Precautions and Warnings With Diclofenac Potassium
- Diclofenac potassium may interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Diclofenac potassium).
To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, it is recommended that people take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Also, call 911 if you notice things such as chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, and slurring of speech.
- All NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium, may worsen high blood pressure or cause high blood pressure. Diclofenac potassium should be used with caution in people with known high blood pressure.
- All NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium, may cause congestive heart failure or swelling. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider if you notice unexplained weight gain or swelling while taking diclofenac potassium. Also, diclofenac potassium should be used with caution in people with heart failure.
- All NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium, have been reported to cause problems in the stomach and intestines, including bleeding (known as gastrointestinal bleeding), stomach ulcers, or holes in the stomach or intestines. These problems can lead to serious complications or even loss of life. Extreme caution should be used if diclofenac potassium is prescribed to people with a history of ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding.
To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, it is recommended that people take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms of stomach ulcers or bleeding, including:
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Black, tarry stools
- Vomiting blood.
People taking NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium, can suffer kidney damage. It is more common in the elderly and people with kidney disease, heart failure, or liver problems. It is also more common in those taking diuretics or ACE inhibitors.
- Liver damage can happen with people taking diclofenac potassium. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice things such as nausea, tiredness, lethargy, itchy or yellowing skin, abdominal pain (or stomach pain), or flu-like symptoms.
- NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium, have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as difficulty breathing and swelling of the face and throat.
- In rare cases, people taking diclofenac potassium can develop a very serious rash. If you notice an unexplained rash or blisters, fever, or itchy skin, stop taking the Diclofenac potassium and call your healthcare provider.
- If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting diclofenac potassium. Alcohol can affect the way the liver works, indirectly affecting the diclofenac potassium.
- NSAIDS have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a blood test that looks at your liver function before starting diclofenac potassium and four to eight weeks after treatment has started.
- Diclofenac potassium has been known to cause anemia. If you are taking diclofenac potassium for an extended amount of time and show signs of anemia, talk to your healthcare provider.
- You should not take diclofenac potassium with any other NSAID because it may increase your risk of any of the problems discussed above. There are many NSAIDs available with or without a prescription -- make sure to read labels carefully. Some examples of NSAIDs include: ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®, Anaprox®, Naprosyn® and Naprelan®), celecoxib (Celebrex®), ketoprofen (Orudis®, Oruvail®), meloxicam (Mobic®), etodolac (Lodine®), and others. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of these medications.
- Diclofenac potassium is a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning that it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. If you are pregnant, you should take diclofenac potassium only if the benefit outweighs the possible risk to your unborn child. Diclofenac potassium is not recommended for women in the third trimester of pregnancy because it can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. If you become pregnant while taking diclofenac potassium, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Diclofenac and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is unknown if diclofenac potassium passes through breast milk (see Diclofenac and Breastfeeding for more information).