Consumer medicine information

VOLTAREN RAPID 25

Diclofenac potassium

BRAND INFORMATION

Brand name

Voltaren Rapid 25 Tablets

Active ingredient

Diclofenac potassium

Schedule

S3

 

Consumer medicine information (CMI) leaflet

Please read this leaflet carefully before you start using VOLTAREN RAPID 25.

WHAT IS IN THIS LEAFLET

This leaflet answers some common questions about Voltaren Rapid 25. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your pharmacist or doctor. All medicines have risks and benefits. Your pharmacist or doctor will be able to advise you about the risks and benefits of taking Voltaren Rapid 25.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your pharmacist or doctor. Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

WHAT VOLTAREN RAPID 25 IS USED FOR

Voltaren Rapid 25 relieves pain and reduces inflammation (swelling and redness). It can be used for:

  • The short-term treatment (up to 1 week) of painful conditions where swelling is a problem such as back or joint pain, dental pain, muscle strains or sprains and tendinitis (e.g. tennis elbow).
  • The relief of menstrual cramps (period pain).
  • The relief of migraine headaches. It may also relieve nausea and vomiting you sometimes experience when you have a migraine.

Voltaren Rapid 25 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.

Voltaren Rapid 25 is not addictive.

BEFORE YOU TAKE VOLTAREN RAPID 25

When you must not take it

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 if you have an allergy to:

  • diclofenac (the active ingredient in Voltaren Rapid 25) or any of the other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
  • other medicines containing diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren tablets or suppositories, Voltaren Emulgel, Voltaren Rapid 50 mg tablets)
  • aspirin
  • any other NSAID or anti-inflammatory medicines

Many medicines used to treat headache, period pain and other aches and pains contain aspirin or NSAID medicines. If you are not sure if you are taking any of these medicines, ask your pharmacist. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to these medicines may include:

  • asthma, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • hives, itching or skin rash
  • fainting

Unless a doctor has told you to, do not use Voltaren Rapid during the first 6 months of pregnancy.

Do not use at all during the last three months of pregnancy.

If you are allergic to aspirin or NSAID medicines and take Voltaren Rapid 25, these symptoms may be severe.

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 if at the present time you have an ulcer (gastric or duodenal) or other stomach disorders, or bleeding from the stomach or bowel.

If you take it, your stomach problem may become worse.

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 if you have impaired kidney function or heart failure.

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 if you are in the last 3 months of pregnancy.

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 after the expiry date printed on the pack.

It may have no effect at all, or worse, an entirely unexpected effect if you take it after the expiry date.

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 if the foil seal over the tablets has been broken or shows signs of tampering.

In that case, return it to your pharmacist.

Do not give this medicine to a child under 14 years of age.

Voltaren Rapid 25 is not recommended for use in children under 14 years of age, as there is not enough information on its use in children under that age.

If you are not sure whether you should start taking Voltaren Rapid 25, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

Before you start to take it

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.

He/she will want to know if you are prone to allergies.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if, in the past, you have ever had:

  • ulcers (gastric or duodenal)
  • severe attacks of indigestion or other stomach trouble
  • diseases of the bowel (e.g. Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • bleeding from your rectum (back passage)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any of these health problems/medical conditions at the present time:

  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • high blood pressure
  • a tendency to bleed or other blood problems such as anaemia
  • asthma

Your pharmacist or doctor may want to take special precautions if you have any of these conditions.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have an infection at the present time.

If you take Voltaren Rapid 25 while you have an infection, some of the signs of the infection may be hidden (pain, fever, swelling, redness). You may think, mistakenly, that you are better or that the infection is not serious.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

Like most NSAID medicines, Voltaren Rapid 25 is not recommended to be used during pregnancy or when breast-feeding. Your pharmacist or doctor will discuss with you the benefits and risks of taking it.

If you have not told your pharmacist or doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you take Voltaren Rapid 25.

Taking other medicines

Tell your pharmacist or 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:

  • diclofenac, aspirin, salicylates, other anti-inflammatory medicines or other medicines for pain relief
  • warfarin, a medicine used to stop blood clots
  • digoxin, a medicine for your heart.
  • ACE inhibitors or beta blockers (for high blood pressure and heart failure)
  • corticosteroids (for relief of inflamed areas of the body)
  • lithium or serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (medicines used to treat depression)
  • diuretics, also called fluid or water tablets
  • 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
  • sulfinpyrazone (a medicine used to treat gout)
  • voriconazole (a medicine used to treat fungal infections).
  • phenytoin (a medicine used to treat seizures).

Your pharmacist and doctor have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Voltaren Rapid 25.

HOW TO TAKE VOLTAREN RAPID 25

Follow all directions given to you by your pharmacist or doctor carefully.

These instructions may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

If you do not understand any of the instructions, ask your pharmacist or doctor for help.

How much to take

Voltaren Rapid 25 comes in tablets which contain 25 mg of the active ingredient, diclofenac potassium.

For most painful conditions: The usual dose is 2 tablets initially, followed by either 1 or 2 tablets at 8 hourly intervals. In milder cases, as well as in children over 14 years old, 1 to 2 tablets initially, followed by 1 tablet at 8 hourly intervals, is usually enough.

For menstrual pain (period pain): The usual dose is 2 tablets at the first sign of symptoms. You may take 2 tablets up to three times daily for the next few days as required.

For migraine: The usual dose is 2 tablets at the first sign of a migraine attack. If the pain is not relieved within 2 hours, a further 1 to 2 tablets may be taken. After that dose, you must wait at least 4 hours before taking any more Voltaren Rapid 25.

Do not take more than 8 tablets in 24 hours, for relief of any of the above conditions.

For migraine attacks, do not take more than 8 tablets even if you have more than one migraine attack within that 24 hour period.

If symptoms persist or worsen, see your doctor to ensure that they are not due to a serious illness. The use of Voltaren Rapid 25 could mask potentially serious infections.

How to take it

Swallow the tablets with a full glass of liquid.

They will work more quickly if you take them at least half an hour before meals or two hours after meals. But, if they upset your stomach, you can take them with food.

Do not lie down for about 15 to 30 minutes after taking the tablets.

This helps them reach your stomach quickly and prevents throat irritation, which could lead to problems with swallowing.

How long to take it

Do not take Voltaren Rapid 25 for more than a few days at a time or for longer than your pharmacist or doctor has told you to. It is usually taken for a short time only. 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.

If you forget to take 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.

If you are not sure what to do, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you take 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 taken too much Voltaren Rapid 25. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. Keep the telephone numbers for these places handy.

WHILE YOU ARE TAKING VOLTAREN RAPID 25

Things you must do

If you become pregnant while taking Voltaren Rapid 25, tell your pharmacist or doctor immediately.

He/she can discuss with you the risks of using it while you are pregnant.

If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your pharmacist and doctor that you are taking Voltaren Rapid 25.

Take Voltaren Rapid 25 exactly as directed by your pharmacist or doctor.

If you do not follow these instructions, your condition may not improve or you may have unwanted side effects.

If, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as directed or as described in this leaflet, tell your pharmacist or doctor.

Otherwise, he/she may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.

If you feel the medicine is not helping, tell your pharmacist or doctor.

This will help him/her to determine the best treatment for you.

If you are going to have surgery, make sure the surgeon and the anaesthetist know that you are taking Voltaren Rapid 25.

NSAID medicines can slow down blood clotting.

If you get an infection while taking Voltaren Rapid 25, 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.

Tell any other doctor, dentist or pharmacist who treats you that you are taking Voltaren Rapid 25.

Things you must not do

Do not take any medicines used to treat arthritis while you are taking Voltaren Rapid 25 without first telling your doctor or pharmacist.

This includes:

  • aspirin (also called ASA or acetylsalicylic acid)
  • other salicylates
  • other forms of Voltaren or Voltaren Rapid
  • any other NSAID medicine

If you take these medicines together with Voltaren Rapid 25, they may cause unwanted effects. If you need to take something for headache or fever, it is usually okay to take paracetamol. If you are not sure, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Do not use Voltaren Rapid 25 to treat any other complaints, unless your pharmacist or doctor says you can.

Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their condition seems to be similar to yours.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving, operating machinery or doing jobs that require you to be alert until you know how Voltaren Rapid 25 affects you.

As with other NSAID medicines, Voltaren Rapid 25 may cause dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous.

SIDE EFFECTS

Tell your pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Voltaren Rapid 25.

This medicine helps most people, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines 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 get an allergic reaction stop taking Voltaren Rapid and see your doctor immediately.

If you are over 65 years old, you should be especially careful while taking this medicine. Report any side effects promptly to your pharmacist or doctor.

As people grow older, they are more likely to get side effects from medicines.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • stomach upset including nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, heartburn, indigestion, cramps
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation, diarrhoea, pain in the stomach, wind
  • dizziness, light headedness
  • drowsiness, sleepiness, disorientation
  • buzzing or ringing in the ears
  • change in mood, for example, feeling depressed, anxious or irritable
  • trembling, sleeplessness, nightmares
  • headache
  • sore mouth or tongue
  • hair loss or thinning
  • altered taste sensation

Tell your doctor and pharmacist immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • severe pain or tenderness in the stomach
  • signs of frequent or worrying infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
  • bleeding or bruising more easily than normal; reddish or purplish blotches under the skin
  • signs of anaemia such as tiredness, being short of breath, looking pale
  • a change in the colour of urine passed, blood in the urine
  • a change in the amount or frequency of urine passed, burning feeling when passing urine
  • signs of a liver problem such as tiredness, lack of energy, itching of the skin, yellowing of the skin and eyes, pain in the abdomen
  • unusual weight gain, swelling of ankles or legs
  • symptoms of sunburn (such as redness, itching, swelling, blistering) which may occur more quickly than normal
  • eye problems such as blurred or double vision
  • severe dizziness, spinning sensation
  • severe or persistent headache
  • tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
  • fast or irregular heart beat, also called palpitations
  • difficulty hearing

These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.

If any of the following happen, STOP taking Voltaren Rapid 25 and tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:

  • vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • bleeding from the back passage, black sticky bowel motions (stools) or bloody diarrhoea
  • swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • asthma, wheezing, shortness of breath
  • sudden or severe itching, skin rash or hives
  • fainting or seizures (fits)
  • pain or tightness in the chest

These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.

Other side effects not listed above may happen in some people.

AFTER USING VOLTAREN RAPID 25

Storage

Keep your tablets in the original container until it is time to take them.

Store the tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.

Do not store Voltaren Rapid 25 or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.

Do not leave it in the car or on windowsills.

Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines. Voltaren Rapid 25 will keep well if it is cool and dry.

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.

Disposal

If your pharmacist or doctor tells you to stop taking Voltaren Rapid 25 or you find that it has passed the expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine you have left over.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

What it looks like

Pale red sugar-coated tablets ; blister packs of 10, 20 or 30 tablets.

Ingredients

Voltaren Rapid 25 tablets contain 25 mg diclofenac potassium as the active ingredient. They also contain:

  • silica colloidal anhydrous
  • calcium phosphate
  • magnesium stearate
  • starch - maize
  • povidone
  • sodium starch glycollate
  • cellulose - microcrystalline
  • iron oxide red CI77491
  • macrogol 8000
  • sucrose
  • talc - purified
  • titanium dioxide

Sponsor

Novartis Consumer Health Australasia Pty Ltd
ABN 46 004 535 513
327-333 Police Road
Mulgrave VIC 3170,
Australia

NZ Office: Auckland, New Zealand

Phone
AUS: 1800 069 643
NZ: 0800 700 222

® = Registered Trademark

This leaflet was last revised in June 2011

Australian Registration Number

  • AUST R 42942

BRAND INFORMATION

Brand name

Voltaren Rapid 25 Tablets

Active ingredient

Diclofenac potassium

Schedule

S3

 

Name of the medicine

Diclofenac potassium.

Excipients.

Colloidal anhydrous silica, calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, maize starch, povidone, sodium starch glycollate, microcrystalline cellulose, iron oxide red (CI77491), macrogol 8000, sucrose, purified talc and titanium dioxide.
Each Voltaren Rapid 25 tablet contains 2.9 mg of potassium.

Description

Voltaren Rapid 25 contains potassium-[0-{(2, 6-dichlorophenyl) -amino}-phenyl]-acetate (= diclofenac potassium).
Voltaren Rapid 25 tablets contain 25 mg diclofenac potassium with the excipients: silica - colloidal anhydrous, calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, starch - maize, povidone, sodium starch glycollate, cellulose - microcrystalline, iron oxide red (CI No. 77491), macrogol 8000, sucrose, talc - purified and titanium dioxide.
Each Voltaren Rapid 25 tablet contains 2.9 mg of potassium.

Pharmacology

Pharmacodynamics.

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products, non-steroids, acetic acid derivatives and related substances (ATC code M01A B05).
Voltaren Rapid 25 is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and contains the potassium salt of diclofenac. The preparation possesses analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties.
Voltaren Rapid 25 tablets have a rapid onset of action which makes them particularly suitable for the treatment of acute painful and inflammatory conditions and reduction of fever.
As with other NSAIDs, inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis is considered to be fundamental to the mechanism of action.
In clinical trials Voltaren Rapid 25 has also been found to exert an analgesic effect in moderately and severely painful states in the presence of inflammation, e.g. due to trauma or after surgical operations. It rapidly relieves both spontaneous pain and pain on movement and diminishes inflammatory swelling and wound oedema. In addition, the active substance is capable of relieving pain in primary dysmenorrhoea and may reduce the extent of bleeding. In migraine attacks, Voltaren Rapid 25 has been shown to be effective in relieving the headache. It may improve the accompanying symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Low concentrations of diclofenac inhibit the aggregation of platelets induced in vitro by collagen and by adenosine diphosphate.

Pharmacokinetics.

Absorption.

Diclofenac is rapidly and completely absorbed from the tablets. When taken with food, the rate of absorption of diclofenac was reduced. On this basis, for maximum efficacy, the tablets should not be taken directly with, or immediately after, meals. After ingestion of 50 mg, plasma concentrations of diclofenac attain a mean peak value of 3.9 micromol/L after 20 to 60 minutes. The amount absorbed is in linear proportion to the size of the dose.
Since about half of diclofenac is metabolised during its first passage through the liver ("first pass" effect), the area under the concentration curve is about half as large following oral administration as it is following a parenteral dose of equal size.

Distribution.

Diclofenac is bound to serum proteins at 99.7%, mainly to albumin (99.4%).
Diclofenac enters the synovial fluid, where maximum concentrations are measured 2 to 4 hours after peak plasma levels have been reached. The apparent half-life for elimination from the synovial fluid is 3 to 6 hours. Two hours after reaching peak plasma levels, concentrations of the active substance are already higher in the synovial fluid than in the plasma, and they remain higher for up to 12 hours.
Repeated oral administration of diclofenac for 8 days in daily doses of 50 mg t.i.d. does not lead to accumulation of diclofenac in plasma.

Metabolism.

The biotransformation of diclofenac takes place partly by glucuronidation of the intact molecule, but mainly by single and multiple hydroxylation and methoxylation, resulting in several phenolic metabolites, most of which are converted to glucuronide conjugates. Two of these phenolic metabolites are biologically active, but to a much lesser extent than diclofenac.

Excretion.

The total systemic clearance of diclofenac from plasma is 263 ± 56 mL/min. The terminal half-life in plasma is 1 to 2 hours. Four of the metabolites, including the two active ones, also have short plasma half-lives of 1 to 3 hours. A fifth metabolite, 3'-hydroxy-4'-methoxy- diclofenac, has a much longer plasma half-life. This metabolite is virtually inactive.
About 60% of the administered dose is excreted in the urine as the glucuronide conjugate of the intact molecule and as metabolites, most of which are also converted to glucuronide conjugates. Less than 1% is excreted as unchanged substance. The remainder of the dose is eliminated as metabolites through the bile in the faeces.

Special populations.

Elderly: No relevant age-dependent differences in the absorption, metabolism, or excretion of diclofenac have been observed.
Impaired renal function: In patients suffering from renal impairment, no accumulation of the unchanged active substance can be inferred from the single-dose kinetics when applying the usual dosage schedule. At a creatinine clearance of < 10 mL/minute, the calculated steady- state plasma concentrations of metabolites are about four times higher than in normal subjects. However, the metabolites are ultimately cleared through the bile.
Impaired hepatic function: In patients with chronic hepatitis or non-decompensated cirrhosis, the kinetics and metabolism of diclofenac are the same as in patients without liver disease.

Indications

As short-term treatment for the relief of acute pain states in which there is an inflammatory component.
Treatment of acute migraine attacks (with or without aura).
Symptomatic treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea.

Contraindications

Known hypersensitivity to diclofenac or to any of the excipients (see Precautions, Hypersensitivity).
Patients in whom attacks of asthma, urticaria, or acute rhinitis are precipitated by aspirin or other NSAIDs (see Precautions, Pre-existing asthma).
Active gastric or intestinal ulcer, bleeding or perforation (see Precautions, Gastrointestinal effects).
Cardiac failure (see Precautions, Fluid retention).
Severe hepatic impairment (see Precautions, Hepatobiliary effects).
Renal impairment (see Precautions, Renal effects).
Last trimester of pregnancy (see Precautions, Use in pregnancy).
Treatment of perioperative pain in setting of coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).

Precautions

Cardiovascular thrombotic events.

Observational studies have indicated that non-selective NSAIDs may be associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction and stroke, which may increase with dose or duration of use.
Patients with cardiovascular disease, history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors may also be at greater risk. Treatment with Voltaren Rapid is generally not recommended in patients with established cardiovascular disease (congestive heart failure, established ischaemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease) or uncontrolled hypertension. If needed patients with established cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled hypertension or significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease (eg hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus and smoking) should be treated with Voltaren Rapid only after careful consideration.
As the cardiovascular risks of diclofenac may increase with dose and duration of exposure, the lowest effective daily dose should be used for the shortest possible duration (see Dosage and Administration). Patients should be advised to seek further medical advice if symptoms persist or do not improve within the recommended duration of treatment.
Patients should remain alert for the signs and symptoms of serious arteriothrombotic events (eg chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, slurring of speech), which can occur without warning. Patients should be informed about signs and/or symptoms of serious cardiovascular toxicity and be should be instructed to see a doctor immediately in case of such an event.
There is no consistent evidence that the concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the possible increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events associated with NSAID use.

Hypertension.

NSAIDs may lead to the onset of new hypertension or worsening of pre-existing hypertension and patients taking anti-hypertensives with NSAIDs may have an impaired anti-hypertensive response. Caution is advised when prescribing NSAIDs to patients with hypertension. Blood pressure should be monitored closely during initiation of NSAID treatment and at regular intervals thereafter.

Fluid retention.

Fluid retention and oedema have been observed in some patients taking NSAIDs, including diclofenac, therefore caution is advised in patients with fluid retention. Use of Voltaren Rapid 25 in patients with heart failure is not recommended (see Contraindications).

Gastrointestinal effects.

As with all NSAIDs, including diclofenac, close medical surveillance is imperative and particular caution should be exercised when prescribing NSAIDs, including diclofenac, in patients with symptoms indicative of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders or with a history suggestive of gastrointestinal ulceration, bleeding or perforation (see Adverse Effects). The risk of GI bleeding is higher with increasing NSAID doses and in patients with a history of ulcer, particularly if complicated with haemorrhage or perforation and in the elderly.
Close medical surveillance should also be exercised in patients with ulcerative colitis, or with Crohn's disease, as well as in patients suffering from pre-existing dyshaemopoiesis or disorders of blood coagulation, as their condition may be exacerbated (see Adverse Effects).
Gastric or duodenal ulceration, gastrointestinal bleeding or perforation which can be fatal have been reported in patients receiving NSAIDs, including diclofenac. Studies to date have not identified any subset of patients who are not at risk of developing these problems. Except for a history of serious gastrointestinal events and other risk factors known to be associated with gastrointestinal ulceration, such as alcoholism, smoking, etc., no other factors (e.g. age, sex) have been associated with increased risk.
To reduce the risk of GI toxicity in patients with a history of ulcer, particularly if complicated with haemorrhage or perforation and in the elderly, the treatment should be initiated and maintained at the lowest effective dose. Gastrointestinal bleeding, ulceration and perforation in general have more serious consequences in the elderly. They can occur at any time during treatment with or without warning symptoms or a previous history. In instances where gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcerations occur in patients receiving Voltaren Rapid 25, the drug should be withdrawn immediately. Patients should be warned about the signs and symptoms of serious gastrointestinal toxicity and what steps to take if they occur.
Combination therapy with protective agents (e.g. proton pump inhibitors or misoprostol) should be considered for these patients, and also for patients requiring concomitant use of medicinal products containing low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)/aspirin or other medicinal products likely to increase gastrointestinal risk.
Patients with a history of GI toxicity, particularly the elderly, should report any unusual abdominal symptoms (especially GI bleeding). Caution is recommended in patients receiving concomitant medications which could increase the risk of ulceration or bleeding, such as systemic corticosteroids, anticoagulants, anti-platelet agents or selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (see Interactions with Other Medicines).

Serious skin reactions.

Serious skin reactions, some of them fatal, including exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have been reported very rarely in association with the use of NSAIDs, including diclofenac (see Adverse Effects). These serious adverse events are idiosyncratic and are independent of dose or duration of use. Patients appear to be at highest risk of these reactions early in the course of therapy, the onset of the reaction occurring in the majority of cases within the first month of treatment. Patients should be advised of the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions and to consult their doctor at the first appearance of skin rash, mucosal lesion or any other sign of hypersensitivity, and diclofenac should be discontinued.

Respiratory effects (pre-existing asthma).

In patients with asthma, seasonal allergic rhinitis, swelling of the nasal mucosa (i.e. nasal polyps), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases or chronic infections of the respiratory tract (especially if linked to allergic rhinitis-like symptoms), reactions to NSAIDs such as asthma exacerbations (so-called intolerance to analgesics / analgesics-asthma), Quincke's oedema or urticaria are more frequent than in other patients. Therefore, special precaution is recommended in such patients. This is also applicable to patients who are allergic to other substances, e.g. with skin reactions, pruritus or urticaria.

Hepatobiliary effects.

Close medical surveillance is required when prescribing diclofenac to patients with impaired hepatic function, as their condition may be exacerbated (see Contraindications). As with other NSAIDs, including diclofenac, elevations of one or more liver enzymes may occur during diclofenac therapy. These laboratory abnormalities may progress, remain unchanged, or revert to normal despite continued therapy. Borderline elevations (i.e. 1.2 to 3 times the upper limit of normal (U LN), or greater elevations of transaminases occurred in about 15% of Voltaren treated patients. In clinical trials, meaningful elevations (i.e. more than 3 times the ULN) of AST and/or ALT occurred in about 4% of patients treated for several months, including marked elevations (i.e. more than 8 times the ULN) in about 1% of patients. Transaminase elevations were reversible on cessation of therapy, and even among patients with marked elevations, signs and symptoms of liver disease occurred only in isolated cases. Most patients with borderline elevations did not have therapy interrupted, and transaminase elevations in most of these cases disappeared or did not progress. There were no identifying features to distinguish those patients who developed marked elevations from those who did not. Severe hepatotoxicity may develop without prodromal symptoms.
If, contrary to its recommended use for short term treatment, Voltaren Rapid 25 is administered for a more prolonged period, monitoring of hepatic function is indicated as a precautionary measure. If abnormal liver tests persist or worsen, if clinical signs and/or symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (eosinophilia, rash), diclofenac should be discontinued.
Physicians should inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (nausea, fatigue, lethargy, pruritus, jaundice, abdominal tenderness in the right upper quadrant and "flu-like" symptoms) and the appropriate action to take should these signs and symptoms appear.
Caution should be exercised when using diclofenac in patients with hepatic porphyria, since it may trigger an attack.

Renal effects.

As a class, NSAIDs have been associated with renal papillary necrosis and other renal pathology during long-term administration in animals.
Fluid retention and oedema have been reported in association with NSAID therapy, including diclofenac. Owing to the importance of prostaglandins for maintaining renal blood flow, particular caution is called for in patients with impaired cardiac function, history of hypertension, in the elderly, in patients being treated with diuretics or medicinal products that can significantly impact renal function, and in those with extracellular volume depletion from any cause, in the peri- or post-operative phase of major surgical operations (see Contraindications). Monitoring of renal function as a precautionary measure is therefore recommended when using diclofenac in such cases. Discontinuation of therapy is typically followed by recovery to the pre-treatment state. Use of Voltaren Rapid 25 in patients with kidney impairment or heart failure is not recommended (see Contraindications).

Combination use of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor antagonist, anti-inflammatory drugs and thiazide diuretics.

The concurrent use of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor antagonist with an anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID or COX-2 selective inhibitor) and a thiazide diuretic at the same time increases the risk of renal impairment. This includes use in fixed combination products containing more than one class of drug. Combined use of these medications should be accompanied by increased monitoring of serum creatinine, particularly at the institution of the combination. The combination of drugs from these three classes should be used with caution particularly in elderly patients or those with pre-existing renal impairment.

Infection.

Like other NSAIDs, Voltaren Rapid 25 may mask the usual signs and symptoms of infection due to its pharmacodynamic properties.

Haematological effects.

Use of Voltaren Rapid 25 is recommended only for short-term treatment. If, however, Voltaren Rapid 25 is used for a prolonged period, monitoring of the blood count is recommended. Like other NSAIDs, Voltaren Rapid 25 may temporarily inhibit platelet aggregation. Patients with haemostatic disorders should be carefully monitored.

Hypersensitivity.

As with other NSAIDs, allergic reactions, including anaphylactic/ anaphylactoid reactions have been reported with diclofenac. These reactions can occur without earlier exposure to the drug.

Sucrose sensitivity.

Voltaren Rapid 25 tablets contain sucrose and therefore are not recommended for patients with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance, or glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency.

Effects on fertility.

As with other NSAIDs, the use of Voltaren Rapid 25 may impair female fertility and is not recommended in women attempting to conceive. In women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility, withdrawal of diclofenac should be considered.

Use in pregnancy.

(Category C)
NSAIDs inhibit prostaglandin synthesis and, when given during the latter part of pregnancy, may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus, foetal renal impairment, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and delay labour and birth.
The use of diclofenac in pregnant women has not been studied and safety in pregnancy has not been established. Therefore Voltaren Rapid 25 should not be used in pregnant women during the first two trimesters or in women who are likely to become pregnant unless the potential benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the foetus. Use of Voltaren Rapid 25 during the third trimester of pregnancy is contraindicated due to the possibility of uterine inertia and/or premature closure of the ductus arteriosus (see Contraindications).
Dysmorphogenic effects (rib defects in 1 rat foetus at 4 mg/kg and in 1 mouse foetus at 1 and 4 mg/kg doses) were observed at 1 of 3 laboratories in which embryogenesis studies were conducted.

Use in lactation.

Following oral doses of 50 mg administered every 8 hours, the active substance, diclofenac, passes into human milk. As with other drugs that are excreted in milk, Voltaren Rapid 25 is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women.

Paediatric use.

Voltaren Rapid 25 is not recommended for use in children under 14 years of age as safety and efficacy in this age group have not been established.

Use in the elderly.

In patients of advanced age, caution is indicated on basic medical grounds. In particular it is recommended that the lowest effective dosage be used in frail elderly patients or those with low body weight.
Treatment with Voltaren Rapid 25 in the elderly usually proves necessary only for a few days.

Carcinogenicity.

Diclofenac showed no mutagenic, carcinogenic, or teratogenic effects in the studies conducted, despite the induction of maternal and fetal toxicity.

Effects on ability to drive or use machines.

Patients experiencing visual disturbances, dizziness, vertigo, somnolence or other central nervous system disturbances while taking diclofenac should refrain from driving a vehicle or operating machines

Interactions

The following interactions include those observed with Voltaren Rapid 25 tablets and/or other pharmaceutical forms of diclofenac.

Lithium.

When used concomitantly, diclofenac may raise plasma concentrations of lithium and monitoring of serum lithium level is recommended during treatment with Voltaren Rapid 25.

Digoxin.

When used concomitantly, diclofenac may raise plasma concentrations of digoxin and monitoring of serum digoxin level is recommended during treatment with Voltaren Rapid 25.

Other NSAIDs and corticosteroids.

The concomitant use of diclofenac with systemic NSAIDs including cyclooxygenase-2 selective inhibitors should be avoided due to the absence of any evidence demonstrating synergistic benefits and the potential for additive undesirable effects. Concomitant administration of diclofenac and other systemic NSAIDs or corticosteroids may increase the frequency of undesirable gastrointestinal effects. Concurrent treatment with aspirin lowers the plasma concentration, peak plasma levels and AUC values of diclofenac. The use of both drugs concurrently is not recommended.

Anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents.

Caution is recommended since concomitant administration could increase the risk of bleeding (see Precautions, Gastrointestinal effects). The concurrent use of NSAIDs and warfarin has been associated with severe, sometimes fatal, haemorrhage. The exact mechanism of the interaction between NSAIDs and warfarin is unknown, but may involve enhanced bleeding from NSAID induced gastrointestinal ulceration or an additive effect of anticoagulation by warfarin and inhibition of platelet function by NSAIDs. Diclofenac should be used with caution in combination with warfarin and such patients should be closely monitored.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Concomitant administration of systemic NSAIDs, including diclofenac, and SSRIs may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding (see Precautions, Gastrointestional effects).

Methotrexate.

Caution should be exercised when NSAIDs, including diclofenac, are administered less than 24 hours before or after treatment with methotrexate, since the blood concentration of methotrexate may rise and its toxicity increased.

Cyclosporin/ ciclosporin.

Nephrotoxicity of cyclosporin may be enhanced through effects of NSAIDs, including diclofenac, on renal prostaglandins. Therefore, diclofenac should be given at doses lower than those that would be used in patients not receiving cyclosporin/ ciclosporin.

Glucocorticoids.

The addition of glucocorticoids to NSAIDs, though sometimes necessary for therapeutic reasons, may aggravate gastrointestinal side effects.

Potent CYP2C9 inhibitors.

Caution is recommended when diclofenac is concomitantly used with potent CYP2C9 inhibitors (such as voriconazole), which could result in a significant increase in peak plasma concentrations and exposure to diclofenac due to inhibition of diclofenac metabolism.

Phenytoin.

When using phenytoin concomitantly with diclofenac, monitoring of phenytoin plasma concentrations is recommended due to an expected increase in exposure to phenytoin.

Diuretics and antihypertensive agents.

Like other NSAIDs, concomitant use of diclofenac with diuretics or antihypertensive agents (e.g. beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors) may cause a decrease in their antihypertensive effect. Therefore, the combination should be administered with caution and patients, especially the elderly, should have their blood pressure periodically monitored. Patients should be adequately hydrated and consideration should be given to monitoring of renal function after initiation of concomitant therapy and periodically thereafter (see Precautions, Renal effects).

Drugs known to cause hyperkalemia.

Concomitant treatment with potassium-sparing drugs (eg diuretics, cyclosporin/ ciclosporin, tacrolimus or trimethoprim) may be associated with increased serum potassium levels, which should therefore be monitored frequently (see Precautions, Renal effects).

Antidiabetic agents.

Diclofenac can be given together with oral antidiabetic agents without influencing their clinical effect. However, there are isolated reports of both hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic effects in the presence of diclofenac which necessitated changes in the dosage of the antidiabetic agents. For this reason, monitoring of the blood glucose level is recommended as a precautionary measure during concomitant therapy.

Quinolone antibacterials.

There have been isolated reports of convulsions which may have been due to concomitant use of quinolones and NSAIDs.

Adverse Effects

While not all the reactions listed have been reported specifically with Voltaren Rapid 25, similarities between the NSAIDs as a group require them to be considered a possibility.
Adverse reactions are listed below by system organ class and frequency. Frequencies are defined as: common (≥ 1/100, < 1/10); uncommon (≥ 1/1,000, < 1/100); rare (≥ 1/10,000, < 1/1,000); very rare (< 1/10,000), or not known (cannot be estimated from available data). Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.
The following undesirable effects include those reported with Voltaren Rapid tablets and/or other pharmaceutical forms of diclofenac, with either short-term or long-term use.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders.

Very rare: thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, anaemia (including haemolytic and aplastic anaemia), agranulocytosis, positive Coombs' test.

Immune system disorders.

Rare: hypersensitivity, anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions (including hypotension and shock).
Very rare: angioedema (including face oedema).

Psychiatric disorders.

Very rare: disorientation, depression, insomnia, nightmare, irritability, psychotic disorder.

Nervous system disorders.

Common: headache, dizziness.
Rare: somnolence.
Very rare: paraesthesia, memory impairment, convulsion, anxiety, tremor, meningitis aseptic, dysgeusia, cerebrovascular accident, myoclonic encephalopathy (described in two patients).

Eye disorders.

Very rare: visual impairment, vision blurred, diplopia.

Ear and labyrinth disorders.

Common: vertigo.
Very rare: tinnitus, hearing impaired.

Cardiac disorders.

Uncommon*: myocardial infarction, cardiac failure, palpitations, chest pain.
* The frequency reflects data from long-term treatment with a high dose (150 mg/day).

Vascular disorders.

Very rare: hypertension, vasculitis.

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders.

Rare: asthma (including dyspnoea).
Very rare: pneumonitis.

Gastrointestinal disorders.

Common: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, flatulence, decreased appetite.
Rare: gastritis, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, haematemesis, diarrhoea haemorrhagic, melaena, gastrointestinal ulcer (with or without bleeding or perforation).
Very rare: colitis (including haemorrhagic colitis and exacerbation of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), constipation, stomatitis, glossitis, oesophageal disorder, intestinal diaphragm disease, pancreatitis.

Hepatobiliary disorders.

Common: transaminases increased.
Rare: hepatitis, jaundice, liver disorder.
Very rare: hepatitis fulminant, hepatic necrosis, hepatic failure.

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders.

Common: rash.
Rare: urticaria.
Very rare: dermatitis bullous, eczema, erythema, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell's syndrome), dermatitis exfoliative, alopecia, photosensitivity reaction, purpura, Henoch-Schonlein purpura, pruritus.

Renal and urinary disorders.

Very rare: renal failure acute, haematuria, proteinuria, nephrotic syndrome, tubulointerstitial nephritis, renal papillary necrosis.

General disorders and administration site conditions.

Rare: oedema.
Very rare: impotence (association with Voltaren Rapid intake is doubtful).

Description of selected adverse drug reactions.

Arteriothrombotic events.

Meta-analysis and pharmacoepidemiological data point towards a small increased risk of arterial thrombotic events (for example myocardial infarction) associated with the use of diclofenac, particularly at high dose (150 mg daily) and during long-term treatment (see Precautions).

Dosage and Administration

After assessing the risk/benefit ratio in each individual patient, the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration should be used. Adverse effects may be minimised by using the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration necessary to control symptoms (see Precautions).
The tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water, and must not be divided or chewed. It is preferable to take the tablets before meals. (see Pharmacokinetics, Absorption).

Adults and children aged 14 years and over.

Voltaren Rapid 25 should not be used for more than a few days at a time unless on medical advice, in which case the patient should be reviewed regularly with regards to efficacy, risk factors and ongoing need for treatment.
As a rule, the initial daily dosage for adults is 100 to 150 mg. In milder cases, as well as for children over 14 years of age, 75 to 100 mg daily is usually sufficient. The daily dosage should generally be taken in 2 or 3 fractional doses.
In migraine, an initial dose of 50 mg should be taken at the first signs of an impending attack. If the pain is not relieved within 2 hours of this initial dose, a further dose of 50 mg may be taken. If needed, further doses of 50 mg may be taken at intervals of 4-6 hours. The total dose to treat an acute migraine should not exceed 200 mg. The total daily dose should not exceed 200 mg. Diclofenac potassium should not be used for migraine prophylaxis.
In primary dysmenorrhoea, initially a dose of 50 or 100 mg should be given followed by 50 mg three times daily for 3 days. Treatment should be started upon appearance of the first symptoms and, depending on their duration and severity, continued for a few days.

Children under 14 years of age.

Voltaren Rapid 25 is not recommended for use in children under 14 years of age.

Overdosage

Symptoms.

There is no typical clinical picture resulting from an overdosage of diclofenac. Overdose can cause symptoms such as vomiting, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, diarrhoea, dizziness, tinnitus or convulsions. In the event of significant poisoning, acute renal failure and liver damage are possible.

Treatment.

For further information on the management of overdose, contact the Poison Information Centre (Australia 131 126).
Management of acute poisoning with NSAIDs, including diclofenac, consists essentially of supportive and symptomatic measures.
The therapeutic measures to be taken in cases of overdosage are as follows:
Activated charcoal may reduce absorption of the medicine if given within 1 or 2 hours after ingestion. In patients who are not fully conscious or have impaired gag reflex, consideration should be given to administering activated charcoal via nasogastric tube, once the airway is protected. Supportive and symptomatic treatment should be given for complications such as hypotension, renal failure, convulsions, GI disorder and respiratory depression.
Haematological and biochemical parameters, and the presence or absence of blood in the stools, should be monitored.
Specific therapies such as forced diuresis, dialysis or haemoperfusion are probably of no help in eliminating NSAIDs, including diclofenac, because of their high protein binding and extensive metabolism.

Presentation

Light red, round, biconvex sugar-coated tablets containing 25 mg diclofenac potassium per tablet.
Packaged in PVC/Aluminium foil blister packs of 10, 20 and 30 tablets.

Storage

Voltaren Rapid 25 tablets should be protected from heat and moisture and stored below 30°C.

Poison Schedule

S3.