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Hypertension

NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium delayed-release, can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazides diuretics, or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).

Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

Heart Failure and Edema

The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists’ Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalization for heart failure in COX-2 selective- treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.

Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of diclofenac may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).

Avoid the use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If diclofenac sodium delayed-release is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.

Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia

Renal Toxicity

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of diclofenac sodium delayed-release may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with pre-existing renal disease.

Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating diclofenac sodium delayed-release. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions). Avoid the use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If diclofenac sodium delayed-release is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.

Hyperkalemia

Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, have been reported with use of NSAIDs, even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic-hypoaldosteronism state.

Anaphylactic Reactions

Diclofenac has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to diclofenac and in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS; Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity).

Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity

A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, diclofenac sodium delayed-release is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). When diclofenac sodium delayed-release is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.

Serious Skin Reactions

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can cause serious skin adverse reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions and to discontinue the use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. Diclofenac sodium delayed-release is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus

Diclofenac may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium delayed-release, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester) (see PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy).

Hematologic Toxicity

Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with diclofenac sodium delayed-release, has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.

NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium delayed-release, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders, concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).

PRECAUTIONS

General

Diclofenac sodium delayed-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 sodium delayed-release in reducing fever and inflammation may diminish the utility of these diagnostic signs in detecting complications of presumed noninfectious, painful conditions.

Information for Patients

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 sodium delayed-release 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 WARNING; Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation).

Hepatotoxicity

Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, pruritus, diarrhea, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms). If these occur, instruct patients to stop diclofenac sodium delayed-release 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).

Anaphylactic Reactions

Inform patients of the signs of an anaphylactic reaction (e.g., 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

Advise patients to stop diclofenac sodium delayed-release immediately if they develop any type of rash and contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible (see WARNINGS; Serious Skin Reactions).

Female Fertility

Advise females of reproductive potential who desire pregnancy that NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium delayed-release, may be associated with a reversible delay in ovulation (see PRECAUTIONS; Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility).

Fetal Toxicity

Inform pregnant women to avoid use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release and other NSAIDs, starting at 30 weeks gestation because of the risk of the premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus (see WARNINGS; Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus).

Avoid Concomitant Use of NSAIDs

Inform patients that the concomitant use of diclofenac sodium delayed-release 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 sodium delayed-release until they talk to their healthcare provider (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).

Masking of Inflammation and Fever

The pharmacological activity of diclofenac sodium delayed-release in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.

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