Voltaren

VOLTAREN- diclofenac sodium gel
Proficient Rx LP

WARNING: CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINTESTINAL RISK

Cardiovascular Risk

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may increase with duration of use. Patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease may be at greater risk [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
VOLTAREN® GEL is contraindicated for the treatment of peri-operative pain in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Contraindications (4)] [see Contraindications (4)].

Gastrointestinal Risk

NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. Elderly patients are at greater risk for serious gastrointestinal events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] .

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

VOLTAREN® GEL is indicated for the relief of the pain of osteoarthritis of joints amenable to topical treatment, such as the knees and those of the hands.

VOLTAREN® GEL has not been evaluated for use on the spine, hip, or shoulder.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Dosing Card [See the patient Instructions for Use]

The dosing card can be found attached to the inside of the carton.

The proper amount of VOLTAREN® GEL should be measured using the dosing card supplied in the drug product carton. The dosing card is made of clear polypropylene. The dosing card should be used for each application of drug product. The gel should be applied within the oblong area of the dosing card up to the 2 gram or 4 gram line (2 g for each elbow, wrist, or hand, and 4 g for each knee, ankle, or foot). The 2 g line is 2.25 inches long. The 4 g line is 4.5 inches long. The dosing card containing VOLTAREN® GEL can be used to apply the gel. The hands should then be used to gently rub the gel into the skin. After using the dosing card, hold with fingertips, rinse, and dry. If treatment site is the hands, patients should wait at least one (1) hour to wash their hands.

2.2 Lower extremities, including the knees, ankles, and feet

Apply the gel (4 g) to the affected foot or knee or ankle, 4 times daily. VOLTAREN® GEL should be gently massaged into the skin ensuring application to the entire affected foot or knee or ankle. The entire foot includes the sole, top of the foot and the toes. Do not apply more than 16 g daily to any single joint of the lower extremities.

2.3 Upper extremities including the elbows, wrists and hands

Apply the gel (2 g) to the affected hand or elbow or wrist, 4 times daily. VOLTAREN® GEL should be gently massaged into the skin ensuring application to the entire affected hand or elbow or wrist. The entire hand includes the palm, back of the hands, and the fingers. Do not apply more than 8 g daily to any single joint of the upper extremities.
Total dose should not exceed 32 g per day, over all affected joints.

2.4 Special Precautions

Showering/bathing should be avoided for at least 1 hour after the application. Patient should wash his/her hands after use, unless the hands are the treated joint. If VOLTAREN® GEL is applied to the hand(s) for treatment; patient should not wash the treated hand(s) for at least 1 hour after the application.
VOLTAREN® GEL should not be applied to open wounds.
Contact of VOLTAREN® GEL with eyes and mucous membranes should be avoided.
External heat and/or occlusive dressings should not be applied to treated joints.
Exposure of the treated joint(s) to sunlight should be avoided.
Avoid concomitant use of VOLTAREN® GEL on the treated skin with other topical products including sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, insect repellants, or other topical medications [see Drug Interactions (7.9)].
Concomitant use of VOLTAREN® GEL with oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has not been evaluated, and may increase adverse NSAIDs effects.

Wearing of clothing or gloves should be avoided for at least 10 minutes after applying VOLTAREN® GEL.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

1% gel

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

The use of VOLTAREN® GEL is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to diclofenac.
VOLTAREN® GEL should not be administered in patients who have experienced asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, rarely fatal, anaphylactic-like reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
VOLTAREN® GEL is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

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, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. All NSAIDs, both COX-2 selective and nonselective, may have a similar risk. Patients with known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease may be at greater risk. To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in patients treated with NSAIDs, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the signs and/or symptoms of serious CV toxicity 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 NSAIDs use. The concurrent use of aspirin and NSAIDs such as diclofenac, does increase the risk of serious GI events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Two large, controlled, clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10-14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke [see Contraindications (4)].

5.2 Gastrointestinal Effects – Risk of GI Ulceration, Bleeding, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the 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 occur in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3-6 months, and in about 2-4% of patients treated for one year. These trends continue with longer duration of use, increasing the likelihood of developing a serious GI event at some time during the course of therapy. However, even short-term therapy is not without risk.
NSAIDs should be prescribed with extreme caution in patients with a prior history of ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding. Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or gastrointestinal bleeding who use NSAIDs have a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients with neither of these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include concomitant use of oral corticosteroids or anticoagulants, longer duration of NSAIDs therapy, smoking, use of alcohol, older age, and poor general health status. Most spontaneous reports of fatal GI events are in elderly or debilitated patients and therefore special care should be taken in treating this population.
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse GI event, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible duration. Physicians and patients should remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during diclofenac therapy and promptly initiate additional evaluation and treatment if a serious GI adverse event is suspected. For high-risk patients, alternate therapies that do not involve NSAIDs should be considered.

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