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What is the use of Voltaren (diclofenac)? Uses and side effects

What is the use of Voltaren (diclofenac)? Uses and side effects

June 20, 2024

"Voltaren" is the most common trade name of diclofenac , a medication commonly used to treat pain and inflammation as well as other related symptoms.

In this article we will describe what Voltaren is, what it is for and how it differs from other analgesic medications . We will also analyze in which cases it is convenient to avoid diclofenac and what side effects it can cause.

What is diclofenac?

Diclofenac is an anti-inflammatory drug that is marketed under many commercial names, such as Voltaren, Voltadol, Dolotren, Atrtrotec or Normuen.

Like ibuprofen, Aspirin or Enantyum (dexketoprofen), diclofenac is part of the group of medications known as "NSAIDs" (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). These drugs inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, compounds that influence inflammation and pain.

It can be given in pills, cream, as an injection, as eye drops and as a suppository. In Spain diclofenac gel is sold as Voltadol and Voltaren Emulgel, while the rest of formats can be found simply as "Voltaren".

Even though In general, diclofenac can be obtained without a prescription , in some countries it requires a prescription, especially the variants with the highest concentration of the drug.

Differences with other medications

NSAIDs are less harmful to the digestive system than steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone and cortisol, but they can also produce stomach symptoms if they are consumed continuously.

Diclofenac and other NSAIDs are less tolerable than Nolotil for people with stomach and bowel problems . However, NSAIDs affect the blood to a lesser extent than Nolotil.

The Voltaren is one of the most powerful NSAIDs , although also of the most aggressive. Enantyum is more potent and harmful than diclofenac, while ibuprofen and Voltaren have very similar effects.

In general it is recommended to take acetaminophen to relieve minor pain because it is considered one of the safest analgesics, although diclofenac and other NSAIDs are not much more dangerous and are especially useful for some types of pain.

What is the Voltaren good for?

Diclofenac It is effective to treat multiple types of pains of mild or moderate intensity related to inflammation. This medicine stands out especially in the relief of the symptoms that we mention below.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 8 worst pains that humans suffer"

1. Joint pain

One of the main indications of Voltaren is the treatment of joint problems such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, jaw pain and rheumatism, as well as extra-articular rheumatic pains .

It is also recommended to treat attacks of gout, a subtype of arthritis characterized by painful inflammation of a joint, often that of the base of the big toe. Gout is due to the accumulation of uric acid in blood, more common in overweight people who consume a lot of meat and alcohol.

2. Post-traumatic and postoperative pain

The Voltaren is very effective to treat inflammatory symptoms and painful produced by blows, regardless of whether the damage is in the bones, in the muscles or in the joints.

Also after the surgical operations it is usual to use Voltaren and other analgesics of medium power.

3. Musculoskeletal pain

The pains in the muscles and bones, be acute or chronic , can be alleviated by the consumption of many different analgesics. Although not specific for this use, the Voltaren can be effective in fighting back and back pain, among others.

4. Kidney problems

Among the kidney pains for which diclofenac is recommended are the produced by nephritic colic or stones in the gallbladder .

5. Dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain)

Rule pain can be relieved effectively with diclofenac and other anti-inflammatories. This is another one of the main indications of the Voltaren .

If they are very intense, menstrual pain can lead to headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

6. Chronic pain

Diclofenac is effective in reducing chronic pain, especially those related to inflammation. This may be the case of cancer pains, for which treatment doctors usually prescribe combinations of opioids such as codeine and NSAIDs as the Voltaren.

  • Related article: "Chronic pain: what it is and how it is treated from Psychology"

7. Other inflammatory pains

Among the pains due to inflammation that we have not mentioned yet, it is worth mentioning the dental pains, such as that of teeth, and ocular inflammation , which can be treated with diclofenac in eyedrop form.

Side effects and adverse

The most frequent side effects of Voltaren include rashes, headache, dizziness and vertigo . Among the most common gastrointestinal symptoms are lack of appetite, belly pain, gas, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Other less common side effects include breathing difficulties, swelling of the face, abdominal cramps, and itching all over the skin.

In case Voltaren's consumption produces side effects it is advisable to try other analgesics, to be able to be less aggressive.


Avoid taking diclofenac in the third trimester of pregnancy and during breastfeeding because the drug could affect the baby.

Given its potential to damage the gastrointestinal system , Voltaren is contraindicated in people who have ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome or other similar conditions. The same applies to all NSAIDs, including ibuprofen.

It also seems that diclofenac increases the risk of arterial thrombosis and embolism to a greater extent than other NSAIDs, so that people with cardiovascular diseases should also opt for other analgesics as a priority. For all this we recommend that the Voltaren is not used without medical prescription, despite how easy it is to obtain it.

Also, it is not advisable to apply diclofenac cream (Voltaren Emulgel or Voltadol) on wounds or eczemas since it can aggravate these problems.

Voltaren or Diclofenac Medication Information (dosing, side effects, patient counseling) (June 2024).

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