Long-term carcinogenicity studies in rats given diclofenac sodium up to 2 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.1 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of diclofenac potassium tablets, 200 mg/day, based on body surface area (BSA) comparison) have revealed no significant increase in tumor incidence. A 2-year carcinogenicity study conducted in mice employing diclofenac sodium at doses up to 0.3 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.007 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison) in males and 1 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.02 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison) in females did not reveal any oncogenic potential.
Diclofenac sodium did not show mutagenic activity in in vitro point mutation assays in mammalian (mouse lymphoma) and microbial (yeast, Ames) test systems and was nonmutagenic in several mammalian in vitro and in vivo tests, including dominant lethal and male germinal epithelial chromosomal studies in mice, and nucleus anomaly and chromosomal aberration studies in Chinese hamsters.
Impairment of Fertility
Diclofenac sodium administered to male and female rats at 4 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.2 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison) did not affect fertility.
Based on the mechanism of action, the use of prostaglandin-mediated NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium tablets, may delay or prevent rupture of ovarian follicles, which has been associated with reversible infertility in some women. Published animal studies have shown that administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors has the potential to disrupt prostaglandin-mediated follicular rupture required for ovulation. Small studies in women treated with NSAIDs have also shown a reversible delay in ovulation. Consider withdrawal of NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium tablets, in women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility.
Use of NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium tablets can cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus and fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios and, in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. Because of these risks, limit dose and duration of diclofenac potassium tablets use between about 20 and 30 weeks of gestation, and avoid diclofenac potassium tablets use at about 30 weeks of gestation and later in pregnancy (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity).
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus
Use of NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium tablets, at about 30 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy increases the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment
Use of NSAIDs at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy has been associated with cases of fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios, and in some cases, neonatal renal impairment.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of diclofenac potassium tablets in pregnant women.
Data from observational studies regarding potential embryofetal risks of NSAID use in women in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy are inconclusive. In animal reproduction studies, no evidence of teratogenicity was observed in mice, rats, or rabbits given diclofenac during the period of organogenesis at doses up to approximately 0.5, 0.5, and 1 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of diclofenac potassium tablets, despite the presence of maternal and fetal toxicity at these doses (see Data).
Based on published animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors, such as diclofenac, resulted in increased pre-and postimplantation loss. Prostaglandins also have been shown to have an important role in fetal kidney development. In published animal studies, prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors have been reported to impair kidney development when administered at clinically relevant doses.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population(s) is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Avoid use of NSAIDs in women at about 30 weeks gestation and later in pregnancy, because NSAIDs, including diclofenac potassium tablets, can cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity).
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
If an NSAID is necessary at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy, limit the use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. If diclofenac potassium tablets treatment extends beyond 48 hours, consider monitoring with ultrasound for oligohydramnios. If oligohydramnios occurs, discontinue diclofenac potassium tablets and follow up according to clinical practice (see WARNINGS; Fetal Toxicity).
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Published literature reports that the use of NSAIDs at about 30 weeks of gestation and later in pregnancy may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
Published studies and postmarketing reports describe maternal NSAID use at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy associated with fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios, and in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. These adverse outcomes are seen, on average, after days to weeks of treatment, although oligohydramnios has been infrequently reported as soon as 48 hours after NSAID initiation. In many cases, but not all, the decrease in amniotic fluid was transient and reversible with cessation of the drug. There have been a limited number of case reports of maternal NSAID use and neonatal renal dysfunction without oligohydramnios, some of which were irreversible. Some cases of neonatal renal dysfunction required treatment with invasive procedures, such as exchange transfusion or dialysis.
Methodological limitations of these postmarketing studies and reports include lack of a control group; limited information regarding dose, duration, and timing of drug exposure; and concomitant use of other medications. These limitations preclude establishing a reliable estimate of the risk of adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes with maternal NSAID use. Because the published safety data on neonatal outcomes involved mostly preterm infants, the generalizability of certain reported risks to the full-term infant exposed to NSAIDs through maternal use is uncertain.
Reproductive and developmental studies in animals demonstrated that diclofenac sodium administration during organogenesis did not produce teratogenicity despite the induction of maternal toxicity and fetal toxicity in mice at oral doses up to 20 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.5 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] of diclofenac potassium tablets, 200 mg/day, based on body surface area (BSA) comparison), and in rats and rabbits at oral doses up to 10 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.5 and 1 times, respectively, the MRHD based on BSA comparison). In a study in which pregnant rats were orally administered 2 or 4 mg/kg diclofenac (0.1 and 0.2 times the MRHD based on BSA) from Gestation Day 15 through Lactation Day 21, significant maternal toxicity (peritonitis, mortality) was noted. These maternally toxic doses were associated with dystocia, prolonged gestation, reduced fetal weights and growth, and reduced fetal survival. Diclofenac has been shown to cross the placental barrier in mice, rats, and humans.
There are no studies on the effects of diclofenac potassium tablets during labor or delivery. In animal studies, NSAIDS, including diclofenac, inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, cause delayed parturition, and increase the incidence of stillbirth.
Based on available data, diclofenac may be present in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for diclofenac potassium tablets and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the diclofenac potassium tablets or from the underlying maternal condition.
One woman treated orally with a diclofenac salt, 150 mg/day, had a milk diclofenac level of 100 mcg/L, equivalent to an infant dose of about 0.03 mg/kg/day. Diclofenac was not detectable in breast milk in 12 women using diclofenac (after either 100 mg/day orally for 7 days or a single 50 mg intramuscular dose administered in the immediate postpartum period).
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Elderly patients, compared to younger patients, are at greater risk for NSAID-associated serious cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and/or renal adverse reactions, If the anticipated benefit for the elderly patient outweighs these potential risks, start dosing at the low end of the dosing range, and monitor patients for adverse effects (see WARNINGS; Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation, Hepatotoxicity, Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia, PRECAUTIONS; Laboratory Monitoring).
Diclofenac is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, ADVERSE REACTIONS).
The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:
- Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events (see WARNINGS)
- GI Bleeding, Ulceration and Perforation (see WARNINGS)
- Hepatotoxicity (see WARNINGS)
- Hypertension (see WARNINGS)
- Heart Failure and Edema (see WARNINGS)
- Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia (see WARNINGS)
- Anaphylactic Reactions (see WARNINGS)
- Serious Skin Reactions (see WARNINGS)
- Hematologic Toxicity (see WARNINGS)
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
In 718 patients treated for shorter periods, i.e., 2 weeks or less, with diclofenac potassium immediate-release tablets, adverse reactions were reported one-half to one-tenth as frequently as by patients treated for longer periods. In a 6-month, double-blind trial comparing diclofenac potassium tablets (N=196) versus VOLTRAREN (N=197) versus ibuprofen (N=197), adverse reactions were similar in nature and frequency.
In patients taking diclofenac potassium tablets or other NSAIDs, the most frequently reported adverse experiences occurring in approximately 1% to 10% of patients are:
Gastrointestinal experiences including: abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, gross bleeding/perforation, heartburn, nausea, GI ulcers (gastric/duodenal) and vomiting.
Abnormal renal function, anemia, dizziness, edema, elevated liver enzymes, headaches, increased bleeding time, pruritus, rashes and tinnitus.
Additional adverse experiences reported occasionally include:
Body as a Whole: fever, infection, sepsis
Cardiovascular System: congestive heart failure, hypertension, tachycardia, syncope
Digestive System: dry mouth, esophagitis, gastric/peptic ulcers, gastritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, glossitis, hematemesis, hepatitis, jaundice
Hemic and Lymphatic System: ecchymosis, eosinophilia, leukopenia, melena, purpura, rectal bleeding, stomatitis, thrombocytopenia
Metabolic and Nutritional: weight changes
Nervous System: anxiety, asthenia, confusion, depression, dream abnormalities, drowsiness, insomnia, malaise, nervousness, paresthesia, somnolence, tremors, vertigo
Respiratory System: asthma, dyspnea
Skin and Appendages: alopecia, photosensitivity, sweating increased
Special Senses: blurred vision
Urogenital System: cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, interstitial nephritis, oliguria/polyuria, proteinuria, renal failure
Other adverse reactions, which occur rarely are:
Body as a Whole: anaphylactic reactions, appetite changes, death
Cardiovascular System: arrhythmia, hypotension, myocardial infarction, palpitations, vasculitis
Digestive System: colitis, eructation, fulminant hepatitis with and without jaundice, liver failure, liver necrosis, pancreatitis
Hemic and Lymphatic System: agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia
Metabolic and Nutritional: hyperglycemia
Nervous System: convulsions, coma, hallucinations, meningitis
Respiratory System: respiratory depression, pneumonia
Skin and Appendages: angioedema, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, urticaria
Special Senses: conjunctivitis, hearing impairment
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