The Basics of Voltaren Gel
Voltaren Gel is a topical medication that is used to treat pain and inflammation in the joints. It is commonly prescribed for conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. The active ingredient in Voltaren Gel is diclofenac, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
How Does Voltaren Gel Work?
Voltaren Gel works by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain and inflammation. By reducing the production of prostaglandins, Voltaren Gel helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area.
The Side Effects of Voltaren Gel
While Voltaren Gel is generally considered safe and effective for most people, it can cause side effects in some individuals. Some of the most common side effects of Voltaren Gel include:
1. Skin Irritation
One of the most common side effects of Voltaren Gel is skin irritation at the site of application. This can include redness, itching, and burning. In some cases, the skin may become dry and flaky.
2. Stomach Problems
Because Voltaren Gel is an NSAID, it can cause stomach problems in some individuals. This can include stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, Voltaren Gel can also cause ulcers or bleeding in the stomach.
3. Kidney Problems
In rare cases, Voltaren Gel can cause kidney problems. This can include decreased urine output, swelling of the legs or feet, and fatigue.
4. Cardiovascular Problems
Some studies have suggested that Voltaren Gel may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke. This risk may be higher in individuals who have a history of cardiovascular disease.
5. Allergic Reactions
In rare cases, Voltaren Gel can cause allergic reactions. This can include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
How to Minimize the Risk of Side Effects
To minimize the risk of side effects from Voltaren Gel, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. You should only use Voltaren Gel as directed, and you should not use more than the recommended dose. You should also avoid using Voltaren Gel on broken or irritated skin, as this can increase the risk of skin irritation. If you experience any skin irritation while using Voltaren Gel, discontinue use and contact your doctor. In addition, you should talk to your doctor about any other medications or supplements you are taking, as they may interact with Voltaren Gel and increase the risk of side effects.
While Voltaren Gel can be an effective treatment for pain and inflammation, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects. By following your doctor’s instructions carefully and taking steps to minimize the risk of side effects, you can use Voltaren Gel safely and effectively. If you experience any side effects while using Voltaren Gel, contact your doctor immediately.