"Jan. 12, 2011 -- A new study weighs in on the debate over the relative safety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), commonly used to treat joint and muscle aches and pain.
The study, published online in the BMJ,"...
- Clinician Information:
Voltaren Gel Patient Information Including Side Effects
Brand Names: Pennsaid, Solaraze, Voltaren Topical
Generic Name: diclofenac topical (Pronunciation: dye KLOE fen ak TOP ik al)
- What is diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- How should I use diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Voltaren Gel)?
- What happens if I overdose (Voltaren Gel)?
- What should I avoid while using diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- What other drugs will affect diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
- Where can I get more information?
What is diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.
Diclofenac topical 1% gel (Voltaren Topical) is used to treat joint pain in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, or feet caused by osteoarthritis. This medication may not be effective in treating arthritis pain elsewhere in the body.
Diclofenac topical 1.5% solution (Pennsaid) is used to treat pain in the knees caused by osteoarthritis. This medication may not be effective in treating arthritis pain elsewhere in the body.
Diclofenac topical 3% gel (Solaraze) is used to treat warty overgrowths of skin (actinic keratoses) on sun-exposed areas of the body.
Diclofenac topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although the risk of serious side effects is low when diclofenac is applied to the skin, you should be aware of side effects that can occur if the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, and feeling weak or short of breath;
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion;
- swelling or rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach;
- diarrhea, gas; or
- mild itching, dryness, redness, scaling, or other skin irritation where the medicine was applied.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium gel) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
What is the most important information I should know about diclofenac topical (Voltaren Gel)?
Do not use this medication if you have ever had asthma or a severe allergic reaction caused by aspirin, diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Do not use diclofenac just before or after having heart bypass surgery (also called coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, a history of heart attack or stroke, a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding, liver or kidney disease, a blood clotting disorder, asthma, or nasal polyps.
While the risk of absorbing diclofenac topical into your bloodstream is low, an NSAID may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term.
Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance.
This medicine may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac topical, especially in older adults.
Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of stomach bleeding such as black, bloody, or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Additional Voltaren Gel Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get the latest treatment options