Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.

Voltaren Rapid (Ciba-Geigy)
25 mg and 50 mg tablets

Indication: analgesia

Diclofenac has been available as a sodium salt for many years. The substitution of a potassium salt results in an earlier onset of action. After oral administration of a 50 mg tablet, the peak plasma concentration is reached in 20-60 minutes compared with an average of 120 minutes for diclofenac sodium. This new formulation has therefore been approved as a short-term treatment for the relief of acute pain states in which there is an inflammatory component and in the symptomatic treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea.

The adverse effects of diclofenac potassium resemble those of the sodium salt.