic||Drops||0.10%|
|Diclofenac Sodium Solution||Solution In Metered-Dose Pump||20Mg/G(2%)|
|Diclofenac Sodium Topical||Gel||3%1%|