Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Absorption: Diclofenac gel is intended to be used on the surface of intact, uninfected skin. This minimizes the amount of diclofenac that may be absorbed into your body. However, when it is used for a longer than recommended length of time, or applied to a large area of the body, enough medication may be absorbed to cause side effects similar to diclofenac that is taken by mouth.
Asthma: As with other anti-inflammatory medications, rarely, diclofenac gel can cause difficulty breathing. If you have asthma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you have any unusual difficulty breathing while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Some people have reported headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion while using this medication. Avoid operating motor vehicles and doing other potentially hazardous activities until you have determined the effect this medication has on you.
Infection: This medication may mask some of the signs of infection, such as fever.
Peptic ulcers: If you have stomach or intestinal ulcers or a history of them, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Sun sensitivity: This medication may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. While you are using this medication, avoid excessive sun exposure, including tanning beds and sun lamps. If you experience sunburn with itching, swelling, and blistering, stop using this medication and contact your doctor.
Vision: Other medications in the same family as diclofenac may cause vision changes such as blurred or decreased vision. If you notice vision changes, stop using the medication and check with your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if diclofenac topical gel passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 16 years of age.