Diclofenac gel, also known as Voltaren gel is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is mainly used to treat the symptoms of arthritis such as stiffness, swelling and inflammation. Do know that the medicine will not cure the state of osteoarthritis since it only works as long as you keep using it.
How it works
Diclofenac gal is an NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug). Science states that this medication works by blocking certain substances in the body that are connected to inflammation. Unfortunately, NSAIDs are only capable on alleviating the symptoms of the diseases and the subsequent pain. They do not address the root cause of the illness. This means that the individual will go into relapse as soon as he/she stops taking the medication.
The gel can reduce the knee pain and swelling caused due to osteoarthritis to a significant extent. It can also treat acute pain that occurs due to sprains, bruises and strains. Although Diclofenac gel is mainly used to treat pain caused in the joints due to arthritis, it is also useful in treating certain other illnesses as well. For instance, the medication is used to treat actinic keratosis – which is a skin disease that can lead to cancer if gone untreated. However, you need to consult your physician before using this medication to treat any other sickness.
You must not apply the gel without referring to your physician first. In case of uncertainty, refer to the label or the guide for instructions regarding the application of the medicine. The gel must not be applied directly on infected skin and open wounds. Remember to use the dosing card to ensure that you are applying the correct amount of gel. Apply the gel gently over the infected area and let it dry for at least 10 minutes. You must not cover the area with a bandage since it can heat the infection. Do not have a shower or a wash after the application. Although Diclofenac is mainly used as gel, it is also available in the form of cream, solution and patch.
Mild irritation in the infected area is a common side effect that many users experience. However, there is a possibility for more severe side effects to occur. The following are some of them:
Severe allergic reactions (rash, itching and swelling of the face)
Loss of appetite
Some of these side effects can also occur due to overdosing on the medication as well. Anyhow, it is best to contact your health service provider in case you experience any of the above mentioned illnesses.
Until you get accustomed to the medication and its effects, you need to be extremely careful. Make sure to avoid the following activities until you are sure of the effect the medicine has on you.
Consumption of alcohol
Taking high doses
Taking new medication (Unless it is an NSAID)
Consuming during pregnancy or breastfeeding
This gel must be used with extreme caution when applied to the elderly and children since they are more sensitive to the effects of the medication.
Diclofenac gel must only be applied for external use only. Do not apply it anywhere near your eyes, nose or mouth. If you do accidently apply the gel in those areas, immediately rinse it off with cold water or contact your physician.
Make sure to throw the dosing card away from the reach of pets and children. Unless your hands are a part of the affected area, make sure to wash your hands and wipe the gel off completely.
The gel must also be avoided if you in the last three stages of your pregnancy since it can affect the fetus.