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Voltaren (diclofenac sodium, NSAID)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jul 28, 2021

Voltaren is the brand name of the drug diclofenac sodium. Diclofenac is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing pain and inflammation due to mechanical injury, infections, and other causes.


What is Voltaren used for?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Spinal pain
  • Post-operation or trauma
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Adenexitis
  • ENT infections

How should I take Voltaren?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral dosage forms, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid.

In the case of parenteral dosage forms, only a licensed healthcare professional should administer it.

When using topical preparations, apply a thin layer to the affected areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the product. Avoid contact with your eyes, nostrils, and mouth.

How do I store Voltaren?

Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using Voltaren?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions, especially:

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

In 1st and 2nd trimesters, no controlled studies in pregnant women are available. Diclofenac should not be given during the 3rd trimester because of the risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus and suppression of uterine contractility. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category C in 1st and 2nd trimester, D in 3rd trimester according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side Effects

What side effects can occur from Voltaren?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • GI upset
  • Bloating or gassiness
  • Flatulence
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Skin rash
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Injection site reactions

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Voltaren?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Aspirin
  • Anticoagulants
  • Digoxin
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Lithium
  • Antidiabetic medications
  • Diuretics
  • If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

    Does food or alcohol interact with Voltaren?

    This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Food reduces the risk of gastric irritation while alcohol increases the risk. Take this drug with meals and do not drink alcohol while taking it. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

    What health conditions may interact with Voltaren?

    This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

    • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Peptic ulcer disease
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Severely liver impairment
    • Impaired cardiac
    • Renal function
    • Asthma
    • Urticaria
    • Acute rhinitis


    The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

    What is the dose for an adult?

    Pain and inflammation

    Take 50 to 150 mg per day in divided doses.

    As an injection, administer 75 mg via intramuscular injection given by deep intragluteal injection into the upper outer quadrant. Do not give it for longer than 2 days, transition to oral or other dosage forms afterward.

    As a topical gel, apply a thin layer and gently massage it into the affected areas 3 to 4 times a day. Do not apply it to open or unhealed wounds.

    Preventing and managing post-operative pain

    Administer 75 mg infused continuously over 30 minutes to 2 hours. The maximum dose is 150 mg per day.

    To prevent pain after surgery, administer 25 to 50 mg via infusion after surgery over 15 minutes to 1 hour. Continue to infuse at a rate of 5 mg/hour.

    Dysmenorrhea and migraine

    As a tablet, take up to 200 mg per day.

    As an IV infusion, initially administer 75 mg followed by 100 mg on the same day, if required. The maximum dose is 175 mg on the first day.

    Dose adjustment for heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors:

    Take up to 100 mg a day if undergoing long-term treatment (more than 4 weeks).

    What is the dose for a child?

    Pain and inflammation

    Children over 1 year old: Give 0.5 to 2 mg per kg or body weight per day, up to 150 mg.

    Juvenile arthritis

    Give up to 3 mg per kg of body weight per day.

    How is Voltaren available?

    Voltaren is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

    • Tablet 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg
    • Emulgel 1%
    • Solution for injection 25 mg/mL

    What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

    In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

    What should I do if I miss a dose?

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Written by

    Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


    Updated Jul 28, 2021

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