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What is Voltarol?
Voltarol is used to relieve pain, swelling (inflammation), and joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. Voltarol is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of Voltarol that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use Voltarol for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Voltarol may also be used to treat other painful conditions (such as dental pain, muscle aches, pain after surgery or after having 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 Voltarol. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
How to use Voltarol
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using diclofenac and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take Voltarol 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 Voltarol. If you experience stomach upset with Voltarol, 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 Voltarol on a regular schedule.
Swallow Voltarol whole. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets. Doing so can destroy the special coating on the tablet and may increase side effects.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To minimize side effect risks (such as stomach bleeding), use Voltarol at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. For chronic conditions such as arthritis, continue taking it as directed by your doctor. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to 2 weeks of regular use before the full benefits of Voltarol take effect.
If you are taking Voltarol on an "as needed" basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
Voltarol Side Effects
Upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, gas, headache, drowsiness, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed Voltarol because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Voltarol do not have serious side effects.
Voltarol may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swelling of the hands or feet (edema), sudden or unexplained weight gain, hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, difficult/painful swallowing, unusual tiredness.
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, unexplained stiff neck.
Voltarol may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to Voltarol is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking diclofenac, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin or other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib); or if you have any other allergies. Voltarol may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using Voltarol, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), bleeding or clotting problems, heart disease (such as previous heart attack), high blood pressure, liver disease, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), stomach/intestinal/esophagus problems (such as bleeding, ulcers, recurring heartburn), stroke.
Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including diclofenac. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual change in the amount of urine.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Voltarol may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Voltarol may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with Voltarol, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Voltarol may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of Voltarol, especially stomach/intestinal bleeding, kidney problems, and worsening heart problems.
Before using Voltarol, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage, trouble getting pregnant). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, Voltarol should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.
Voltarol passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with Voltarol include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as valsartan, losartan), corticosteroids (such as prednisone), cidofovir, lithium, methotrexate, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide).
Voltarol may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as celecoxib, ibuprofen, or ketorolac). These drugs are similar to diclofenac and may increase your risk of side effects if taken together. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.