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All about: diclofenac topical

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Generic Name: diclofenac topical (die KLO feh nak)
Brand Names: Solaraze

What is diclofenac topical?

Diclofenac is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Diclofenac works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. The way that diclofenac topical works in the treatment of skin conditions is unknown.

Diclofenac topical 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 other than those listed in this medication guide.

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

Do not use diclofenac topical on skin that is irritated, peeling, or infected or on open wounds. Wait until these conditions have fully healed before using diclofenac topical. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (e.g., sunlamps) during treatment with diclofenac topical. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing when sun exposure is unavoidable.

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

Before using diclofenac topical, tell your doctor if you:

  • have ever had an allergic reaction to another form of diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren, Voltaren-XR, Voltaren Ophthalmic);

  • have an allergy to benzyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether 350, or hyaluronate sodium;

  • have an allergy to aspirin or any other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Rufen, others), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), or naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox), etodolac (Lodine, Lodine XL), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketorolac (Toradol), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), or tolmetin (Tolectin);

  • are taking aspirin or an NSAID;

  • have a stomach ulcer or stomach bleeding;

  • have liver disease; or
  • have kidney disease.

You may not be able to use diclofenac topical, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Diclofenac topical is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to cause harm to an unborn baby. Diclofenac used late in pregnancy (the third trimester) may affect the baby's heart. Do not use diclofenac topical without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Diclofenac passes into breast milk. Do not use diclofenac topical without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use diclofenac topical?

Use diclofenac topical exactly as directed by your doctor, or follow the instructions that accompany the package. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before and after applying this medication.

Apply diclofenac topical to the affected area, smoothing it gently onto the affected skin. Assure that enough gel is applied to adequately cover each lesion. Do not use diclofenac topical on skin that is irritated, peeling, or infected or on open wounds. Wait until these conditions have fully healed before using diclofenac topical. Store diclofenac topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and apply only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not apply a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of diclofenac topical is unlikely to occur. If you do suspect an overdose, or if diclofenac topical has been ingested, call a poison control center or an emergency room for advice.

What should I avoid while using diclofenac topical?

Do not use other prescription or over-the-counter skin products without first talking to your doctor during treatment with diclofenac topical. They may interfere with the treatment or increase irritation of the skin. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (e.g., sunlamps) during treatment with diclofenac topical. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing when sun exposure is unavoidable.

Diclofenac topical side effects

Serious side effects are not likely to occur. Stop using diclofenac topical and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives).

Diclofenac topical may cause skin irritation, dryness, scaling or peeling (exfoliation), rash, and other local reactions. If these side effects are excessive or worsen with continued treatment, contact your doctor.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect diclofenac topical?

Do not use other prescription or over-the-counter skin products without first talking to your doctor during treatment with diclofenac topical. They may interfere with your treatment or increase irritation to your skin.

Talk to your doctor before taking aspirin or a prescription or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Rufen, others), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox), etodolac (Lodine, Lodine XL), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketorolac (Toradol), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), or tolmetin (Tolectin) during treatment with diclofenac topical. Treatment with these medications should be kept to a minimum while using diclofenac topical.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with diclofenac topical. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about diclofenac topical written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Diclofenac topical is available with a prescription under the brand name Solaraze in a 3% gel formulation. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:08:57 PM.

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