Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Voltaren

(Diclofenac Sodium)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
  • Extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Eye drops
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Relieves pain and inflammation.

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Our bottom line

Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) works well for pain and causes less upset stomach than other NSAIDs.

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Upsides

  • Works well to relieve pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Good for muscle aches and pains.
  • May treat arthritis pain better than other similar medicines (NSAIDs).
  • Can cause less upset stomach than other NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil).
  • It's also available as a gel that you put on your skin. If it's hard for you to swallow pills, this could be a good option.
  • If you're only using the gel, you won't have the same side effects that you would while taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) by mouth.

Downsides

  • Can cause serious stomach problems like inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding. The chances that a stomach problem will occur is worse the longer you take this medication, but it can happen at any time while taking it.
  • Like all NSAIDs, it can raise your risk of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. These problems are more likely the longer you take it.
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Side effect rates for Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

228 From clinical trials of Voltaren / Actinic keratoses
  • Application site reaction
  • Application site reaction
  • Application site pruritus
  • Application site rash
  • Application site rash
  • Application site contact dermatitis
  • Application site pruritus
  • Application site pain
  • Application site dry skin
  • Application site dry skin

Risks and Warnings for Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking

    Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) can increase your chance of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. Take the lowest dose for the shortest time possible to lower your risk. Never take Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) during the first two weeks after having heart surgery.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium)

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Pregnancy
Food
  • Take with food.
Kidneys and liver
  • Can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. These problems are more likely the longer you take it.
  • Can affect your kidneys' ability to work as well.
  • Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium), and similar medications in the NSAID family, can lower kidney function or cause permanent kidney damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time necessary can lower your risk of kidney problems. It's important to get lab tests to check your kidney function periodically if you use Voltaren (Diclofenac Sodium) for long periods of time.
Pain
  • Works well to relieve pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Good for muscle aches and pains.
  • May treat arthritis pain better than other similar medicines (NSAIDs).
  • It's brilliant for chronic pain in the neck and shoulders. It's even better than the physiotherapist