Voltaren Gel may be prescribed for treating osteoarthritis. Specifically, this product can help treat arthritis of the knees and hands, or other parts of the body that are easily treated with a gel. This prescription medication comes in the form of a gel and is typically applied to the skin four times a day. The most common side effects of this medication are skin reactions at the application site.
Voltaren Gel is made by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.
How Does Voltaren Gel Work?
Voltaren Gel belongs to a group of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Like other NSAIDs, it works by blocking a specific enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (COX) and blocking the production of various inflammatory substances in the body. However, because it works mostly were it is applied (only 6 percent of the medication actually reaches the rest of the body), Voltaren Gel helps to lower the exposure to the rest of the body (which may decrease the risk of dangerous side effects).
Clinical Effects of Voltaren Gel
This medication has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies compared Voltaren Gel to a placebo (a gel that does not contain any active ingredients). These studies demonstrated that Voltaren Gel was significantly better than the placebo for relieving arthritis pain of the knees and hands.
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National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 22, 2009.
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