Generic Name: Diclofenac

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Pennsaid is a topical (applied onto the skin) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Pennsaid blocks a substance in your body that is involved in causing inflammation and pain.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Pennsaid has been shown to relieve your arthritis symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and stiffness.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you use Pennsaid exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel relief in your arthritis symptoms after you start using Pennsaid. This is a good indicator that the medicine is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Pennsaid may increase the chance of a life-threatening heart attack or stroke. The risk of heart attack or stroke may be increased with longer use and in people who have heart disease. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or slurring of your speech while taking Pennsaid.

    Pennsaid should never be used right before or after a heart surgery called a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).

    Pennsaid can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment. Ulcers and bleeding can be life-threatening and may happen without warning symptoms. The chance of a person getting an ulcer or bleeding increases with longer use, smoking, drinking alcohol, older age, having poor health, and if you are taking medicines called corticosteroids (such as prednisone) or blood thinners (such as warfarin). Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop stomach pain, indigestion, bloody or tarry stools, or you vomit blood while taking Pennsaid.

    More common side effects may include: dry skin.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Liver problems with symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, weakness, itching, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, right upper stomach pain, and flu-like symptoms.

    Serious allergic reactions with symptoms such as skin rash, blisters, fever, itching, trouble breathing, or swelling of your face or throat.

    Pennsaid may cause high blood pressure, kidney problems, anemia (low red blood cell counts), or unexplained weight gain or swelling.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Pennsaid if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not use Pennsaid if you have had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction with aspirin or any other NSAID (such as ibuprofen or naproxen).

    Do not use Pennsaid for pain right before or after a heart bypass surgery.

    Do not use Pennsaid during the late stages of your pregnancy.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Pennsaid. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma; high blood pressure; heart failure; kidney or liver problems; a history of ulcers or bleeding in your stomach or intestines; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 40 drops on the affected knee 4 times a day.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Use Pennsaid exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Apply Pennsaid to clean, dry skin.

    Apply Pennsaid 10 drops at a time, either directly onto your knee or on your hand to apply it onto your knee.

    Spread Pennsaid evenly around the front, back, and sides of your knee. Repeat this procedure until 40 drops have been applied and your knee is completely covered with the medicine.

    Wash and dry your hands after using Pennsaid.

    Wait until the treated area is dry before applying sunscreen, insect repellant, lotion, moisturizer, cosmetics, or another medicine.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not take other NSAIDs or acetaminophen in combination with Pennsaid without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Do not apply Pennsaid to open wounds.

    Do not apply heat or bandages to the treated knee.

    Do not shower or take a bath for at least 30 minutes after applying Pennsaid.

    Do not wear clothing over the treated knee until the knee is dry.

    Do not apply Pennsaid into your eyes.

    Do not expose the treated knee to sunlight.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Pennsaid is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Pennsaid with the following: acetaminophen, aspirin, blood pressure/heart medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (such as lisinopril and enalapril), blood thinners (such as warfarin), certain antibiotics, cyclosporine, lithium, methotrexate, seizure medicines (such as phenytoin), or water pills (such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not use Pennsaid if you are in the late stage of your pregnancy (>30 weeks). The effects of Pennsaid during early pregnancy are unknown. Pennsaid may be found in your breast milk if you use it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are using Pennsaid. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Pennsaid, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.