Voltaren (Diclofenac) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed for treating pain, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

It mostly comes in gel form and is applied on knee and hand joints. Pharmaceutical companies need to research its effects on pain in the shoulder, spine or hip.

It blocks a particular enzyme, called cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and-2, which causes the body to produce small amounts of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. This lowers pain, fever, and inflammation.

It is the first-line therapy for chronic or acute pain and inflammation from various causes. It is prescribed with another medication that reduces the risk of ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract.

Precautions and Warnings with Voltaren

The medicine should not be mixed with products such as insect repellants along with sunscreen, lotion, or cosmetics.

It should not be used with oral NSAIDs. It’s best to avoid wearing clothes or gloves for at least 10 minutes after applying the gel.

There are several precautions and warnings associated with Voltaren which are as follows:

  • Avoid taking a bath or shower for at least an hour after application
  • It should not be applied to open wounds
  • It should not come in contact with mucous membranes and eyes.

Voltaren Side Effects

It is pertinent to mention that this is not the complete list of side effects. Moreover, not everyone may experience the above-mentioned symptoms after applying Voltaren.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you display symptoms of allergic reaction to the medicine, such as hives, respiratory issues swelling or a severe skin reaction after applying the medicine.

You should stop taking Voltaren and seek medical treatment if the side effects are severe. You can also show signs of cardiac issues (chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder) along with numbness or weakness on one side of the body, and slurred speech.

It’s important to let your healthcare provider know about the side effects you are experiencing. Your doctor will prepare your treatment plan based on your medical conditions and age.

Voltaren has side effects like any other medicine. We will divide them into two types: common and severe.

Common Side Effects

  • Gastrointestinal issues (constipation, abdominal bloating, or gas and diarrhea)
  • Ringing in ears
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Serious Side Effects

  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain on the right side of the stomach
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Respiratory issues
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty urinating

Drug Interactions with Voltaren

Voltaren causes unwanted health conditions when taken with other medicines. Therefore, it’s important to follow the doctor’s guidelines and read the prescription label that comes with the medicine carefully.

If your doctor prescribes you to continue with the medicine, then you should continue to do so.

Drug interaction refers to the process of a medication losing its efficacy when taken with another drug. Voltaren interacts with the following medicines:

Voltaren Alternatives

However, you should consult with your doctor before switching to an alternative version of it.

A doctor may replace Voltaren Arthritis pain gel with the following medications:

  • Tramadol
  • Diclofenac
  • Gabapentin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Tylenol

FAQs of Voltaren

What is Voltaren?

Voltaren is a brand name for Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that relieves pain and reduces inflammation caused by arthritis, muscle aches, and other inflammatory conditions. They are available as gels, tablets, and injections.

What’s the difference between Voltaren Gel and Voltaren Emugel?

Voltaren Gel and Voltaren Emulgel have an ingredient, Diclofenac, which relieves pain and inflammation. The difference lies in the formulation.

The gel form is primarily used for treating localized pain and inflammation whereas the Emugel leverages emulsion and a gel which allows the medicine to penetrate the skin and provide effective relief with a cooling effect.

Both versions are used topically but offer different sensory experiences and absorption characteristics due to their effective formulations.

How long does Voltaren stay in your system?

Voltaren’s active ingredient, Diclofenac, has 1-2 hours, which means that it takes 1-2 hours for the medicine to enter the bloodstream. The effects of the gel wear off between 24 to 48 hours after the last dose. This depends on different factors such as dosage, frequency of use, and individual metabolism.

How do I use Voltaren gel?

You can apply Voltaren gel on the affected area by measuring the rectangular dosage card that comes with the package.

How long can I use Voltaren?

The duration for using Voltaren gel depends on the condition. You can apply the applicant for seven days for treating acute pain whereas it should be used for 21 days for treating chronic pain.

It is important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and the instructions on the product label. You should seek medical attention if the pain persists.

How often can you use Voltaren?

Voltaren can be applied for 2-4 times a day.

Why can’t I use Voltaren on my back?

Voltaren gel is not recommended for treating back pain because it treats joint pain around the skin, whereas deeper treatment is required to relieve back pain.

Can I take Ibuprofen with Voltaren?

It’s generally not recommended to take ibuprofen and Voltaren together as it increases the risk of developing side effects like stomach irritation and kidney problems. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider in this regard.

How do I apply Voltaren?

You can start by cleaning the skin and drying the area where the gel will be applied. You will measure the correct amount using the dosing card before applying the applicant to the affected area until it is absorbed. You should wash your hands after application unless you are treating your hands, and avoid washing your hands for an hour.

Can you use Voltaren while pregnant?

Voltaren is not recommended during pregnancy due to potential risks to the fetus, such as heart defects and complications during labour.

Why should people over 65 not use Voltaren?

Voltaren is not recommended for people over the age of 65 because it increases the risk of stomach bleeding, kidney problems, and cardiovascular issues, whereas age-related changes in metabolism and organ function can put older adults at risk for these complications.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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