Generic name: Diclofenac sodium.

Other brand name: Cataflam (diclofenac potassium).

Voltaren is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which may trigger pain.

Quick Facts About Voltaren


Used to treat the inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis and spine stiffness). Also used to treat menstrual pain.

Voltaren Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed. May take with food, milk, or an antacid to avoid stomach upset, but may delay onset of relief. Take with a full glass of water, and do not lie down for 20 minutes after taking to prevent upper digestive tract irritation.

  • Usual adult dose: for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis —Voltaren or Cataflam — 100 to 150 milligrams per day divided into smaller doses of 50 milligrams, and taken 2 or 3 times per day. Voltaren — 75 milligrams taken 2 times per day. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis should not exceed 225 milligrams per day. For ankylosing spondylitis — 100 to 125 milligrams per day divided into smaller doses of 25 milligrams, and taken 4 times per day with another 25 milligrams at bedtime if necessary. For menstrual pain — 50 milligrams taken 3 times per day to start, then not to exceed 150 milligrams per day. Some women may be prescribed 100 milligrams to start, followed by 50-milligram doses.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: if taking on a regular basis — take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Voltaren Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

acute kidney failure, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, lung inflammation, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, constipation, cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, indigestion, nausea.

Less common Voltaren side effects: abdominal bleeding; abdominal swelling; fluid retention; gas; itching; peptic ulcers; rash; ringing in ears. Rare side effects: anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction); anemia; anxiety; appetite change; asthma; black stools; blood disorders; bloody diarrhea; blurred vision; changes in taste; colitis; congestive heart failure; decrease in white blood cells; decreased urine production; depression; double vision; drowsiness; dry mouth; hair loss; hearing loss (temporary); hepatitis; high blood pressure; hives; inability to sleep; inflammation of the mouth; irritability; itching; kidney failure; low blood pressure; nosebleed; red or purple skin discoloration; rash; sensitivity to light; skin eruptions; inflammation; scaling or peeling; Stevens-Johnson syndrome (severe skin eruption); swelling of eyelids, lips, and tongue; swelling of the throat due to fluid retention; vague feeling of illness; vision changes: vomiting; yellow eyes and skin.


Inform your doctor before combining Voltaren with:

aspirin; blood thinners such as Coumadin; carteolol (Cartrol); cyclosporine (Sandimmune); digitalis (Lanoxin); diuretics such as Dyazide and Lasix; insulin; oral antidiabetes medications such as Micronase; lithium (Lithonate); methotrexate.

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • Immediately notify your doctor if you experience: nausea, fatigue, lethargy, itching, yellowed eyes and skin, tenderness in upper right area of abdomen, or flu-like symptoms.
  • Ulcers or internal bleeding may occur without warning; doctor should perform regular check-ups.
  • Avoid if sensitive to or allergic to Voltaren or Cataflam, or if you have had asthma attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions caused by aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Use with caution if you have: heart failure, kidney problems, or liver inflammation; may cause inflamed liver.
  • May increase water retention; individuals with high blood pressure should use with caution.


HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Voltaren side effects, please contact your healthcare provider