Relafen vs. Voltaren

Are Relafen and Voltaren the Same Thing?

Relafen (nabumetone) and Voltaren (diclofenac) are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to treat inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.

Voltaren is also used to treat ankylosing spondylitis.

The brand names Relafen and Voltaren are no longer available in the U.S. Generic versions may be available.

Side effects of Relafen and Voltaren that are similar include upset stomach, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, dizziness, headache, nervousness, skin itching or rash, blurred vision, or ringing in your ears.

Side effects of Voltaren that are different from Relafen include ulcers.

Both Relafen and Voltaren may interact with alcohol, antidepressants, blood thinners, lithium, methotrexate, heart or blood pressure medications, diuretics (water pills), steroids, and aspirin or other NSAIDs.

Relafen may also interact with ACE inhibitors.

Voltaren may also interact with cyclosporine, isoniazid, pronbenecid, rifampin, secobarbital, sertraline, sulfamethoxazole, teniposide, zafirlukast, antifungals, and cholesterol-lowering medicines.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Relafen?

Common side effects of Relafen include:

  • upset stomach,
  • heartburn,
  • stomach pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • bloating,
  • gas,
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • nervousness,
  • skin itching or rash,
  • blurred vision, or
  • ringing in your ears.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including Relafen) may rarely increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke. Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract is another potentially serious side effect of Relafen.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Voltaren?

Common side effects of Voltaren include:

  • nausea,
  • stomach pain,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea,
  • gas,
  • ulcers, or
  • itching,
  • dryness,
  • redness,
  • scaling,
  • numbness and tingling,
  • cysts,
  • pimples, or other
  • skin irritation where the medicine was applied.

What Is Relafen?

Relafen (nabumetone) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug used to treat inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. The brand name drug Relafen is no longer available in the U.S. Generic versions may be available.

What Is Voltaren?

Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium topical gel) is a topical gel nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain of osteoarthritis of joints that are amenable to topical treatment, such the hands and knees.

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What Drugs Interact With Relafen?

Relafen may interact with antidepressants, blood thinners, lithium, methotrexate, diuretics (water pills), steroids, aspirin or other NSAIDs, or ACE inhibitors.. There are no adequate, well-controlled studies in pregnant women, and Relafen should be used in pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Use during late pregnancy should be avoided because of the known effects of NSAIDs in the fetal cardiovascular system (closure of ductus arteriosus). It is not known whether Relafen is excreted in human milk; a decision should be made whether to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the Relafen.

What Drugs Interact With Voltaren?

Voltaren Gel may interact with aspirin, lithium, diuretics (water pills), blood thinners, and methotrexate.

Voltaren Gel may also interact with heart or blood pressure medications, cyclosporine, steroids, certain antibiotics, and other topical treatments.

How Should Relafen Be Taken?

Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals.

How Should Voltaren Be Taken?

The proper amount of Voltaren® Gel should be measured using the dosing card supplied in the drug product carton. The dosing card is made of clear polypropylene. The dosing card should be used for each application of drug product. The gel should be applied within the rectangular area of the dosing card up to the 2 gram or 4 gram line (2 g for each elbow, wrist, or hand, and 4 g for each knee, ankle, or foot). The 2 g line is 2.25 inches long. The 4 g line is 4.5 inches long. The dosing card containing Voltaren® Gel can be used to apply the gel. The hands should then be used to gently rub the gel into the skin. After using the dosing card, hold with fingertips, rinse, and dry. If treatment site is the hands, patients should wait at least one (1) hour to wash their hands.

Lower Extremities, Including The Feet, Ankles, Or Knees

Apply the gel (4 g) to the affected foot, ankle, or knee 4 times daily. Voltaren® Gel should be gently massaged into the skin ensuring application to the entire affected foot, or knee or ankle. The entire foot includes the sole, top of the foot and the toes. Do not apply more than 16 g daily to any single joint of the lower extremities.

Upper Extremities Including The Hands, Wrists, Or Elbows

Apply the gel (2 g) to the affected hand, wrist, or elbow 4 times daily. Voltaren® Gel should be gently massaged into the skin ensuring application to the entire affected hand, wrist, or elbow. The entire hand includes the palm, back of the hands, and the fingers. Do not apply more than 8 g daily to any single joint of the upper extremities.

Total dose should not exceed 32 g per day, over all affected joints.

Special Precautions

  • Avoid showering/bathing for at least 1 hour after the application. Inform patient to wash his/her hands after use, unless the hands are the treated joint. If Voltaren® Gel is applied to the hand(s) for treatment; inform patient not to wash the treated hand(s) for at least 1 hour after the application.
  • Do not apply Voltaren® Gel to open wounds.
  • Avoid contact of Voltaren® Gel with eyes and mucous membranes.
  • Do not apply external heat and/or occlusive dressings to treated joints.
  • Avoid exposure of the treated joint(s) to natural or artificial sunlight.
  • Avoid concomitant use of Voltaren® Gel on the treated skin site with other topical products, including sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, insect repellants, or other topical medications
  • Concomitant use of Voltaren® Gel with oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) has not been evaluated, and may increase adverse NSAIDs effects. Do not use combination therapy with Voltaren® Gel and an oral NSAID unless the benefit outweighs the risk and conduct periodic laboratory evaluations.
  • Avoid wearing of clothing or gloves for at least 10 minutes after applying Voltaren® Gel.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
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References
SOURCE:

FDA. Relafen Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2005/019583s023lbl.pdf

DailyMed. Voltaren Product Information.

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=60045fc6-f0d9-4f67-ba91-c3b317596437

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