Voltaren

1 What is Voltaren?

Brand: Voltaren, Vofenal, Voltaren Ophtha

Generic: Diclofenac

Voltaren is used to treat pain or swelling of the eye following cataract surgery. It is also used to relieve temporary pain and photosensitivity (sensitivity to light) in patients undergoing corneal refractive surgery (procedure to reduce or cure certain eye or vision problems).

This medication is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medication is only available with your doctor’s prescription. This medication is available in the following forms:

  • Solution

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Voltaren, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric: Up-to-date studies have not shown any problems specific to the elderly that would limit the use of this medication in the elderly population.

Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur.

In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions. When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medications.

Other Interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems: Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Allergy to aspirin, phenylacetic acid, and other NSAIDs (i.e. ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Ecotrin®, or Motrin®)
  • Bleeding problems - Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Corneal (front part of the eye) denervation
  • Corneal (front part of the eye) epithelial defects
  • Diabetes
  • Ocular (eye) surface diseases (i.e. dry eye syndrome)
  • Ocular (eye) surgeries
  • Ocular (eye) surgeries (Multiple within a short period of time)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - Use with caution. May increase the risk of having corneal problems.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Voltaren requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Do not take more, less or for a longer or shorter period of time than your doctor tells you.

This medication comes with a patient information brochure. It is very important that your read this information. Ask your doctor if you have any questions. If you wear contact lenses, remove them while using this medication.

Dosing: Different patients will be given a different dose of this medication based on the strength of the medication. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses and the length of time you take this medication depends on the reason you are taking this medication.

The following information only includes the average dose of this medication. If your dose is different, do not change it without first speaking to your doctor.

  • Wash your hands. Tilt your head back and press your lower finger gently just beneath the lower eyelid. Pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medication into this space. Let go of the eyelid and close your eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed and apply pressure to the inner corner of the eye for 1-2 minutes to allow your eye to absorb the medication.
  • Do not touch the applicator tip to any surface. Keep the container tightly closed. This will help prevent infection of the eye.

For eye pain or swelling following cataract surgery:

  • Adults - 1 drop in the affected eye 4 times a day, beginning 24 hours after surgery and continue for 2 weeks.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor

For corneal refractive surgery:

  • Adults - 1-2 drops in the affected eye within an hour before corneal surgery. After, use 1-2 drops in the affected eye within 15 minutes after corneal surgery and continued 4 times per day for up to 3 days.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor

Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

Storage: Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep our of the reach of children. Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Voltaren, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor checks in with you often while you are receiving this medication to make sure that it is working properly.

Do not take other prescription or over-the-counter medications without asking your doctor. Slow or delayed healing may occur while you are using this medication. Ask your doctor before using this medication together with a topical corticosteroid such as betamethasone or hydrocortisone.

Using this medication may increase the risk of eye or vision problems such as keratitis or other corneal problems). Stop using this medication and inform your doctor immediately if you have blurred vision, changes in vision or eye redness, irritation or pain while using this medication.

Inform your doctor if you are pregnant. Do not use this medication during the later part of pregnancy unless your doctor tells you to. While applying this medication, your eyes will probably sting or burn for a short time. This is a normal reaction.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Voltaren. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:

More common:

  • Eye redness, irritation or pain
  • Tearing of the eyes

Less common:

  • Blindness
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning, dry or itching eyes
  • Clear or yellow fluid from the eye
  • Decreased vision or any change in vision
  • Redness, pain or swelling of the eye, eyelid or inner lining of the eyelid
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sticky or matted eyelashes
  • Throbbing pain

Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:

More common:

  • Burning and stinging of the eye

Less common:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Chills
  • Cold flu-like symptoms
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lack or loss of strength
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Runny nose
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Swelling or puffiness of the face
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • Unable to sleep (insomnia)
  • Vomiting

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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