Thursday, July 18, 2024

Is Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel Good For Arthritis

To Use Topical Diclofenac Gel Follow These Steps:

How to Use Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel
  • Before you use a new tube of diclofenac gel for the first time, open the safety seal that covers the tube and then puncture the opening of the tube using the spiked top of the cap. Do not open the seal with scissors or sharp objects.
  • Place one of the dosing cards from the package on a flat surface so that you can read the print.
  • Using the lines on the dosing card as a guide, squeeze the correct amount of gel onto the dosing card evenly. Make sure the gel covers the entire area marked for your correct dose depending if it is for the upper or lower body. Put the cap back on the tube.
  • Clean and dry the skin area where you will apply the medication. Do not apply to skin that has any cuts, open wounds, infections or rashes.
  • Apply the gel to the directed skin areas, using the dosing card to help apply the gel to the skin to up to 2 body areas. Do not apply to more than 2 body areas. Use your hands to gently rub the gel into the skin. Make sure to cover the entire affected area with the gel. Do not apply in same area as any other product.
  • Hold the end of the dosing card with your fingertips, and rinse and dry the card. Store the dosing card until next use, out of reach of children. Do not share the dosing card with another person.
  • Wash your hands well after you apply the gel, unless you are treating your hands. If you are treating your hands, do not wash them for at least one hour after you apply the gel.
  • What The Experts Say

    It is advised to look at the ingredients list of a cream to see if it is formulated with topical anesthetics which can help numb the affected area and lessen pain. If you are someone with extremely sensitive skin, it may be beneficial to look for an arthritis cream that caters to sensitive skin and is less irritative. The side effects list can show you what symptoms you may be subjected to after using the cream. If you already suffer from any of those conditions, it is advised to consult your doctor prior to use. Niket Sonpal, M.D., an internist practicing in New York City

    What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

    Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and keep it from freezing or excess heat.

    It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

    Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

    Don’t Miss: How Can You Stop Arthritis In Your Hands

    What Are Topical Nsaids

    A topical medication is one thats applied directly to the skin. In the case of arthritis, it goes on the skin over the painful joint. The drug penetrates the skin, enters the joint and reduces the pain signals in the joint.

    The level of drug entering the bloodstream is much lower than when the NSAID is taken by mouth. For example, topical NSAIDs reduce the systemic exposure by almost 90 percent. This minimizes the risk of harmful side effects.

    The topical NSAIDs available in the United States contain the drug diclofenac, and they require a prescription. Diclofenac is available in three topical formulations: gel, liquid and patch.

  • Diclofenac gel can be used to treat pain from osteoarthritis in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. It may be applied four times daily.
  • The liquid formulation , which can be used for osteoarthritis of the knee, is applied twice daily.
  • The patch is placed over the most painful joint. It should be changed every 12 hours.
  • A review of several clinical studies, found that Voltaren gel is particularly effective. In this review, 60 percent of patients got 50 percent relief with topical NSAIDs, says Dr. Konya. This was similar to the pain relief from oral NSAIDs and better than the placebo.

    Topical NSAIDs are usually very well-tolerated. However, approximately 1 in 20 people experience a mild, temporary skin reaction, such as rash, redness, dryness or itchiness.

    How To Use Topical Diclofenac Solutions

    Arthritis Pain Relief

    Diclofenac gel must be prescribed by a medical professional. Consult with a doctor to determine the diclofenac solution that is right for you, and always follow the accompanying medication guide.

    Voltaren and Pennsaid should be applied to clean, dry skin . Avoid showering or bathing for at least 30 minutes after applying these medications. Do not apply a bandage or dressing to the treated area, and avoid heat. Try to maintain a regular application schedule.

    Be careful to avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth. Rinse with water or a saline solution if the medication gets in your eyes. If your eyes are still irritated after an hour, call poison control.

    Avoid applying diclofenac gels and liquids to peeling, infected, swollen or broken skin. Do not apply to open wounds or areas covered with a rash, as doing so may irritate the skin.

    Before using diclofenac gel, patch-test by applying the gel in a small area at first. If the skin shows no signs of irritation after 24 hours, the gel should be safe to use.

    Store the gel at room temperature and out of the reach of children.


    Follow the directions on your dosing card carefully when using diclofenac gel and be sure to apply it to clean, unbroken skin.

    Read Also: How To Ease Arthritis Pain In Fingers

    Voltaren Gel: Does It Work

    The science of the topical pain-killers, which can be effective without dosing your entire system

    Think of Voltaren® Gel as ibuprofen in a gel. Its actually the drug diclofenac, but ibuprofen is a much more familiar drug name in North America, where the product is still relatively new. Its a topical anti-inflammatory medication,NSAIDNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, usually pronounced en-sed. and FDA-approved to treat osteoarthritis in joints amenable to topical treatment, such as the knees and those of the hands.1 The evidence shows that it provides clinically meaningful analgesia.2

    This is an appealing treatment idea that actually works reasonably well: what a pleasure to be able to say that!3 It is probably the best of the OTC pain-killers.


    Warnings For Other Groups

    For pregnant women: Before 30 weeks of pregnancy, this drug is a pregnancy category C drug. After 30 weeks of pregnancy, its a pregnancy category D drug.

    A category C drug means that means that studies have shown that the drug can be a risk to the offspring of lab animals. However, not enough studies have been done to show risk in humans.

    Category D means two things:

  • Studies show a risk of adverse effects to the fetus when the mother uses the drug.
  • The benefits of using diclofenac during pregnancy may outweigh the potential risks in certain cases.
  • Do not use diclofenac if youre pregnant, unless your doctor advises you to. Be especially sure to avoid using diclofenac at 30 weeks of pregnancy and later.

    For women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into the breast milk, which means it may pass to a child who is breastfed. This may lead to dangerous effects for the child.

    Talk to your doctor regarding whether breastfeeding is a good choice for you.

    For seniors: Seniors are at higher risk for stomach problems, bleeding, water retention, and other side effects from diclofenac. Seniors may also have kidneys that arent working at peak levels, so the drug can build up and cause more side effects.

    You May Like: How Do I Know If I Have Hip Arthritis

    More Conditions Voltaren Might Be Good For

    There are probably some good uses for Voltaren® Gel above and beyond what its already been specifically approved for . Here are some of the common conditions that, in my opinion, are also likely to be good targets for this drug.5

    But I am not a doctor, and safety first: please check with your doctor before you start spreading topical diclofenac on painful problems it isnt made for!

  • sacroiliac joint pain, and possibly low back pain in general
  • Who Might Benefit From Voltaren Gel

    Voltaren teams up with Paula Abdul

    Anyone with osteoarthritis, especially in joints that arent covered by a lot of muscle, might potentially benefit from Voltaren gel. These include the hands wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, or feet.

    It can be used in conjunction with other treatments, including physical therapy, activity modification, bracing, icing, etc., says Dr. Frank. It can also be very helpful for patients who cannot otherwise tolerate oral NSAIDs due to side effects, particularly gastrointestinal side effects, as the gel is applied topically and not systemically so less of it will impact other body systems.

    Don’t Miss: What’s Best To Take For Arthritis

    Salicylates Cousins To Aspirin

    The large chemical family of salicylates has several maybe-medicinal members. Aspirin is the star of the show, but minty methyl salicylate has been widely used in ointments for decades, as well as many other products . Just look for some kind of salicylate on the label.

    Certainly these are interesting chemicals. Plants use MeSa in complex ways for signalling and self-defense it can attract the natural enemies of plant predators. And it might be an analgesic in humans, but the science isnt exactly settled, despite their long history of usage Harvard Health Publishing in 2019: Theres little, if any, rigorous research into methyl salicylates effectiveness as a pain reliever, which seems a touch dismissive to say without any substantiation, so I checked myself and, sure enough, good job Harvard. There truly isnt much data! A 2004 review found little to review,31 and the situation wasnt much better in 2014,32 and the latter review concludes that evidence does not support the use of topical rubefacients containing salicylates for acute injuries or chronic conditions.

    On the other side of the question, there certainly is some positive evidence,33 and Anderson;et;al declared in 2017 that its analgesic action is beyond question.34 Thats a bit much, but their paper was more focused on the safety concerns about MeSa:

    Still, anyone with a persistent pain problem should probably test, in moderation, all of the above. Except homeopathic arnicathats just nonsense.

    How Aspercreme Arthritis Can Help

    Aspercreme® Arthritis was formulated with one thing in mind: to help you enjoy everyday activities without arthritis pain. You can do the dishes, work in the garden, or play with the dog all without worrying about aching joints.;

    Aspercreme® Arthritis is designed for topical application for the treatment of arthritis pain. When applied and used as directed, it can provide lasting relief from pain due to arthritis.

    Don’t Miss: What Are Usually The First Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    The Convenience Of A Gel

    Get where-you-need-it relief from pain in the hands, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, and knees.;

    Unlike pills, Aspercreme® Arthritis is applied directly to the joint, so you get pain relief directly at the source. The gel formula is non-greasy. And because it has the active ingredient diclofenac, Aspercreme® Arthritis provides targeted OTC pain relief that you used to get with a prescription.

    How Is The Topical Form Different Than Taking An Nsaid Pill Like Ibuprofen

    FDA Approves NDA for Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel 1% for ...

    When you swallow a pill, it must travel through your digestive tract and through your bloodstream before it can reach the intended target, such as a painful joint. A topical treatment, such as Voltaren gel, is applied to the skin near the area thats causing arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness.

    Voltaren;gel works locally, as opposed to systemically, which helps reduce the sometimes problematic side effects associated with oral NSAIDs, including gastrointestinal and/or kidney problems, says Rachel Frank, MD, an orthopedic sports medicine physician with UCHealth and director of the Joint Preservation Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

    You May Like: What Can Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

    To Use Topical Diclofenac 15 % Topical Solution Follow These Steps:

  • Clean and dry the skin area where you will apply the medication.
  • Apply the topical solution to your knee 10 drops at a time. You can do this by dropping the topical solution directly onto the knee or by first dropping it onto the palm of your hand and then spreading it onto the knee.
  • Use your hand to evenly spread the topical solution around the front, back, and sides of the knee.
  • Repeat this step until 40 drops of topical solution have been applied and the knee is completely covered with the topical solution.
  • If your doctor has told you to apply the topical solution to both knees, repeat steps 2 to 4 to apply the medication to your other knee.
  • Wash and dry your hands well after you apply the topical solution. Avoid skin contact with other people and the treated knee area.
  • Topical Diclofenac May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

    • dryness, redness, itching, swelling, pain, hardness, irritation, swelling, scaling, or numbness at application site
    • acne
    • fast heartbeat
    • excessive tiredness

    Topical diclofenac may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

    Also Check: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Your Hands

    What About Other Common Pain Problems Could It Help Low Back Pain Neck Pain And Muscle Pain

    A lot of people who read this are going to want to try it on their low back pain, neck pain, and/or other kinds of muscle pain. Will it work? The only honest answer is, Who knows? I have no clinical experience with this yet, and certainly its unstudied. It might be worth trying, in moderation, with the full awareness that theres every possibility that it could be a waste of time and money.

    Heres why it probably wont work

    Low back pain and neck pain often involve a substantial amount of muscle pain,27 and muscle pain is not particularly inflammatory by nature. Muscle knots are more like poisoned muscle than injured muscle. Although theres some anecdotal evidence that taking an anti-inflammatory medication reduces muscle pain, mostly it doesnt seem to work very well. One of the classic signs of low back pain powered by muscle, for instance, is that ibuprofen doesnt have much effect on it.

    A topical NSAID gel isnt likely to either.

    Also, many painful factors in neck, back and muscle pain are deep inside the body probably much deeper than Voltaren® Gel can reach. For instance, if your low back pain is coming from the facet joints small joints deep in the spine, under a thick layer of muscle chances are that a topical treatment simply doesnt stand a chance of having an effect.

    Making Pain Relief More Readily Available

    Topical Diclofenac Better Than Oral For Arthritis

    The approval comes as part of a process called an Rx-to-OTC switch, in which the manufacturer must demonstrate that a drug is safe and effective for use in self-medication.

    The OTC form of Voltaren gel should be just as effective as the prescription version because it is the same strength and formula as the original product, according to GlaxoSmithKline , the only company given the FDAs blessing to sell the diclofenac gel as an OTC product.

    Approval of a wider range of nonprescription drugs has the potential to improve public health by increasing the types of drugs consumers can access and use that would otherwise only be available by prescription, said;Karen Mahoney, MD,, the acting deputy director of the office of nonprescription drugs in the FDAs Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a press release.

    The product is expected to be available for purchase in stores in spring 2020, according to GSK. Pricing information is not yet available, but the pharmaceutical firm says it will be comparable to other OTC arthritis-pain medications on the market.

    The Consumer Healthcare Products Association points out that in general, OTC medicines are more affordable that prescription drugs, saving the U.S. healthcare system $51.6 billion in drug costs every year. That translates to significant savings for the American consumer.

    Recommended Reading: Is Red Meat Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Gel Is An Alternative To Oral Diclofenac A Pill

    Shah stresses that as a gel, a smaller percentage of the product gets absorbed into the body compared with the oral form of diclofenac .

    The levels of the medication that you get with topical use are a fraction of what you get with oral use, she says.

    In its oral form, diclofenac side effects can include stomach problems such as gas, bloating, pain, cramping, constipation, bleeding, and diarrhea; headache and ringing in the ears; and rash. The medication may trigger more serious adverse events, such as low blood pressure, blood disorders, liver damage, and congestive heart failure.

    Still, for patients who have deeper or more widespread inflammatory pain that may not respond to the gel, and for those who have not responded to over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatments, oral diclofenac may help if used according to doctors directions.

    Popular Articles
    Related news