Pregnancy Category C prior to 30 weeks gestation; Category D starting 30 weeks gestation.
Use of NSAIDs, including Diclofenac Capsules, during the third trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including Diclofenac Capsules, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester).
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Diclofenac Capsules in pregnant women. Data from observational studies regarding potential embryofetal risks of NSAID use in women in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy are inconclusive. In the general U.S. population, all clinically recognized pregnancies, regardless of drug exposure, have a background rate of 2-4% for major malformations, and 15-20% for pregnancy loss.
In animal reproduction studies, no evidence of teratogenicity was observed in mice, rats, and rabbits given diclofenac during the period of organogenesis at doses approximately 1, 1, and 2 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of Diclofenac Capsules despite the presence of maternal and fetal toxicity at these doses [see Data]. Based on animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors such as diclofenac, resulted in increased pre- and post-implantation loss.
Labor or Delivery
There are no studies on the effects of Diclofenac Capsules during labor or delivery. In animal studies, NSAIDs, including diclofenac, inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, cause delayed parturition, and increase the incidence of stillbirth.
Reproductive and developmental studies in animals demonstrated that diclofenac sodium administration during organogenesis did not produce teratogenicity despite the induction of maternal toxicity and fetal toxicity in mice at oral doses up to 20 mg/kg/day (approximately equivalent to the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] of Diclofenac Capsules, 105 mg/day, based on body surface area (BSA) comparison), and in rats and rabbits at oral doses up to 10 mg/kg/day (approximately 1 and 2 times, respectively, the MRHD based on BSA comparison). In rats, maternally toxic doses were associated with dystocia, prolonged gestation, reduced fetal weights and growth, and reduced fetal survival. Diclofenac has been shown to cross the placental barrier in mice, rats, and humans.
Based on available data, diclofenac may be present in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Diclofenac Capsules and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the Diclofenac Capsules or from the underlying maternal condition.
One woman treated orally with a diclofenac salt, 150 mg/day, had a milk diclofenac level of 100 mcg/L, equivalent to an infant dose of about 0.03 mg/kg/day. Diclofenac was not detectable in breast milk in 12 women using diclofenac (after either 100 mg/day orally for 7 days or a single 50 mg intramuscular dose administered in the immediate postpartum period).
Based on the mechanism of action, the use of prostaglandin-mediated NSAIDs, including Diclofenac Capsules, may delay or prevent rupture of ovarian follicles, which has been associated with reversible infertility in some women. Published animal studies have shown that administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors has the potential to disrupt prostaglandin-mediated follicular rupture required for ovulation. Small studies in women treated with NSAIDs have also shown a reversible delay in ovulation. Consider withdrawal of NSAIDs, including Diclofenac Capsules, in women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility.
The safety and effectiveness of Diclofenac Capsules in pediatric patients has not been established.
Elderly patients, compared to younger patients, are at greater risk for NSAID-associated serious cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and/or renal adverse reactions. If the anticipated benefit for the elderly patient outweighs these potential risks, start dosing at the low end of the dosing range, and monitor patients for adverse effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.13)].
Diclofenac is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
Symptoms following acute NSAID overdosages have been typically limited to lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and epigastric pain, which have been generally reversible with supportive care. Gastrointestinal bleeding has occurred. Hypertension, acute renal failure, respiratory depression, and coma have occurred, but were rare [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6)].
Manage patients with symptomatic and supportive care following an NSAID overdosage. There are no specific antidotes. Consider emesis and/or activated charcoal (60 to 100 grams in adults, 1 to 2 grams per kg of body weight in pediatric patients) and/or osmotic cathartic in symptomatic patients seen within four hours of ingestion or in patients with a large overdosage (5 to 10 times the recommended dosage). Forced diuresis, alkalinization of urine, hemodialysis, or hemoperfusion may not be useful due to high protein binding.
For additional information about overdosage treatment contact a poison control center (1-800-222-1222).
Diclofenac Capsules are a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, available as hard gelatin capsules of 18 mg and 35 mg for oral administration. The chemical name is 2-[(2, 6-dichlorophenyl) amino] benzeneacetic acid. The molecular weight is 296.15. Its molecular formula is C14 H1 1Cl2 NO2 , and it has the following chemical structure.
Diclofenac acid is a white to slight yellowish crystalline powder. Diclofenac acid has a pKa of 4.18 and a logP of 3.03. It is practically insoluble in water and sparingly soluble in ethanol.
The inactive ingredients in Diclofenac Capsules include a combination of lactose monohydrate, sodium lauryl sulfate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium and sodium stearyl fumarate. The capsule shells contain gelatin, titanium dioxide, and dyes FD&C blue #1, FD&C blue #2, FDA/E172 Yellow Iron Oxide and FDA/E172 Black Iron Oxide. The imprinting on the gelatin capsules is white edible ink. The 18 mg capsules have a blue body imprinted with IP-203 and light green cap imprinted with 18 mg in white ink. The 35 mg capsules have a blue body imprinted with IP-204 and green cap imprinted with 35 mg in white ink.
Diclofenac has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties.
The mechanism of action of Diclofenac Capsules, like that of other NSAIDs, is not completely understood but involves inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2).
Diclofenac is a potent inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis in vitro. Diclofenac concentrations reached during therapy have produced in vivo effects. Prostaglandins sensitize afferent nerves and potentiate the action of bradykinin in inducing pain in animal models. Prostaglandins are mediators of inflammation. Because diclofenac is an inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, its mode of action may be due to a decrease of prostaglandins in peripheral tissues.
The relative bioavailability of Diclofenac Capsules 35 mg capsules was compared to diclofenac potassium immediate-release (IR) tablets 50 mg in 39 healthy subjects under fasted and fed conditions in a single-dose crossover study.
Diclofenac Capsules 35 mg capsules do not result in an equivalent systemic exposure to 50 mg diclofenac potassium IR tablets.
When taken under fasted conditions, a 20% lower dose of diclofenac in Diclofenac Capsules resulted in a 23% lower mean systemic exposure (AUCinf ) and a 26% lower mean peak concentration (Cmax ) compared to diclofenac potassium IR tablets. The time to reach peak concentration (Tmax ) was similar for Diclofenac Capsules and diclofenac potassium IR tablets and was ~1 hour for both.
When taken under fed conditions, a 20% lower dose of diclofenac in Diclofenac Capsules resulted in a 23% lower mean systemic exposure (AUCinf ) and a 48% lower mean Cmax compared to diclofenac potassium IR tablets. The Tmax for Diclofenac Capsules was delayed by approximately 1 hour compared to diclofenac potassium IR tablets (3.32 hours vs. 2.33 hours, respectively).
When taken under fed conditions, Diclofenac Capsules resulted in an 11% lower mean systemic exposure (AUCinf ) and a 60% lower mean Cmax compared to fasted conditions. Whereas diclofenac potassium IR tablets under fed conditions resulted in 8% – 10% lower mean systemic exposure (AUCinf ) and 28% – 43% lower mean Cmax compared to fasted conditions, based on the results from two individual food effect studies. The Tmax for Diclofenac Capsules was delayed by approximately 2.32 hours under fed conditions compared to fasted conditions (3.32 hours vs. 1.00 hour, respectively), while the Tmax for diclofenac potassium IR tablets was delayed by approximately 1.00 – 1.33 hours under fed conditions compared to fasted conditions (1.70 vs. 0.74 hours and 2.33 vs. 1.00 hours, respectively in two studies).
There were no differences in elimination half-life between Diclofenac Capsules and diclofenac potassium IR tablets under fasted or fed conditions.
Diclofenac is 100% absorbed after oral administration compared to IV administration as measured by urine recovery. However, due to first-pass metabolism, only about 50% of the absorbed dose is systemically available. After repeated oral administration, no accumulation of diclofenac in plasma occurred.
Administration of Diclofenac Capsules 18 mg and 35 mg was associated with dose proportional pharmacokinetics.
Taking Diclofenac Capsules with food causes a significant decrease in the rate but not the overall extent of systemic absorption of diclofenac compared with taking Diclofenac Capsules on an empty stomach. Diclofenac Capsules results in 60% lower Cmax , 11% lower AUCinf , and 2.32 hours delayed Tmax (1.0 hour during fasted versus 3.32 hours during fed) under the fed condition compared to the fasted condition. The effectiveness of Diclofenac Capsules when taken with food has not been studied in clinical studies. The decreased Cmax may be associated with decreased effectiveness. Taking Diclofenac Capsules with food may cause a reduction in effectiveness compared to taking Diclofenac Capsules on an empty stomach.
The apparent volume of distribution (V/F) of diclofenac potassium is 1.3 L/kg. Diclofenac is more than 99% bound to human serum proteins, primarily to albumin. Serum protein binding is constant over the concentration range (0.15-105 mg/mL) achieved with recommended doses.
Diclofenac diffuses into and out of the synovial fluid. Diffusion into the joint occurs when plasma levels are higher than those in the synovial fluid, after which the process reverses and synovial fluid levels are higher than plasma levels. It is not known whether diffusion into the joint plays a role in the effectiveness of diclofenac.
Diclofenac is eliminated through metabolism and subsequent urinary and biliary excretion of the glucuronide and the sulfate conjugates of the metabolites. The terminal half-life of unchanged diclofenac is approximately 2 hours.
Five diclofenac metabolites have been identified in human plasma and urine. The metabolites include 4′-hydroxy-, 5-hydroxy-, 3′-hydroxy-, 4′,5-dihydroxy- and 3′-hydroxy-4′-methoxy diclofenac. The major diclofenac metabolite, 4′-hydroxy-diclofenac, has very weak pharmacologic activity. The formation of 4′-hydroxy-diclofenac is primarily mediated by CYP2C9. Both diclofenac and its oxidative metabolites undergo glucuronidation or sulfation followed by biliary excretion. Acylglucuronidation mediated by UGT2B7 and oxidation mediated by CYP2C8 may also play a role in diclofenac metabolism. CYP3A4 is responsible for the formation of minor metabolites, 5-hydroxy and 3′-hydroxy-diclofenac. In patients with renal dysfunction, peak concentrations of metabolites 4′-hydroxy and 5-hydroxy-diclofenac were approximately 50% and 4% of the parent compound after single oral dosing compared to 27% and 1% in normal healthy subjects.
Diclofenac is eliminated through metabolism and subsequent urinary and biliary excretion of the glucuronide and the sulfate conjugates of the metabolites. Little or no free unchanged diclofenac is excreted in the urine. Approximately 65% of the dose is excreted in the urine, and approximately 35% in the bile as conjugates of unchanged diclofenac plus metabolites. Because renal elimination is not a significant pathway of elimination for unchanged diclofenac, dosing adjustment in patients with mild to moderate renal dysfunction is not necessary. The terminal half-life of unchanged diclofenac is approximately 2 hours.
Pediatric: The pharmacokinetics of Diclofenac Capsules has not been investigated in pediatric patients.
Race: Pharmacokinetic differences due to race/ethnicity have not been identified.
Hepatic Impairment: No dedicated diclofenac pharmacokinetics studies in patients with hepatic impairment were conducted. Hepatic metabolism accounts for almost 100% of diclofenac elimination. Therefore, in patients with hepatic impairment, start with the lowest dose and if efficacy is not achieved, consider use of an alternate product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].
Renal Impairment: Diclofenac pharmacokinetics has been investigated in subjects with renal insufficiency. No differences in the pharmacokinetics of diclofenac have been detected in studies of patients with renal impairment. In patients with renal impairment (inulin clearance 60-90, 30-60, and less than 30 mL/min; N=6 in each group), AUC values and elimination rate were comparable to those in healthy subjects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ].
Drug Interaction Studies
Aspirin: When NSAIDs were administered with aspirin, the protein binding of NSAIDs were reduced, although the clearance of free NSAID was not altered. The clinical significance of this interaction is not known. See Table 4 for clinically significant drug interactions of NSAIDs with aspirin [see Drug Interactions (7) ].
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