Voltaren Gel (Diclofenac)
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Voltaren Gel (Diclofenac) Medication Information
Your doctor may prescribe Voltaren if you have one of the following pain disorders:
- Acute pain
- Arthritis pain
Voltaren is a topical gel that can be rubbed into the skin to treat bone and joint pain.
Voltaren is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It works by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX), a signaling molecule involved in the generation of pain feelings.
The standard dosage of Voltaren gel is to apply 2-4 g to the affected area(s) up to four times daily.
Do not apply more than 16 g to an individual joint in 24 hours, and do not use more than 32 g overall in 24 hours.
Wash your hands with soap and water and applying Voltaren gel.
Common side effects of Voltaren gel may include:
- Acne vulgaris
- Application site dermatitis
- Application site edema
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Dermal ulcer
- Skin photosensitivity
- Vesiculobullous dermatitis
Tell your doctor if you experience side effects while taking this medication.
Voltaren gel belongs to a class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs should be used for the shortest amount of time at the lowest possible dose to reduce the risk of side effects.
NSAIDs can increase the risk of gastrointestinal conditions like inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and tearing. Older adults are at an increased risk.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney or liver problems before starting Voltaren.
Voltaren gel has the potential to cause serious skin reactions. Tell your doctor if you have a skin reaction while using Voltaren.
Voltaren has not been approved for pain in the hips, shoulder, or spine.
Drug-drug interactions are unlikely to occur with Voltaren because it is a topical medication, and only a small amount is absorbed into the bloodstream. However, possible interactions can occur with the following medications:
- Topical medications (lotions, creams, ointments)
Do not mix Voltaren with other topical medications or apply them at the same time. Doing so may decrease the efficacy of Diclofenac gel.
Store the gel in its original container at 25°C (77°F).
- Use the included dosing card to measure the appropriate amount of Voltaren.
- When applying the gel, cover the entire foot, knee, or ankle, depending on which joint you are treating.
- Do not shower or take a bath for 60 minutes after applying the gel. Wait 10 minutes before covering the gel with clothing.
Diclofenac Gel FAQs
What should I do if I miss a dose of Voltaren?
Take the dose as soon as you remember, or take the next scheduled dose, whichever is closer. Do not double the dose.
Can I wrap a bandage around an area that I treat with Voltaren?
No, you should not apply a bandage to an area that you have applied the gel.
What should I do if I get Voltaren gel in my eyes?
Thoroughly rinse your eyes with warm water. Call your doctor if the irritation lasts longer than 60 minutes.
- Voltaren [package insert]. Parsippany, NJ: Novartis; 2009.
Author: Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Dr. Sheehy is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. He has worked in multiple practice settings, including retail and hospital pharmacies, and in medical clinics. He specializes in anticoagulation, psychiatric medications, and diabetes medications. He strives to empower his patients to understand their medications and improve their overall medical care.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.