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Voltaren

Pronounced: vol-TAR-en
Generic name: Diclofenac sodium
Other brand name: Cataflam (Diclofenac potassium)


Why is this drug prescribed: Voltaren and Cataflam are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve the inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis), and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis and stiffness of the spine). Voltaren-XR, the extended-release form of Voltaren, is used only for long-term treatment. Cataflam is also prescribed for immediate relief of pain and menstrual discomfort.

Most important fact about this drug: You should have frequent checkups with your doctor if you take Voltaren regularly. Ulcers or internal bleeding can occur without warning.

How should you take this medication: To minimize stomach upset and related side effects, your doctor may recommend taking this medicine with food, milk, or an antacid. However, this may delay onset of relief. Take this drug with a full glass of water. Also, do not lie down for about 20 minutes after taking it. This will help to prevent irritation in your upper digestive tract. Take this medication exactly as prescribed. --If you miss a dose... If you take this medicine on a regular schedule, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed and protect from moisture.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Voltaren. More common side effects may include: Abdominal pain or cramps, constipation, diarrhea, headache, indigestion, nausea Less common side effects may include: Abdominal bleeding, abdominal swelling, dizziness, fluid retention, gas, itching, peptic ulcers, rash, ringing in the ears Rare side effects may include: Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), anemia, anxiety, appetite change, asthma, black stools, blood disorders, bloody diarrhea, blurred vision, changes in taste, colitis, congestive heart failure, convulsions, decrease in white blood cells, decreased urine production, depression, double vision, drowsiness, dry mouth and mucous membranes, hair loss, hearing loss, hepatitis, high blood pressure, hives, inability to sleep, inflammation of the colon, inflammation of mouth, inflammation of the pancreas, irritability, kidney failure, liver disease, low blood pressure, nosebleed, red or purple skin discoloration and itching, sensitivity to light, skin eruptions and inflammation, scaling or peeling, sores in the gullet, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a severe form of skin eruption), swelling of eyelids, lips, and tongue, swelling of the throat due to fluid retention, vague feeling of illness, vision changes, vomiting, yellow eyes and skin

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you have an allergic reaction to Voltaren or Cataflam, or if you have had asthma attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions caused by aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: Remember that this medication has been known to cause peptic ulcers and bleeding. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect a problem. Use this drug cautiously if you have kidney problems, heart disease, or high blood pressure. It can cause fluid retention. This medication can also cause liver problems. If you develop signs of liver disease such as nausea, fatigue, lethargy, itching, yellowish eyes and skin, tenderness in the upper right area of your abdomen, or flu-like symptoms, notify your doctor at once. Rare cases of meningitis (inflammation of the membrane enclosing the brain) have been linked to this medication. If symptoms such as fever and coma develop, alert the doctor immediately. In rare instances, this drug may also affect your vision. If you notice any problems, stop taking the drug and check with your doctor.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Voltaren or Cataflam is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Voltaren with the following: Aspirin Blood thinners such as Coumadin Cyclosporine (Sandimmune) Digitalis drugs such as Lanoxin Diuretics such as Dyazide, Midamor, and Lasix Insulin or oral antidiabetes medications such as Micronase Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) Methotrexate Phenobarbital

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Do not take this drug late in your pregnancy; it could harm the baby. Check with your doctor before taking the drug early in pregnancy; it should be used only if necessary. The drug does appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Voltaren is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Osteoarthritis The usual dose is 100 to 150 milligrams a day, divided into smaller doses of 50 milligrams 2 or 3 times a day (for Voltaren or Cataflam) or 75 milligrams twice a day (for Voltaren). The usual dose of Voltaren-XR (extended-release) is 100 milligrams taken once a day. Rheumatoid Arthritis The usual dose is 100 to 200 milligrams a day, divided into smaller doses of 50 milligrams 3 to 4 times a day (for Voltaren or Cataflam), 75 milligrams twice a day (for Voltaren), or 100 milligrams once or twice a day (for Voltaren-XR). People with rheumatoid arthritis should not take more than 225 milligrams a day. Ankylosing Spondylitis The usual dose is 100 to 125 milligrams of Voltaren a day, divided into smaller doses of 25 milligrams 4 times a day, with another 25 milligrams at bedtime if necessary. Pain and menstrual discomfort The usual starting dose of Cataflam is 50 milligrams every 8 hours as needed, although to provide better relief on the first day doctors sometimes prescribe a starting dose of 100 milligrams followed by two 50-milligram doses. After the first day, you should not take more than 150 milligrams in a day. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Voltaren have not been established in children.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms of Voltaren overdose may include: Acute kidney failure, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, lung inflammation, vomiting









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