Skin pretreatment with a microneedle roller (microporation (MP)) appears a simple and inexpensive technique to increase transdermal delivery of topically applied drug products. This study investigates the effect of MP on the passive and iontophoretic delivery of diclofenac (DCF) by quantifying dermis and plasma levels of DCF in a rabbit model. New Zealand albino female rabbits received either: (i) a topical application of 4 g of Voltaren® 1% gel with or without pretreatment with a microroller (0.5 mm needle length; density 23 microneedles per cm(2) area) or (ii) a DCF solution (40 mg/2.5 mL) via iontophoresis (IOMED transQ(E) medium size patch), with or without microroller pretreatment. A 300 µA/cm(2) cathodic current was applied for 20 min for a total of 80 mA. DCF concentrations were monitored in dermis with microdialysis sampling every 20 min for 5 h. Plasma samples were collected over the same period. In the passive delivery studies, microroller pretreatment increased Cmax by 1.5- and 2.0-fold in skin and plasma, respectively, and AUC by 1.5- and 2.4-fold in skin and plasma, respectively. In the iontophoresis delivery studies, microporation increased Cmax by 2.0-fold both in skin and in plasma, and AUC by 1.1- and 1.8-fold in skin and plasma, respectively. In conclusion, microneedle pretreatment increased significantly the systemic exposure of DCF from either passive or iontophoretic delivery, whereas the effect in skin was less pronounced.