Voltaren is a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative joint diseases of the hips. Diclofenac Sodium is for those that require a long-term pain relief while Diclofenac Potassium is prescribed for a short-term solution for inflammation from sprains and strains or after a surgical procedure.
Voltaren or generic Diclofenac Sodium inhibits an enzyme called COX (cyclooxygenase) which, in turn, decreases prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are found in most tissues and organs that stimulate nerve cells, telling your brain there is pain. Their job is then to cause your blood vessels to swell and allow white blood cells to enter and repair the damage. This results in inflammation that can make even the simplest tasks difficult to carry out due to the pain and swelling of your joints. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects the joint lining and cartilage primarily in your fingers, wrists, knees, and elbows. An autoimmune disease occurs when your body has an unusual immune response in that it can be triggered by what your body thinks is a danger where no threat exists. It turns on itself and causes swelling, pain, and inflammation which affect your joints. In the case of RA, the protective lining of your joints are affected and the cartilage becomes damaged so the end result is your bones start to erode as they rub together when you move.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and can affect both the larger and smaller joints of your body, especially in your back, spine, and pelvis. As we age, there are many changes to our body, many of which are not very kind. OA starts in your cartilage and results in the opposing bones rubbing together, causing pain and damage. By taking Voltaren along with physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and joints, OA can be managed quite well. There are no cures for arthritis, but Voltaren will allow you freedom from the pain and inflammation that can make simple chores unbearable.
Ask your primary caregiver about any risks of taking Voltaren when you are pregnant, if you become pregnant, or you are breast feeding. Inform your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have before taking Voltaren and list all current OTC and Rx drugs you take or use, including herbal preparations and vitamin supplements. This will help your doctor to determine if Voltaren is the right medication for your situation.
If you are scheduled for a dental or surgical procedure, tell the medical staff that you are taking Voltaren as you may be asked to stop taking it for a short period of time before this occurs. Your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight while taking Voltaren, so be certain to use a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF and proper clothing to avoid sunburn.