When to take it
It is recommended to take the tablets before meals or on an empty stomach. 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.
Use the suppositories at bedtime to relieve pain during the night and early morning stiffness; or to relieve pain after an operation.
How much Voltaren to take/use
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.
There are different ways to take Voltaren tablets and suppositories, depending on your condition. Your doctor will tell you exactly how many tablets or suppositories to take.
Do not exceed the recommended dose.
To treat arthritis or other painful conditions
The usual starting dose of Voltaren tablets is 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.
To treat 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.
The usual starting dose of Voltaren tablets is 50 mg to 100 mg each day, beginning as soon as cramps begin and continuing until the pain goes away, but for no longer than 3 days. If necessary, the dose can be raised over several menstrual periods to a maximum of 200 mg each day.
To treat post-operative pain in children
Your doctor will advise what strength and dose of Voltaren suppositories is suitable for your child.
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 or other liquid. 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 the tablets would destroy the coating.
How to use Voltaren suppositories
Do not take suppositories by mouth.
When used in children, the strength of the 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.
If possible, go to the toilet and empty your bowels before using the suppository.
Follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- 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.
- Put on a disposable glove, if desired (available from a pharmacy).
- Remove the entire wrapper from the suppository.
- Moisten the suppository by dipping it briefly in cool water.
- Lie on your side and raise your knees to your chest.
- Push the suppository, blunt end first, gently into your rectum (back passage). Do not break the suppository.
- Remain lying down for a few minutes so that the suppository dissolves.
- 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.
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.
Voltaren suppositories should not be used for more than 3 days in children.
If you forget to take/use it
If it is almost time for your next dose (e.g. within 2 or 3 hours), skip the dose you missed and take the next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking it as you would normally.
Do not take 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 take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take/use too much Voltaren (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 experience:
- bleeding from the stomach or bowel
- ringing in the ears
- convulsions (fits)
Things you must do
If you take Voltaren for more than a few weeks, you should make sure to visit your doctor for regular check-ups to ensure that you are not suffering from unnoticed undesirable effects.
If you become pregnant whilst taking or 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 salicylates
- 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, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Elderly patients should take the minimum number of tablets or suppositories that provides relief of symptoms.
Elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of Voltaren than other adults.