DiMentho: Package Insert and Label Information

DIMENTHO- diclofenac sodium 1.5% solution, menthol 10% topical liquid, and kinesiology tape
Levins Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Boxed Warning

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINSTESTINAL EVENTS

See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious

cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use. (5.1)

Diclofenac Sodium is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. (4,5.1)

NSAIDs, cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events. (5.2)

1. Indication & Usage

Diclofenac sodium topical solution is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee(s). (1)

2. Dosage & Administration

2.1 General Dosing Instructions

Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warning and Precautions (5.2) ] For the relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee(s), the recommended dose is 40 drops per knee, 4 times a day.

Apply diclofenac sodium topical solution to clean, dry skin.

To avoid spillage, dispense diclofenac sodium topical solution 10 drops at a time either directly onto the knee or first into the hand and then onto the knee. Spread diclofenac sodium topical solution evenly around front, back and sides of the knee. Repeat this procedure until 40 drops have been applied and the knee is completely covered with solution.

To treat the other knee, if symptomatic, repeat the procedure.

Application of diclofenac sodium topical solution in an amount exceeding or less than the recommended dose has not been studied and is therefore not recommended.

2.2 Special Precautions

Avoid showering/bathing for at least 30 minutes after the application of diclofenac sodium topical solution to the treated knee.

Wash and dry hands after use.

Do not apply diclofenac sodium topical solution to open wounds.

Avoid contact of diclofenac sodium topical solution with eyes and mucous membranes.

Do not apply external heat and/or occlusive dressings to treated knees.

Avoid wearing clothing over the diclofenac sodium topical solution-treated knee(s) until the treated knee is dry.

Protect the treated knee(s) from natural or artificial sunlight.

Wait until the treated area is dry before applying sunscreen, insect repellant, lotion, moisturizer, cosmetics, or other topical medication to the same knee you have just treated with diclofenac sodium topical solution.

Until the treated knee(s) is completely dry, avoid skin-to-skin contact between other people and the treated knee(s).

Do not use combination therapy with diclofenac sodium and an oral NSAID unless the benefit outweighs the risk and conduct periodic laboratory evaluations.

3. Dosage Forms & Strengths

Diclofenac sodium topical solution 1.5% w/w. (4)

4. Contraindications

Diclofenac Sodium is contraindicated in the following patients:

Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to diclofenac or any components of the drug product. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)].

History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)].

In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ].

5. Warnings & 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, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events 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 NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as diclofenac, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

Two large, controlled, clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10 to 14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke [see Contraindications (4) ].

Post-MI Patients

Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.

Avoid the use of diclofenac sodium in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If diclofenac sodium is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration and Perforation

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, 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 occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3 to 6 months, and in about 2 % to 4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.

Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most post-marketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.

Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:

Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.

Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.

Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.

Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.

If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue diclofenac sodium until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.

In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

In clinical trials, of oral diclofenac-containing products, meaningful elevations (i.e., more than 3 times the ULN) of AST (SGOT) were observed in about 2% of approximately 5,700 patients at some time during diclofenac treatment (ALT was not measured in all studies).

In a large, open-label, controlled trial of 3,700 patients treated with oral diclofenac for 2 to 6 months, patients were monitored first at 8 weeks and 1,200 patients were monitored again at 24 weeks. Meaningful elevations of ALT and/or AST occurred in about 4% of 3,700 patients and included marked elevations (greater than 8 times the ULN) in about 1% of the 3,700 patients. In that open-label study, a higher incidence of borderline (less than 3 times the ULN), moderate (3 to 8 times the ULN), and marked (greater than 8 times the ULN) elevations of ALT or AST was observed in patients receiving diclofenac when compared to other NSAIDs. Elevations in transaminases were seen more frequently in patients with osteoarthritis than in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

Almost all meaningful elevations in transaminases were detected before patients became symptomatic. Abnormal tests occurred during the first 2 months of therapy with diclofenac in 42 of the 51 patients in all trials who developed marked transaminase elevations.

In post-marketing reports, cases of drug-induced hepatotoxicity have been reported in the first month, and in some cases, the first 2 months of therapy, but can occur at any time during treatment with diclofenac. Post-marketing surveillance has reported cases of severe hepatic reactions, including liver necrosis, jaundice, fulminant hepatitis with and without jaundice, and liver failure. Some of these reported cases resulted in fatalities or liver transplantation.

In a European retrospective population-based, case-controlled study, 10 cases of diclofenac associated drug-induced liver injury with current use compared with non-use of diclofenac were associated with a statistically significant 4-fold adjusted odds ratio of liver injury. In this particular study, based on an overall number of 10 cases of liver injury associated with diclofenac, the adjusted odds ratio increased further with female gender, doses of 150 mg or more, and duration of use for more than 90 days.

Physicians should measure transaminases at baseline and periodically in patients receiving long-term therapy with diclofenac, because severe hepatotoxicity may develop without a prodrome of distinguishing symptoms. The optimum times for making the first and subsequent transaminase measurements are not known. Based on clinical trial data and post-marketing experiences, transaminases should be monitored within 4 to 8 weeks after initiating treatment with diclofenac. However, severe hepatic reactions can occur at any time during treatment with diclofenac.

If abnormal liver tests persist or worsen, if clinical signs and/or symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, etc.), diclofenac sodium should be discontinued immediately.

Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), discontinue diclofenac sodium immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse liver-related event in patients treated with diclofenac sodium, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Exercise caution when prescribing diclofenac sodium with concomitant drugs that are known to be potentially hepatotoxic (e.g., acetaminophen, antibiotics, antiepileptics).

5.4 Hypertension

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can lead to new onset of hypertension, or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Monitor blood pressure (BP) closely during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

5.5 Heart Failure and Edema

The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists’ Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.

Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of diclofenac may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Avoid the use of diclofenac sodium in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If diclofenac sodium is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.

5.6 Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia

Renal Toxicity

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.

Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy was usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of diclofenac sodium in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of diclofenac sodium may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with preexisting renal disease.

Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating diclofenac sodium. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of diclofenac sodium [see Drug Interactions (7) ]. Avoid the use of diclofenac sodium in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If diclofenac sodium is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.

Hyperkalemia

Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, have been reported with use of NSAIDs, even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic-hypoaldosteronism state.

5.7 Anaphylactic Reactions

Diclofenac has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to diclofenac and in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma (see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]. Seek emergency help if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.

5.8 Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity

A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, diclofenac sodium is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. When diclofenac sodium is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.

5.9 Serious Skin Reactions

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can cause serious skin adverse reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of diclofenac sodium at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. Diclofenac sodium is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see Contraindications (4)].

Do not apply diclofenac sodium to open skin wounds, infections, inflammations, or exfoliative dermatitis, as it may affect absorption and tolerability of the drug.

5.10 Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus

Diclofenac may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.11 Hematologic Toxicity

Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with diclofenac sodium has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.

NSAIDs, including diclofenac sodium, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders, concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

The effects of diclofenac sodium on platelet function were studied in 10 healthy subjects administered 80 drops four times a day for 7 days. There was no significant change in platelet aggregation following one week of treatment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12)].

5.12 Masking of Inflammation and Fever

The pharmacological activity of diclofenac sodium in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.

5.13 Laboratory Monitoring

Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3, 5.6)].

5.14 Sun Exposure

Instruct patients to avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight on treated knee(s) because studies in animals indicated topical diclofenac treatment resulted in an earlier onset of ultraviolet light-induced skin tumors. The potential effects of diclofenac sodium on skin response to ultraviolet damage in humans are not known.

5.15 Eye Exposure

Avoid contact of diclofenac sodium with eyes and mucosa. Advise patients that if eye contact occurs, immediately wash out the eye with water or saline and consult a physician if irritation persists for more than an hour.

5.16 Oral Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Concomitant use of oral NSAIDs with diclofenac sodium resulted in a higher rate of rectal hemorrhage, more frequent abnormal creatinine, urea and hemoglobin. Therefore, do not use combination therapy with diclofenac sodium and an oral NSAID unless the benefit outweighs the risk and conduct periodic laboratory evaluations.

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