Indication, Usage, and Important Safety Information



What is PENNSAID® (diclofenac sodium topical solution) 2% w/w?

PENNSAID® (diclofenac sodium topical solution) 2% w/w is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) applied to the skin, used for treating the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee(s).



What is the most important information I should know about PENNSAID?

  • NSAIDs can cause an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with longer use and with increasing doses.
  • NSAIDs can cause an increased risk of bleeding, ulcers, and tears (perforation) of the esophagus, stomach and intestines. These events can occur at any time during use, without warning symptoms and may cause death. Elderly patients and patients with a history of ulcer disease or stomach or intestine bleeding are at greater risk for getting an ulcer or bleeding.
  • You should take PENNSAID exactly as prescribed, at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time needed.


PENNSAID can cause serious side effects. Stop taking PENNSAID and call your doctor or go to your emergency department right away if you get:

  • Difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat. These could be signs of a serious allergic reaction.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness in one part or side of your body, or slurring of speech. These could be signs of a serious blood clotting event.
  • Upper stomach pain, upset stomach, black, tarry stools, or vomiting of blood. These could be signs of an esophagus, stomach, or intestinal ulcer, bleed, or tear. Note: if you are also taking low-dose aspirin, you are at increased risk for esophagus, stomach, or intestinal bleeding.
  • Nausea, more tired or weaker than usual, itching, yellowing of the skin or eyes, right upper abdomen tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms. These could be signs of a liver problem.
  • Shortness of breath, unexplained weight gain, or swelling of the arms, legs, hands or feet. These could be signs of a serious heart problem.
  • Any type of rash. This could be a sign of a serious skin reaction.

These are not all of the possible side effects of PENNSAID. Please talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms that bother you or that do not go away.


Who should not use PENNSAID?

  • are in the hospital for a certain heart surgery called coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
  • know you are allergic to diclofenac or any other ingredient of PENNSAID.
  • have experienced asthma, hives, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Serious allergic reactions to NSAIDs, including death, have been reported in such patients.



How should I use PENNSAID?

PENNSAID is applied directly to the front, back, and sides of your knee(s). Avoid contact of PENNSAID with the eyes, nose, and mouth. If eye contact occurs, immediately wash out the eye with water and contact your health care provider if irritation persists for more than an hour. Avoid skin-to-skin contact between other people and the knee(s) to which PENNSAID was applied until the knee(s) is completely dry. DO NOT apply PENNSAID to open wounds, infections, or rashes.  DO NOT shower for at least 30 minutes after applying PENNSAID or wear clothing over the PENNSAID treated knee(s) until the treated knee(s) is dry. DO wash and dry hands before and after use, protect your treated knee(s) from natural or artificial sunlight, and wait until the treated knee(s) is completely dry before applying sunscreen, insect repellant, lotion, moisturizer, cosmetics, or other topical medication.


What are the possible side effects of PENNSAID?

The most common side effects of PENNSAID are application site reactions, such as dryness, peeling, redness, itching, pain, skin hardening, rash, blisters, and scabbing. Other side effects are bladder infection, bruising, sinus congestion, nausea, upset stomach, stomach pain, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.


What other medications might interact with PENNSAID?

Avoid using PENNSAID while taking other NSAIDs unless your doctor says it is OK. NSAIDs may be present in over-the-counter medications for treatment of colds, fever, or insomnia; refer to the label of over-the-counter medications you are taking or ask your pharmacist. Do not use PENNSAID and low-dose aspirin until you talk to your health care provider. Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take as some medicines can react with NSAIDs and cause serious side effects.


What should I tell my health care provider?

Before starting PENNSAID, tell your health care provider if you have a history of ulcer disease or esophagus, stomach, or intestine bleeding, liver or kidney problems, high blood pressure, asthma, or are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breast feeding. Also tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Do not start taking new medicines without talking to your health care provider first.


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also contact the Horizon Therapeutics Medical Information Department toll-free at 1-866-479-6742 or


The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk about PENNSAID 2% with your health care provider or pharmacist. Click here for the Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide or call 1-866-479-6742.