Elderly and retired people are familiar with Voltaren because it is an excellent medicine to treat inflammation and provide pain relief for the joints and muscles. Voltaren is one out many various brand names available for medicines containing diclofenac.
Diclofenac is the main active ingredient of Voltaren providing powerful and immediate anti-inflammatory action. High efficiency and affordable price of Voltaren made it extremely popular and reliable among the population. It is non-prescription drug sold at the local and online pharmacies over the counter.
Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis introduced diclofenac in 1973. Since then over several decades it gained trust and reputation of the most efficient non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Diclofenac sodium is a benzeneacetic acid derivative.
Voltaren provides three types of action:
- Anti-inflammatory (swelling reduction)
- Antipyretic (fever reduction)
- Analgesic (pain relief)
Doctors and patients praise Voltaren for its potent anti-inflammatory action and fast fever reduction. It also often helps in the cases when other medicines fail. Besides, Voltaren is often used as a painkiller, even though its analgesic effect is mild making it more useful for mild and moderate pain.
Voltaren works by suppressing the synthesis of prostaglandins and cyclooxygenase – the substances that play a significant role in the processes of inflammation. Voltaren manages, relieves and reduces such unpleasant symptoms of inflammation as pain and swelling. Also, the drug has an immunomodulatory effect and does not cause allergic reaction during long-term treatment.
After oral administration, the active substance is 100% absorbed into the blood plasma and than diffuses into and out of the synovial fluid. Voltaren is available as tablets of two types: regular enteric-coated tablets and delayed-release tablets with a film coating.
Delayed-release tablets release the active substance slowly providing its steady therapeutic concentration in the blood. With conventional tablets, the maximum concentration of the active substance in the blood plasma is reached after 2 hours. With delayed release tablets, the highest concentration of the active substance in the blood is reached after 4 hours. Both types of tablets are accompanied with detailed instructions for use.
Voltaren is not recommended for breastfeeding women because it enters into breast milk. The drug should not be taken during the third trimester of pregnancy for several reasons. First of all, it weakens the uterine contractility and can interfere with the childbirth process. Secondly, it increases a risk of bleeding during childbirth. The drug negatively affects fertility. It is not recommended to use Voltaren during attempts to get pregnant.
Food has no significant effect on diclofenac absorption. However, it slows its absorption. If you need a fast pain relief, take a tablet half an hour before a meal. In most cases, the tablets can be taken during or after a meal. The tablet should be taken without chewing with plenty of water.
Voltaren is prescribed to adults and children over 15 years in a dosage of 25-50 mg: tablet taken 2-3 times a day. The maximum daily dosage for adults is 150 mg. For prolonged therapy and in mild cases, the dose can be reduced to 75 mg.
With delayed-release tablets, the optimal daily dose is 100 mg taken once a day. The course of treatment should not exceed two weeks. To children with a weight of more than 25 kg Voltaren is prescribed based o their body weight. Doctors calculate the dose individually considering the disease and age. The recommended dosage is 0.5-2 mg/kg. For rheumatoid arthritis treatment, the dosage can be increased to 3 mg/kg. Voltaren 50 mg tablets are not recommended for children.
It is not recommended to use diclofenac with other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and anticoagulants, as it may increase the risk of side effects, including bleeding. Acetylsalicylic acid reduces the concentration of Voltaren in the blood. Paracetamol increases the nephrotoxic effect of Voltaren.
The drug interferes with the effect of hypotensive, hypnotics and hypoglycemic agents. When Voltaren is taken together with antibiotics of a quinolone series, there is a risk of seizures. When Voltaren is taken with diuretics, it may weaken their action or increase levels of potassium in the blood.
To minimize risks follow the rules:
- Take the lowest effective dosage of Voltaren for the short duration
- Do not use with other NSAIDs at a time
- Patients at higher risk should take Voltaren with caution and under a supervision of doctor
- If there are side effects and adverse reactions, immediately discontinue Voltaren and see a doctor