VAROPHEN- diclofenac sodium and menthol, methyl salicylate
V2 Pharma, LLC
Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation
• NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Diclofenac sodium topical solution is indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee(s) (1).
Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warning and Precautions (5.2)]
For the relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee(s), the recommended dose is 40 drops per knee, 4 times a day.
Apply diclofenac sodium topical solution to clean, dry skin.
To avoid spillage, dispense diclofenac sodium topical solution 10 drops at a time either directly onto the knee or first into the hand and then onto the knee. Spread diclofenac sodium topical solution evenly around front, back and sides of the knee. Repeat this procedure until 40 drops have been applied and the knee is completely covered with solution.
To treat the other knee, if symptomatic, repeat the procedure.
Application of diclofenac sodium topical solution in an amount exceeding or less than the recommended dose has not been studied and is therefore not recommended.
- Avoid showering/bathing for at least 30 minutes after the application of diclofenac sodium topical solution to the treated knee.
- Wash and dry hands after use.
- Do not apply diclofenac sodium topical solution to open wounds.
- Avoid contact of diclofenac sodium topical solution with eyes and mucous membranes.
- Do not apply external heat and/or occlusive dressings to treated knees.
- Avoid wearing clothing over the diclofenac sodium topical solution-treated knee(s) until the treated knee is dry.
- Protect the treated knee(s) from natural or artificial sunlight.
- Wait until the treated area is dry before applying sunscreen, insect repellant, lotion, moisturizer, cosmetics, or other topical medication to the same knee you have just treated with diclofenac sodium topical solution.
Until the treated knee(s) is completely dry, avoid skin-to-skin contact between other people and the treated knee(s).
- Do not use combination therapy with diclofenac sodium topical solution and an oral NSAID unless the benefit outweighs the risk and conduct periodic laboratory evaluations.
Diclofenac sodium topical solution: 1.5% w/w
Diclofenac sodium topical solution is contraindicated in the following patients:
- Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to diclofenac sodium or any components of the drug product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)].
- History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)].
- In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NASAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.
There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as diclofenac, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Two large, controlled, clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10 to 14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke [see Contraindications (4)].
Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.
Avoid the use of diclofenac sodium topical solution in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If diclofenac sodium topical solution is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.
NSAIDs, including diclofenac, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3 to 6 months, and in about 2% to 4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.
Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation
Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients.
Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.
Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients
- Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
- Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
- Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
- Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
- If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue diclofenac sodium topical solution until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
- In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].
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