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Diclofenac (Volteran Ophthalmic®)

By: Dr. Rhea Morgan

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  • Diclofenac sodium is a topical drug used to treat certain kinds of inflammation within the eye.
  • Diclofenac inhibits the production of prostaglandins. Inhibiting prostaglandin helps decrease the inflammatory response in the eye.
  • Diclofenac belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Diclofenac is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Volteran Ophthalmic® 0.1% (CIBA Vision)
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Diclofenac

  • Diclofenac is used in the treatment of certain types of anterior uveitis and iritis.
  • The drug may be particularly useful in the control of chronic uveitis where long-term usage of topical corticosteroids may produce undesirable side effects. Examples include chronic anterior uveitis in cats, lens-induced uveitis in dogs, and any chronic uveitis in animals with diabetes mellitus.
  • Diclofenac may also be used as a preoperative and postoperative anti-inflammatory agent, especially to combat uveitis associated with eye surgery.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, diclofenac can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Diclofenac should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug, or to any of the topical or systemic NSAIDs.
  • With any NSAID, there is the potential for increased bleeding due to their affect on platelet aggregation.
  • The drug should not be used in the presence of an eye hemorrhage or systemic clotting abnormalities. It may potentially increase bleeding tendencies during eye surgery when used preoperatively.
  • Diclofenac delays wound healing and should be avoided if corneal ulceration is present. It should be used cautiously during the active wound-healing phase following eye surgery.
  • It should not be used in cases of glaucoma, and careful monitoring of pressure within the eye is indicated during administration.
  • Diclofenac may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is taking could interact with diclofenac. Such drugs may include corticosteroids.

    How Diclofenac Is Supplied

  • Diclofenac is available as a 0.1% solution in 2.5 ml and 5 ml bottles.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Diclofenac is usually administered 2 to 3 times daily for the treatment of active uveitis and 1 to 2 times daily for the control of chronic uveitis.
  • As an adjunctive therapy to intraocular surgery, diclofenac may be administered 2 to 3 times daily in the two days prior to surgery, or for 2 to 3 doses just prior to surgery. It may then be continued for several days after surgery.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.

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