Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Voltaren.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
The information in this leaflet was last updated on the date listed on the final page. More recent information on the medicine may be available.
You should ensure that you speak to your pharmacist or doctor to obtain the most up to date information on the medicine. You can also download the most up to date leaflet from
Those updates may contain important information about the medicine and its use of which you should be aware.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using this medicine against the benefits they expect it will provide.
If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Voltaren is used for
Voltaren relieves pain and reduces inflammation (swelling and redness). It is used to treat:
different types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
other painful conditions where swelling is a problem such as back pain, rheumatism, muscle strains, sprains and tendonitis (e.g. tennis elbow)
menstrual cramps (period pain)
Voltaren suppositories are used to relieve pain in children after they have had an operation.
Voltaren belongs to a family of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medicines can relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation but they will not cure your condition.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another purpose.
Voltaren is only available with a doctor's prescription. It is not addictive.
Voltaren suppositories should not be used in children under 12 months of age. There is not enough information to recommend the use of Voltaren tablets in children.
Before you use Voltaren
When you must not use it
Do not use Voltaren if you have ever had an allergy to:
diclofenac (the active ingredient in Voltaren) or any of the other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
other medicines containing diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren Rapid tablets, Voltaren Emulgel)
any other NSAID medicine
If you are not sure if you are taking any of the above medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Many medicines used to treat headache, period pain and other aches and pains contain aspirin or NSAID medicines. If you are allergic to aspirin or NSAID medicines and you use Voltaren, these symptoms may be severe.
Do not use Voltaren if you have the any of the following medical conditions:
an ulcer (gastric or duodenal)
bleeding from the stomach or bowel
severe kidney or liver problems
severe heart failure
Do not use Voltaren suppositories if you suffer from inflammation of the rectum (back passage).
Do not use Voltaren during the last three months of pregnancy.
Use of this medicine during the last 3 months of pregnancy may affect your baby and may delay labour and birth.
Do not use Voltaren after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
In that case, return it to your pharmacist.
Before you start to use it
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following health problems / medical conditions:
a history of high blood pressure
a past history of ulcers (gastric or duodenal), severe attacks of indigestion or other stomach trouble, or diseases of the bowel (e.g. Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
a past history of haemorrhoids (piles) or irritation of the rectum (back passage)
a tendency to bleed or other blood problems such as anaemia
asthma or any other chronic lung disease that causes difficulty in breathing
seasonal allergies (e.g. hay fever)
repeated chest infections
polyps in the nose
recent major surgery
Your doctor may want to take special precautions if you have any of the above conditions.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
There is not enough information to recommend the use of Voltaren during the first 6 months of pregnancy and it must not be used during the last 3 months. Voltaren may also reduce fertility and affect your chances of becoming pregnant. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
Tell your doctor if you currently have an infection.
If you use Voltaren while you have an infection, some of the signs of the infection such as pain, fever, swelling and redness may be hidden. You may think, mistakenly, that you are better or that the infection is not serious.
Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Breast-feeding is not recommended while you are using this medicine. The active ingredient in Voltaren passes into breast milk and may affect your baby.
Tell your doctor if you are lactose intolerant.
Voltaren tablets contain lactose.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.
Your doctor will want to know if you are prone to allergies, especially if you get skin reactions with redness, itching or rash.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines that are important to mention include:
aspirin, salicylates or other NSAID medicines
warfarin, a medicine used to stop blood clots
digoxin, a medicine for your heart
lithium or selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a medicine used to treat some types of depression
diuretics, also called fluid or water tablets
ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers, medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions, glaucoma and migraine
Corticosteroids, medicines such as prednisone and cortisone, which reduce the activity of your immune system
tablets used to treat diabetes
methotrexate, a medicine used to treat arthritis and some cancers
cyclosporin, a medicine used to suppress the immune system
certain antibiotics called quinolones
glucocorticoid medicines, used to treat arthritis
You may need to take different amounts of your medicines or to take different medicines while you are using Voltaren. Your doctor and pharmacist have more information.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you start using this medicine.
How to use Voltaren
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.
These instructions may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to use
Voltaren comes in 25 mg and 50 mg tablets and in 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg suppositories.
For arthritis or other painful conditions, treatment with Voltaren tablets is usually started with a dose of from 75 mg to 150 mg each day. After the early stages of treatment it is usually possible to reduce the dose to 75 mg to 100 mg each day.
For menstrual cramps (period pain), treatment with Voltaren tablets is usually started with a dose of from 50 mg to 100 mg each day, beginning as soon as symptoms start and continuing until the pain goes away. If necessary, the dose can be raised over several menstrual periods to a maximum of 200 mg each day.
Voltaren suppositories can be used
at bedtime to relieve pain during the night and early morning stiffness.
To relieve pain after an operation. When used in children, the strength of Voltaren suppository used depends on the weight of the child. Your doctor will decide which strength is suitable for your child and how often it can be used.
How to take the tablets
Voltaren tablets are usually taken in 2 or 3 doses during the day.
Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew them.
The tablets have a special coating to keep them from dissolving until they have passed through the stomach into the bowel. Chewing them would destroy the coating.
Take the tablets preferably before meals. If they upset your stomach, you can take them with food or immediately after food.
They will work more quickly if you take them on an empty stomach but they will still work if you have to take them with food to prevent stomach upset.
How to use Voltaren suppositories
If possible, go to the toilet and empty your bowels before using the suppository.
Follow these steps:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
2. If the suppository feels soft, chill it before removing the wrapper by placing it in the fridge or holding it under cold water for a few minutes.
3. Put on a disposable glove, if desired (available from a pharmacy).
4. Remove the entire wrapper from the suppository.
5. Moisten the suppository by dipping it briefly in cool water.
6. Lie on your side and raise your knees to your chest.
7. Push the suppository, blunt end first, gently into your rectum (back passage).
8. Remain lying down for a few minutes so that the suppository dissolves.
9. Wash your hands again thoroughly.
Try not to go to the toilet to empty your bowels for at least one hour after using the suppository.
If you are not sure how to use a suppository, ask your pharmacist or doctor.
How long to use it
Do not use Voltaren for longer than your doctor says.
If you are using Voltaren for arthritis, it will not cure your disease but it should help to control pain and inflammation. It usually begins to work within a few hours but several weeks may pass before you feel the full effects of the medicine.
For menstrual cramps (period pain), the tablets are usually taken during each period as soon as cramps begin and continued for a few days until the pain goes away.
For treating post-operative pain in children, Voltaren suppositories should not be used for more than 3 days.
If you forget to use it
If it is almost time for your next dose (e.g. within 2 or 3 hours), skip the dose you missed and use the next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, use it as soon as you remember, and then go back to your normal schedule.
Do not use a double dose to make up for the one that you missed.
This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you have trouble remembering when to use your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you use too much (Overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you think that you or anyone else may have used too much Voltaren. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. Keep the telephone numbers for these places handy.
If you take too much Voltaren, you may have:
vomiting, bleeding from the stomach or bowel, diarrhoea, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions (fits)
While you are using Voltaren
Things you must do
If you become pregnant while using Voltaren, tell your doctor immediately.
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks of using it while you are pregnant.
Be sure to keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Your doctor may want to check your kidneys, liver and blood from time to time to help prevent unwanted side effects.
If you are going to have surgery, make sure the surgeon and anaesthetist know that you are using Voltaren.
NSAID medicines can slow down blood clotting and affect kidney function.
If you get an infection while using Voltaren, tell your doctor.
This medicine may hide some of the signs of an infection (pain, fever, swelling, redness). You may think, mistakenly, that you are better or that the infection is not serious.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are using Voltaren.
Tell any other doctor, dentist or pharmacist who treats you that you are using Voltaren.
Things you must not do
Do not take any of the following medicines while you are using Voltaren without first telling your doctor:
aspirin (also called ASA or acetylsalicylic acid)
other medicines containing diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren Rapid tablets, Voltaren Emulgel)
any other NSAID medicine
If you take these medicines together with Voltaren, they may cause unwanted side effects.
If you need to take something for headache or fever, it is usually okay to take paracetamol. If you are not sure, your doctor or pharmacist can advise you.
Do not stop any other forms of treatment for arthritis that your doctor has told you to follow.
This medicine does not replace exercise or rest programs or the use of heat/cold treatments.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their condition seems similar to yours.
Do not use it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving, operating machinery or doing jobs that require you to be alert until you know how Voltaren affects you.
This medicine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, spinning sensation (vertigo) or blurred vision in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using Voltaren.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
If you are over 65 years old, you should be especially careful while taking this medicine. Report any side effects promptly to your doctor.
As people grow older, they are more likely to get side effects from medicines.
Do not be alarmed by these lists of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
stomach upset including nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, indigestion, cramps, loss of appetite, wind
sore mouth or tongue
altered taste sensation
dizziness, spinning sensation
drowsiness, disorientation, forgetfulness
feeling depressed, anxious or irritable
strange or disturbing thoughts or moods
shakiness, sleeplessness, nightmares
tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
feeling of fast or irregular heart beat
unusual weight gain or swelling of ankles or legs due to fluid buildup
symptoms of sunburn (such as redness, itching, swelling, blistering) that happen more quickly than normal
blurred or double vision
buzzing or ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing
hair loss or thinning
irritation or discomfort in the rectum (back passage) or worsening of haemorrhoids (piles) when using the suppositories
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
signs of a possible stomach problem, such as severe pain or tenderness in the stomach, vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, bleeding from the back passage, black sticky bowel motions (stools) or bloody diarrhoea
signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other part of the body; shortness of breath, wheezing or troubled breathing
signs of a possible liver problem such as persistent nausea, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, vomiting, pain in the upper right abdomen, yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, dark urine or pale bowel motions
signs of a possible blood problem such as constant "flu-like" symptoms (chills, fever, sore throat, aching joints, swollen glands, tiredness or lack of energy), bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
signs of a serious skin reaction such as painful red areas, large blisters, peeling of layers of skin, bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose or genitals. These signs may be accompanied by fever and chills, aching muscles and feeling generally unwell
signs of a possible effect on the brain, such as sudden and severe headache, stiff neck, severe nausea, dizziness, numbness, difficulty in speaking, paralysis, convulsions (fits)
a change in the colour or amount of urine passed, frequent need to urinate, burning feeling when passing urine, blood in the urine
fainting or seizures (fits)
chest pain, which may be a sign of a heart attack
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Some people may have other side effects not yet known or mentioned in this leaflet.
After using Voltaren
Keep your medicine in the original container until it is time to use it.
Store it in a cool dry place.
Do not store Voltaren or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on window sills.
Keep the medicine where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop using Voltaren or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine you have left over.
What it looks like
Voltaren 25 mg tablets are round, yellow, coated tablets marked "CG" on one side and "BZ" on the other side; bottles of 50.
Voltaren 50 mg tablets are round, pale brown, coated tablets marked "CG" on one side and "GT" on the other side; bottles of 50.
Voltaren suppositories are yellowish-white, torpedo shaped suppositories. The 100mg strength are in packs of 20 and the lower strength suppositories are in packs of 10.
Voltaren tablets contain 25 mg or 50 mg diclofenac sodium as the active ingredient.
They also contain:
silica colloidal anhydrous
iron oxide yellow CI77492
iron oxide red CI77491 (50 mg tablet only)
sodium starch glycollate
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil
Voltaren suppositories contain either 12.5 mg, 25 mg 50 mg or 100 mg diclofenac sodium as the active ingredient in a triglyceride base.
Voltaren is supplied in Australia by:
NOVARTIS Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Limited
ABN 18 004 244 160
54 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Telephone: 1 800 671 203
® = Registered Trademark
This leaflet was prepared in September 2007
Australian Registration Number.
25 mg tablet
AUST R 11072
50 mg tablet
AUST R 11073
12.5 mg suppository
AUST R 96797
25 mg suppository
AUST R 96810
50 mg suppository
AUST R 96811
100 mg suppository
AUST R 37582