Voltaren (diclofenac) and Advil (ibuprofen) are two medications that relieve inflammation, fever, and pain. These drugs, in a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) , are often used to treat the symptoms of a number of conditions, including osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , postoperative pain, fever, and menstrual cramps.
While they have very similar effects on the body, there are key differences between them. In tablet or pill form, you need a prescription for Voltaren, and without it, only a topical form is available. On the other hand, Advil (often marketed as Motrin) is available in both prescription and over-the-counter forms.
As drugs in the same class, Voltaren and Advil can also interact with each other, reducing effectiveness and increasing the risk of side effects. If you are treating pain and inflammation caused by arthritis or another medical condition, it is important to understand how these medications work and their similarities and differences.
How are Voltaren and Advil alike?
What Advil and Voltaren have in common is how they act on the body. Essentially, they inhibit the activity of a specific enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), which regulates pain and inflammatory responses.
At sites of infection, injury, or tissue damage, this enzyme stimulates substances called prostaglandins . They are associated with pain, help regulate blood flow, and promote blood clotting. By limiting the action of COX, Advil and Voltaren relieve pain (relieve pain) and reduce swelling.
What is the difference between Voltaren and Advil?
The differences between the two drugs are mainly related to the strength of the dose, of which Voltaren is the most potent. Thus, in addition to its topical form (cream applied to the affected areas), Voltaren is only available in the United States with a prescription.
Voltaren tablets or lozenges, available in 25, 50, and 75 milligram (mg) forms, are commonly used for mild to moderate pain associated with:
Rather, Advil accepts a broader set of conditions. Its 200 mg over-the-counter form provides temporary relief from mild pain associated with:
- Back pain
- Mild arthritis pain
- Muscle pain
- Menstrual cramps
Prescription forms of ibuprofen, commonly sold under the name Motrin, are available in doses of 400, 600, and 800 mg. They are mainly prescribed in cases of moderate pain due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions.
Other differences between the two drugs are related to differences in the frequency and severity of side effects. The researchers found that Advil was more likely than Voltaren to cause upper gastrointestinal problems as well as withdrawal symptoms in arthritis patients.
Also, there is an increased risk of liver damage when using Voltaren compared to other NSAIDs.
Since Voltaren is a more potent NSAID, less Voltaren is needed than Advil for comparable results. Also, another study found that Voltaren is more effective in treating pain after dental surgery.
Is it safe to take Voltaren with Advil?
Especially if you are taking NSAIDs to treat arthritis symptoms, it is important to understand how Advil and Voltaren affect your body. These medications can interact with other medications you are taking, and more importantly, they can also interact with each other. Also, they are often prescribed or taken in cases of chronic pain.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if you are taking an NSAID, you should not take other pain relievers. This means, for example, that those taking Voltaren should avoid taking Advil. If pain or swelling continues to be a problem, be sure to tell your healthcare provider.
In light of the widespread availability of NSAIDs and their widespread use, the FDA has issued several warnings about their use:
- The risk of heart attack and stroke is increased in people with a history of heart problems and in people who take NSAIDs long-term.
- Stop coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, as this can make complications worse.
- Ulcers and bleeding can occur , especially in smokers, the elderly, those taking corticosteroids or blood thinners, and those who drink alcohol.
- Pregnant and closer to the expiration date, NSAIDs should be avoided.
- People who are breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare provider about whether they are safe to use.
- Allergic reactions also require discontinuation of treatment; Signs include swelling and shortness of breath.
When to call your healthcare provider
Serious side effects of NSAIDs, although rare, can occur due to their effects on the heart, circulation, liver, kidneys, brain, and intestines and other systems. Stop taking your medications and call your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin)
- Abdominal pain
- Flu symptoms
- Vomiting blood
- Bloody or black, tarry stools
- Rash / blisters with fever
- Swelling of the limbs
- Unusual weight gain
Alternatively, call 911 for emergency services if you have:
- Respiratory problems
- Chest pain
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Swelling of the face or throat
Get the word of drug information
While NSAIDs like Advil and Voltaren can have some downsides and unwanted effects, it is important to note that they are generally very effective in treating pain and swelling. These medications, especially for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, have repeatedly shown their importance in relieving symptoms.
There is a reason they are constantly being prescribed and so widely available. However, they should never be taken together and you should be careful about the dosage.
If you are taking them, remember how you feel, and if something seems wrong, be sure to tell your doctor. When used correctly, Advil and Voltaren can help alleviate the suffering caused by these conditions.