Diclofenac potassium immediate-release tablets cannot be expected to substitute for corticosteroids or to treat corticosteroid insufficiency. Abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids may lead to disease exacerbation. Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should have their therapy tapered slowly if a decision is made to discontinue corticosteroids and the patient should be observed closely for any evidence of adverse effects, including adrenal insufficiency and exacerbation of symptoms of arthritis.
The pharmacological activity of diclofenac potassium tablets in reducing fever and inflammation may diminish the utility of these diagnostic signs in detecting complications of presumed noninfectious, painful conditions.
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide) that accompanies each prescription dispensed. Inform patients, families, or their caregivers of the following information before initiating therapy with diclofenac potassium tablets and periodically during the course of ongoing therapy.
Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Advise patients to be alert for the symptoms of cardiovascular thrombotic events, including chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or slurring of speech, and to report any of these symptoms to their healthcare provider immediately (see WARNINGS; Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events).
Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation
Advise patients to report symptoms of ulcerations and bleeding, including epigastric pain, dyspepsia, melena, and hematemesis to their health care provider. In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, inform patients of the increased risk for the signs and symptoms of GI bleeding (see WARNINGS; Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation).
Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (eg, nausea, fatigue, lethargy, pruritus, diarrhea, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms). If these occur, instruct patients to stop diclofenac potassium tablets and seek immediate medical therapy (see WARNINGS; Hepatotoxicity).
Heart Failure and Edema
Advise patients to be alert for the symptoms of congestive heart failure including shortness of breath, unexplained weight gain, or edema and to contact their healthcare provider if such symptoms occur (see WARNINGS; Heart Failure and Edema).
Inform patients of the signs of an anaphylactic reaction (eg, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat). Instruct patients to seek immediate emergency help if these occur (see WARNINGS; Anaphylactic Reactions).
Serious Skin Reactions , Including DRESS
Advise patients to stop diclofenac potassium tablets immediately if they develop any type of rash or fever and contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible (see WARNINGS; Serious Skin Reactions).
Advise females of reproductive potential who desire pregnancy that NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium tablets, may be associated with a reversible delay in ovulation (see PRECAUTIONS; Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility).
Inform pregnant women to avoid use of diclofenac potassium tablets and other NSAIDs, starting at 30 weeks gestation because of the risk of the premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. If treatment with diclofenac potassium tablets is needed for a pregnant woman between about 20 to 30 weeks gestation, advise her that she may need to be monitored for oligohydramnios, if treatment continues for longer than 48 hours (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity, PRECAUTIONS, Pregnancy).
Avoid Concomitant Use of NSAIDs
Inform patients that the concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets with other NSAIDs or salicylates (e.g., diflunisal, salsalate) is not recommended due to the increased risk of gastrointestinal toxicity, and little or no increase in efficacy (see WARNINGS; Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation and Drug Interactions). Alert patients that NSAIDs may be present in “over the counter” medications for treatment of colds, fever, or insomnia.
Use of NSAIDS and Low-Dose Aspirin
Inform patients not to use low-dose aspirin concomitantly with diclofenac potassium tablets until they talk to their healthcare provider (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).
Masking of Inflammation and Fever
The pharmacological activity of diclofenac potassium tablets in reducing fever and inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of these diagnostic signs in detecting infections.
Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically (see WARNINGS; Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration and Perforation, and Hepatotoxicity).
See Table 2 for clinically significant drug interactions with diclofenac. Table 2: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with Diclofenac
|Drugs That Interfere with Hemostasis|
|Clinical Impact:|| |
|Intervention:||Monitor patients with concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets with anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin), antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for signs of bleeding (see WARNINGS; Hematologic Toxicity).|
|Clinical Impact:||Controlled clinical studies showed that the concomitant use of NSAIDs and analgesic doses of aspirin does not produce any greater therapeutic effect than the use of NSAIDs alone. In a clinical study, the concomitant use of an NSAID and aspirin was associated with a significantly increased incidence of GI adverse reactions as compared to use of the NSAID alone (see WARNINGS; Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation).|
|Intervention:||Concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and analgesic doses of aspirin is not generally recommended because of the increased risk of bleeding (see WARNINGS; Hematological Toxicity). Diclofenac potassium tablets are not a substitute for low dose aspirin for cardiovascular protection.|
|ACE Inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, and Beta-Blockers|
|Clinical Impact:|| |
|Clinical Impact:||Clinical studies, as well as post-marketing observations, showed that NSAIDs reduced the natriuretic effect of loop diuretics (e.g., furosemide) and thiazide diuretics in some patients. This effect has been attributed to the NSAID inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis.|
|Intervention:||During concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets with diuretics, observe patients for signs of worsening renal function, in addition to assuring diuretic efficacy including antihypertensive effects (see WARNINGS; Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia)|
|Clinical Impact:||The concomitant use of diclofenac with digoxin has been reported to increase the serum concentration and prolong the half-life of digoxin.|
|Intervention:||During concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and digoxin, monitor serum digoxin levels.|
|Clinical Impact:||NSAIDs have produced elevations in plasma lithium levels and reductions in renal lithium clearance. The mean minimum lithium concentration increased 15%, and the renal clearance decreased by approximately 20%. This effect has been attributed to NSAID inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis.|
|Intervention:||During concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and lithium, monitor patients for signs of lithium toxicity.|
|Clinical Impact:||Concomitant use of NSAIDs and methotrexate may increase the risk for methotrexate toxicity (e.g., neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, renal dysfunction).|
|Intervention:||During concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and methotrexate, monitor patients for methotrexate toxicity.|
|Clinical Impact:||Concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and cyclosporine may increase cyclosporine’s nephrotoxicity.|
|Intervention:||During concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and cyclosporine, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.|
|NSAIDs and Salicylates|
|Clinical Impact:||Concomitant use of diclofenac with other NSAIDs or salicylates (e.g., diflunisal, salsalate) increases the risk of GI toxicity, with little or no increase in efficacy (see WARNINGS; Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation).|
|Intervention:||The concomitant use of diclofenac with other NSAIDs or salicylates is not recommended.|
|Clinical Impact:||Concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and pemetrexed may increase the risk of pemetrexed-associated myelosuppression, renal, and GI toxicity (see the pemetrexed prescribing information).|
|Intervention:||During concomitant use of diclofenac potassium tablets and pemetrexed, in patients with renal impairment whose creatinine clearance ranges from 45 to 79 mL/min, monitor for myelosuppression, renal and GI toxicity. NSAIDs with short elimination half-lives (e.g., diclofenac, indomethacin) should be avoided for a period of two days before, the day of, and two days following administration of pemetrexed. In the absence of data regarding potential interaction between pemetrexed and NSAIDs with longer half-lives (e.g., meloxicam, nabumetone), patients taking these NSAIDs should interrupt dosing for at least five days before, the day of, and two days following pemetrexed administration.|
|CYP2C9 Inhibitors or Inducers|
|Clinical Impact:||Diclofenac is metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes, predominantly by CYP2C9. Co-administration of diclofenac with CYP2C9 inhibitors (e.g. voriconazole) may enhance the exposure and toxicity of diclofenac whereas coadministration with CYP2C9 inducers (e.g. rifampin) may lead to compromised efficacy of diclofenac.|
|Intervention:||A dosage adjustment may be warranted when diclofenac is administered with CYP2C9 inhibitors or inducers (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY; Pharmacokinetics).|
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