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Diclofenac sodium topical gel (Pennsaid, Voltaren) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) patients put on their skin to help relieve pain. This drug is available both over the counter (Voltaren) and as a prescription medication (Pennsaid).


Diclofenac sodium topical gel can effectively treat joint pain from arthritis or actinic keratosis (AK), a painful precancerous skin problem. 

Side Effects

Side effects can include burning, itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. A rare side effect is an ulcer at the application site. 


What is diclofenac sodium topical gel used for?

Typically, it is to treat one of two conditions: osteoarthritis or actinic keratosis. 

How long does it take for diclofenac gel to work?

Most see some benefit after one or two days

What are the side effects of diclofenac sodium topical gel 1 %?

The side effects will vary, but some people experience burning or itching at the application site. There may be a rash that develops from the treatment, as well. 

Can diclofenac sodium topical gel be used for muscle pain?

It can be beneficial in treating acute pain from minor strains. 

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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