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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Voltaren


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 06/4/2000]
Question: Please evaluate Volaren for arthritis.
I am getting cortisone shots and taking prednisone.

Heard volaren is helpful without side effects.

What is your opinion--please! Thank you---Bless you!!!

Answer: Voltaren is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. There is no free lunch-the side effects are usually gi. That is gastritis, bleeding ulcers, diarrhea. Any of the non-steroidals work about the same, although occasionally one in a class will work better for one patient than another. Whether it would be helpful would depend a lot on what type of arthritis and how severe it is, but generally used in preference to prednisone except for the inflammatory type of arthritis.

[posted 04/7/2000]
Question: I fractured my wrist and the doctor prescribed Voltaren 50 mg 3 x a day. But this did absolutely nothing to lessen the pain, so after 2 days I switched to ibuprofen. I just wanted to find out why that may be and maybe I can use the answer for reference when I have another problem.

Answer: They both belong to the same general class of drugs called non-sterodial anti-inflammatories. There are 4 subgroups in this class and ibuprofen and voltaren belong to different classes. Some patients will get better relief from one subgroup than the other, in general there is little difference.

Voltaren
Question: My husband has been taking Voltaren for about a year or more. We keep hearing nightmare stories about the drug, even though my husband has found much relief from the drug since major back surgery, arthritis, etc. He does suffer from some gastro-intestinal problems from time to time (not sure if it's a reaction to the Voltaren necessarily), but he's worried enough about it to stop taking it. But it's the only thing that relieves his pain!!

Answer: What are the horror stories concerning? In general, it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory no better or worse than Motrin or Indocin. Some do get better relief from this one since it is in a different subgroup of nsaids and some patients are better with one subgroup than the other. The gi problems are usually the only big problem. Long term with large doses he needs to watch his renal funcion;but, that is true of the whole class.

Voltaren
Question: What does this medicine do and what are the side effects?

Answer: Voltaren is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory. It works to decrease pain and inflammation. Side effects are gastritis(occasionally to the point of bleeding, or an ulcer), diarrhea, dyspepsia, and occasional patients experience asthma and/or rash.

General Information
Question: My mother was taking Voltaren for years. After getting major side effects the doctor took her off the drug. But, the damage the drug caused is still with her. For almost a year she has been suffering from erosive gastritis, peptic ulceration, intestinal tract problems, mouth burning, along with various other problems. She has been to several gastroenterologist. They all know her problem, but can't find a cure. Are their any doctors or studies that are familiar with the side effects caused by voltaren? Would the Mayo center be a good place to take her to?

Answer: About 10% or so; but, if you are the one it is 100%. Taking cytotec or a h2 blocker can help. Also, try other NSAIDS like Relofen or Daypro. However, the problem that she is currently having is not due to the Voltaren if she has been off for a year. Mayo is an excellent clinic.

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