What is Voltarol?
Voltarol (Diclofenac) is a popular and effective NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) gel used in the treatment of joint and soft tissue pain and inflammation. It works by targeting pain at the site by reducing local inflammation and swelling.
Diclofenac is available as both a tablets and gel. Tablets have recently received bad press because of a link between their regular use and an increase in cardiac events in some patients, especially in those with co-morbidities such as increased blood pressure or kidney disease. Diclofenac tablets are therefore rarely used now in practice and only used in patients that cannot take other NSAIDs such as Naproxen or Ibuprofen.
Diclofenac as a gel is one of the most effective topical pain NSAID gels and also the most popular. It is more effective at treating deep rooted joint and back pain than Ibuprofen gel but is also very effective with soft tissue injury and damage. It absorbs into the site of action through the skin and reduces pain and inflammation but with a much lower chance of getting any side effects thus there is little or no cardiovascular risk to patients using the gel.
Voltarol is available as 2 different strengths, 1.16% and 2.32%. The lower strength gel can be applied up to three times a day and the higher strength can last up to 12 hours therefore requiring only 2 applications daily. Volatrol can also be used with paracetamol as the two do not interact.
Other topical NSAIDs include:
- Feldene Gel
- Ibuprofen Gel
- Ibuleve Gel
- Nurofen Gel
- Deep Relief (Also contains a rubefacient)