Biotransformation of diclofenac sodium (Voltaren) in animals and in man. I. Isolation and identification of principal metabolites

Xenobiotica. 1979 Oct;9(10):601-10. doi: 10.3109/00498257909042327.


1. The anti-inflammatory agent diclofenac sodium (o-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino]phenylacetic acid sodium salt) is extensively metabolized by rat, dog, baboon and man. The main metabolites were isolated from the urine of all species and from the bile of rat and dog and identified by spectroscopy. 2. Metabolism involves direct conjugation of the unchanged drug, or oxidation of the aromatic rings usually followed by conjugation. Sites of oxidation are either position 3' or 4' of the dichlorophenyl ring or, alternatively, position 5 of the phenyl ring attached to the acetic acid moiety. 3. In the urine of rat, baboon and man conjugates of the hydroxylated metabolites predominate, but the major metabolite in dog urine is the taurine conjugate of unchanged diclofenac. 4. In the bile of rat and dog, the main metabolite is the ester glucuroniade of unchanged diclofenac.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Biotransformation
  • Diclofenac / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papio
  • Phenylacetates / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity


  • Phenylacetates
  • Diclofenac