Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Voltaren

(Diclofenac Sodium)

  • Extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Eye drops
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Relieves pain and inflammation.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) works well for pain and causes less upset stomach than other NSAIDs.

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  • Works well to relieve pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Good for muscle aches and pains.
  • May treat arthritis pain better than other similar medicines (NSAIDs).
  • Can cause less upset stomach than other NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil).
  • It's also available as a gel that you put on your skin. If it's hard for you to swallow pills, this could be a good option.
  • If you're only using the gel, you won't have the same side effects that you would while taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) by mouth.
  • Can cause serious stomach problems like inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding. The chances that a stomach problem will occur is worse the longer you take this medication, but it can happen at any time while taking it.
  • Like all NSAIDs, it can raise your risk of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. These problems are more likely the longer you take it.

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Side effects for Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

From clinical trials of Voltaren / Osteoarthritis pain ( 1789)

  • Any side effectAny side effect12% for Diclofenac sodium vs.0% for placebo
  • Application site dermatitisApplication site dermatitis11% for Diclofenac sodium vs.0% for placebo
  • Any application site reactionAny application site reaction7% for Diclofenac sodium vs.2% for placebo
  • Application site dermatitisApplication site dermatitis6% for Diclofenac sodium vs.0% for placebo
  • Any side effectAny side effect5% for Diclofenac sodium vs.3% for placebo
  • Application site dermatitisApplication site dermatitis4% for Diclofenac sodium vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • If taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) by mouth, take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Can cause stomach ulcers, especially if taking it by mouth often.
  • Can make you bruise or bleed more easily. You shouldn't take any other 'blood thinner' medications unless your doctor tells you it's safe.
  • Don't use it the first two weeks after a heart surgery.
  • Can affect your kidneys' ability to work as well.
  • If using the skin (topical) gel, use the dosing card it comes with to make sure you measure the correct dose. You also won't have many of the same side effects that you would if taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) by mouth.

Risks and Warnings for Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking

    Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) can increase your chance of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. Take the lowest dose for the shortest time possible to lower your risk. Never take Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) during the first two weeks after having heart surgery.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • If taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) by mouth, take it with a meal or a snack to prevent an upset stomach.
Kidneys & liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. These problems are more likely the longer you take it.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can affect your kidneys' ability to work as well.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium), and similar medications in the NSAID family, can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time necessary can lower your risk of kidney problems. It's important to get lab tests to check your kidney function periodically if you use Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) for long periods of time.
Sleep
  • Most meds can make me sleepy so the first time taking it made me very drowsy but it after the third time it goes away
    Age: 14
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Pain