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What Is Diclofenac Gel Used For?

Diclofenac gel is approved for treating a precancerous skin condition known as actinic keratosis. It can also be used to treat osteoarthritis of the hands, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, and knees. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend this drug "off-label" for other conditions. Off-label uses of diclofenac gel may include the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, actinic cheilitis, or osteoarthritis of other areas of the body.

Diclofenac Gel Uses

Diclofenac gel (Solaraze® Gel, Voltaren® Gel) is a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. Depending on the strength, it is approved for the following uses:
  • Treating osteoarthritis of the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands
  • Treating a precancerous skin condition known as actinic keratosis (AK).

Diclofenac Gel for Arthritis

Diclofenac 1 percent gel (Voltaren Gel) is approved for treating osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This painful condition occurs when cartilage begins to become ragged and wears away. Cartilage is the tissue that pads bones in a joint. Over time, all of the cartilage in a joint can wear away, leaving bones that rub against each other.
Additionally, the fluid within the joint that normally lubricates and cushions the joints becomes thin and less able to protect the joint, contributing to the development of osteoarthritis symptoms.
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are treatments that can ease pain and improve function. Voltaren Gel is an ideal way to obtain the benefits of an NSAID medication while decreasing the exposure to the rest of the body, since current recommendations warn that NSAIDs should be used at the lowest possible dose for the shortest period of time (see Voltaren Gel Warnings and Precautions for more information).
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Diclofenac Gel Drug Information

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