OA is the most common type of arthritis. This happens over time due to wear and tear on the joints. This can lead to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
The FDA approved gel can help relieve joint pain due to OA in:
Note that the gel has not been shown to be effective for:
- Sports injuries
The FDA has also approved a 3% dose for non-prescription use in people with actinic keratoses , rough, scaly patches on the skin that can turn cancerous.
Before using Voltaren Gel, check with your doctor to make sure it is suitable for you. You can switch to the gel if the oral form of diclofenac and other NSAIDs upset your stomach or there is a risk of side effects.
Most studies have shown that Voltaren gel can relieve pain just like its oral counterpart, but when using the gel, the risk of serious side effects is much lower. This is because the gel is applied and absorbed through the skin, while the oral form affects the entire body.
The FDA has approved Voltaren Gel for over-the-counter use based on the results of studies on its efficacy and safety. Since then, studies have confirmed the use of NSAID gel as a first-line treatment option for knee OA and hand OA.
This is especially true for the elderly or those who are at risk for the harmful effects of oral NSAIDs. This includes damage to organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking that may interact with this medication.
The drugs discussed include a comprehensive list:
- Over the counter drugs
- Nutritional supplements
- Plant medicine
- Essential oils
Although some medications may interact slightly with the gel, other interactions may be more dangerous.
You and your healthcare provider can discuss what this means for your health condition and needs and choose the best treatment for you.
Black box warnings
Medications with black box warnings require the utmost care. This is due to its high risk of serious side effects.
Voltaren Gel has the following black box warnings:
Serious side effects can occur without warning. Your risk may be higher if you take NSAIDs for a long time or in high doses.
Do not use Voltaren gel in the following cases:
- If you have heart problems or are at risk of side effects such as heart attack and stroke.
- If you are allergic to this medicine or other pain relievers or fever reducers such as aspirin.
- Before or after heart surgery.
Before using the gel, consult your doctor if:
- You have problems or serious side effects from taking pain or fever medicine.
- There is a risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract or stomach problems such as heartburn .
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Take a diuretic or an ACE inhibitor .
- Under 18 years of age, since the effects of this medicine in children under 18 years of age are unknown.
- 60 years or older
If you have serious health problems such as:
Use the supplied dosing card to measure the correct dose of Voltaren Gel. The card can be reused to measure up to the 2 or 4 gram mark.
Apply 2 grams of gel to each affected upper body:
Apply 4 grams of gel to each affected lower body:
Doses can be applied to the affected upper or lower body up to four times a day, as indicated above.
Do not apply:
- Higher dose than indicated on the medicine label or prescribed by your healthcare professional.
- More than 32 grams per day in total
- More than two parts of the body at the same time
- To your eyes, nose or mouth
- To open wounds or infected areas.
How to take and store
- Wash your hands before and after applying the gel.
- Use the gel until day 21, unless your healthcare provider recommends otherwise.
- Store at 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C).
- Wash the gel from your hands if you apply it to the joints in this area.
- Freezing gel
- Apply only to clean, dry skin that is free from breakouts, cuts, or infections.
- Do not shower or rinse the treated area for at least an hour.
- Do not bandage the treated area.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight and artificial sunlight after application.
- Do not combine the gel with another product.
- Do not heat the finished seam.
Local reactions at the site of gel application were the most common adverse reactions reported in clinical trials.
NSAIDs can also:
- Raise your blood pressure
- Makes you retain the fluid
- Leads to edema (swelling of the tissues due to fluid build-up)
Check your blood pressure and watch for these and other side effects while using this drug.
Stop using Voltaren Gel and tell your doctor immediately if any of this happens.
Also stop using the drug if lab tests show a large number of eosinophils , which can lead to symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
Serious adverse reactions
Be sure to read the medicine label and the leaflet that comes with Voltaren gel. They will notice serious adverse reactions that this drug can cause.
Long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to serious kidney problems, such as renal papillary necrosis, a condition in which parts of the kidneys die.
NSAIDs can also cause serious and sometimes fatal skin conditions, such as:
Long-term treatment with Voltaren can affect liver enzymes . They can be above normal even before symptoms appear, and they can be a sign of serious liver problems that can be fatal or require a liver transplant .
Voltaren gel should not be used in conjunction with oral NSAIDs or aspirin due to the increased risk of side effects.
Its simultaneous use increases the total dose of medication absorbed by the body. This can increase the risk of side effects.
Do not apply Voltaren Gel to areas of your face or body that have makeup or sunscreen on them. They have not been tested together. Therefore, it is not known if it is safe to do so.
Sharing skin products can also change the way your body absorbs and reacts to NSAID gel.
Voltaren Gel is a local pain reliever prescribed by a doctor to treat osteoarthritis pain in the knees, arms, and other joints. The gel can help relieve joint pain, as well as oral forms of NSAIDs.
Voltaren gel should not be used by people at risk of heart attack or stroke, or who have recently had heart surgery. The drug should be used with caution in people with certain health problems, such as kidney or liver disease.
Do not use the gel at the same time as other NSAIDs or aspirin, as this can increase the risk of side effects. These events can be serious and sometimes fatal.
Also, do not apply Voltaren Gel to areas of the skin with makeup or other products. Their combined use has not been tested.
Get the word of drug information
Voltaren Gel has expanded the treatment options for OA. This has been a key issue for people who, for various reasons, cannot take oral NSAIDs.
Just be aware that all forms of NSAIDs carry risks. It does not matter if the medicine is applied to the skin or taken in pill form.
Protect your health by taking the medicine as directed on the medicine label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional.
And be sure to stop taking the medicine and tell your doctor if you have any side effects.