Voltaren gel

Posted by toddybob @toddybob, Sep 19 5:46pm

My wife has chronic pain in her hip and hamstring. MRI negative. Physical Therapy no help. Acupuncture no help. Is Voltaren gel safe to try? I read it can cause liver damage.

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@toddybob Welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm no doctor, but have lived for a long time with pain due to arthritis, among other issues. After long, long, long term use of oral NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medications I am considered to be at high risk for damage from constant use. I have been advised not to take them orally for more than a few days at a time. I do not, however, currently have either kidney or liver failure.

Voltaren gel is my salvation on really bad days. It is far more effective for me than the rubs that are primarily made up of ingredients give a warming or cooling effect, probably because it has anti-inflammatory properties. I find using it after a warm shower seems to be more effective.

I discussed the risks with both my primary doc & my pain management doc. I also did a lot of reading. Here is what I get from all of it – Yes, Voltaren is an NSAID, so it carries some of the same risks as if it was taken internally. However, used topically, a LOT LESS or the drug makes its way into the bloodstream and organs than when taken orally, thus it is considered safer. But, it should only be used according to directions for the number of times per day and the amount.

So if your wife does not already have kidney or liver function issues, and it is okay with her docs, it is probably safe for her to try.
Has someone recommended Voltaren to her? There are also generic versions on the market that are a little less expensive.
Sue

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That stuff never helped me at all.
My preferred topical treatments are Aspercreme, Biofreeze, and magnesium lotion or oil.
I’ve used all of them on my knees before I got them replaced.
I hope you find something that helps her.

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Voltâtes is useless and expensive. 5% lidocaine, Vitoflex and Luminas patches help for much less money. The heat pad and aspirin or Aleve too. Voltâtes pills made me bleed out.

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I can also vouch for Biofreeze. I did discover a new cream that helps also. Salonpas Lidocaine Plus has helped me. I tend to switch creams since I noticed the more I used 1 brand the less effective it became.

I was told to use Diclofenac daily but the effectiveness became less and less. So, I use that sparingly.

I also will use CBD cream as well. Which really helps.

I must say I don’t use creams everyday. Only when the pain is so severe I can’t focus on anything else. I must caution you if you use multiple creams, make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned before using a different brand, I ended up with a chemical burn.

The most effective product I’ve ever used are Lidoderm Lidocaine patches. I used to use 3 a night. One on my neck and one on each shoulder. Once I got my divorce and I lost my ex’s health insurance, the new insurance wouldn’t cover it. Those were my life savers and sometimes the only reason I could partly function

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I would caution anyone to use NSAID products containing ibuprofen cautiously and only for short periods of time. Both my mother and I have had bad reactions to long-term use. Years ago my mother had a ruptured bowel after a few years of taking Vioxx. She had no warning that she was having stomach distress. I broke out in hives on my torso after a few months on Celebrex. My orthopedic doctor suggested that I might tolerate Voltaren, which is a topical form of ibuprofen. But nope. The hives came back. So the gel does get absorbed into your bloodstream. My solutions: joint replacements and exercise, because for arthritis motion is lotion.

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@sueinmn

@toddybob Welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm no doctor, but have lived for a long time with pain due to arthritis, among other issues. After long, long, long term use of oral NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medications I am considered to be at high risk for damage from constant use. I have been advised not to take them orally for more than a few days at a time. I do not, however, currently have either kidney or liver failure.

Voltaren gel is my salvation on really bad days. It is far more effective for me than the rubs that are primarily made up of ingredients give a warming or cooling effect, probably because it has anti-inflammatory properties. I find using it after a warm shower seems to be more effective.

I discussed the risks with both my primary doc & my pain management doc. I also did a lot of reading. Here is what I get from all of it – Yes, Voltaren is an NSAID, so it carries some of the same risks as if it was taken internally. However, used topically, a LOT LESS or the drug makes its way into the bloodstream and organs than when taken orally, thus it is considered safer. But, it should only be used according to directions for the number of times per day and the amount.

So if your wife does not already have kidney or liver function issues, and it is okay with her docs, it is probably safe for her to try.
Has someone recommended Voltaren to her? There are also generic versions on the market that are a little less expensive.
Sue

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Since this post is about Voltaren, I'm wondering why it is not supposed to be used on the shoulders or neck. I can't remember if the general prohibition was above the waist. Does anyone know the reason for this? Thank you.

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@tsc

Since this post is about Voltaren, I'm wondering why it is not supposed to be used on the shoulders or neck. I can't remember if the general prohibition was above the waist. Does anyone know the reason for this? Thank you.

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I never heard of that. I'm pretty sure my doc hasn't either! She and I both use it there.

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@sueinmn

I never heard of that. I'm pretty sure my doc hasn't either! She and I both use it there.

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I saw it as a warning on the box. I bought it for osteoarthritis in my shoulder so wound up giving it away.

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@tsc

Since this post is about Voltaren, I'm wondering why it is not supposed to be used on the shoulders or neck. I can't remember if the general prohibition was above the waist. Does anyone know the reason for this? Thank you.

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@tsc I was on Diclofenac, the prescription name for Voltaren before Voltaren became an OTC drug. Not using it on my upper body was never mentioned but I was on it for my hip so perhaps the doctor didn't find it necessary to mention it.
JK

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@contentandwell

@tsc I was on Diclofenac, the prescription name for Voltaren before Voltaren became an OTC drug. Not using it on my upper body was never mentioned but I was on it for my hip so perhaps the doctor didn't find it necessary to mention it.
JK

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@contentandwell Hi, when I was in rehab and extended care, Voltaren was used on both feet at night. The Rx Diclofenac is a stronger % than what you can buy OTC which is only 1%. Anything higher you need an RX.
For me the OTC is fine but the RX works that much better. KLH

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@kilh

@contentandwell Hi, when I was in rehab and extended care, Voltaren was used on both feet at night. The Rx Diclofenac is a stronger % than what you can buy OTC which is only 1%. Anything higher you need an RX.
For me the OTC is fine but the RX works that much better. KLH

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@kilh I didn't realize there was a different in the strengths. I had a rare side effect so I stopped using it entirely.
JK

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Only if you use it beyond instructions

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