Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library diclofenac topical

diclofenac topical

Pronunciation: dye KLOE fen ak TOP ik al

Brand: Pennsaid, Rexaphenac, Solaraze, Voltaren Topical

What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac topical?

What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac topical?

Diclofenac topical 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 topical may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal.

What is diclofenac topical?

What is diclofenac topical?

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Diclofenac topical (for the skin) is used to treat joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. This medicine is for use on the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, or feet. Diclofenac topical may not be effective in treating arthritis pain elsewhere in the body.

Pennsaid is for use only on the knees.

Solaraze is used to treat warty overgrowths of skin (actinic keratoses) on sun-exposed areas of the body.

Diclofenac topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using diclofenac topical?

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using diclofenac topical?

Diclofenac topical 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 topical may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac topical, especially in older adults.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, Flector, and others), or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

Diclofenac topical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;
  • a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
  • stomach ulcers, bleeding in your stomach or intestines;
  • asthma;
  • liver or kidney disease; or
  • fluid retention.

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 topical 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.

How should I use diclofenac topical?

How should I use diclofenac topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes or mouth.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Do not apply diclofenac topical to an open skin wound, or on areas of infection, rash, burn, or peeling skin.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using diclofenac topical?

What should I avoid while using diclofenac topical?

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).

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid exposing treated skin to heat, sunlight, or tanning beds. Heat can increase the amount of diclofenac you absorb through your skin.

Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water. Call your doctor if you have eye irritation that lasts longer than 1 hour.

Do not use cosmetics, sunscreen, lotions, insect repellant, or other medicated skin products on the same area you treat with diclofenac topical.

What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical?

What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, wheezing or trouble 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.

Stop using diclofenac and seek emergency medical attention 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.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;
  • little or no urination;
  • liver problems --nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • low red blood cells (anemia) --pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet; or
  • signs of stomach bleeding --bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • heartburn, gas, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness;
  • stuffy nose;
  • itching, increased sweating;
  • increased blood pressure; or
  • skin redness, itching, dryness, scaling, or peeling where the medicine was applied.

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.

What other drugs will affect diclofenac topical?

What other drugs will affect diclofenac topical?

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 current medicines, especially:

  • cyclosporine;
  • lithium;
  • methotrexate;
  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic or "water pill"; or
  • steroid medicine (prednisone and others).

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect diclofenac. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about diclofenac topical.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details