What should I know about Voltaren (diclofenac) before taking it?

Before using Voltaren (diclofenac), the gel or opthalmic solution, you and your doctor should weigh the risks and benefits of the medication.

Voltaren can increase your risk for heart or circulation issues, including heart attack or stroke, which can be life-threatening. These risks increase the longer you use the medication.

Voltaren can also increase the risk of intestinal issues, including bleeding or the development of holes. These can be fatal and occur without warning.

The opthalmic solution side effects also include: thinning, ulceration, erosion or perforation of the cornea; corneal epithelial breakdown; corneal infiltrates; and superficial punctate keratitis.

Older adults have a higher risk of developing these side effects.

You should not use Voltaren if you have recently had a heart bypass or if you will have one soon.

You should not use cold, allergy, or other pain medications without talking to your doctor. Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications contain medicines similar to Voltaren, and you can take too much of the medication if you mix them.

You should not drink alcohol while you are taking Voltaren, as it can increase the risk of bleeding. You also should not smoke.

If you have or previously had a heart attack, stroke, blood clot, heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, liver or kidney disease, asthma, nasal polyps, or bleeding or clotting disorders, talk to your doctor to determine if Voltaren is right for you.

Voltaren may interact with blood thinners, cyclosporine, lithium, methotrexate, diuretics, steroids, aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

Tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, OTC medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, before starting Voltaren to avoid the possibility of an interaction.

Voltaren may cause harm to an unborn or nursing baby. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before starting Voltaren.

Continue Learning about Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

An Alarming Side Effect of NSAIDs: Ovulation Stops
An Alarming Side Effect of NSAIDs: Ovulation Stops
According to research revealed at the 2015 European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress meeting, many women stop ovulating after taking standard...
Read More
Who is at risk of side effects from taking NSAIDs?
NSAIDs carry warnings for cardiovascular side effects and gastrointestinal side effects.  They can c...
More Answers
What treatments other than NSAIDS can I use for a migraine?
Boston Women's Health Book CollectiveBoston Women's Health Book Collective
Other treatments for acute migraine pain include the ergotamines, which because of their risks and a...
More Answers
Are Steroid Injections for Back Pain Safe?
Are Steroid Injections for Back Pain Safe?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.