Voltaren Emulgel Extra Strength (Diclofenac Sodium)

Also Known as Voltarol Emulgel, Voltarol max strength, voltaren

Prescription medicineOnly Available By Prescription

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Strength Pack Size Qty
Extra strength (2.32%)
Pack Size
Extra strength (2.32%) Joint Pain
Pack Size

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Diclofenac sodium topical gel, 1% is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to manage pain due to osteoarthritis of joints in the knees and hands. 


Diclofenac sodium gel, 1% should be used only on the skin. Do not get the gel in your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

A dosing card should come with your prescription. The dosing card is used to help you estimate the appropriate amount of gel to apply. 


No more than 32 grams total a day should be applied.

Dosing for lower extremities:

Using the dosing card, measure out 4 grams and apply to the affected area four times a day. More than 16 grams should not be applied to any one affected joint per day.

Dosing for higher extremities: 

Apply 2 grams to the affected site four times a day. More than 8 grams should not be applied to any one affected joint per day.


The active ingredient in diclofenac sodium gel is diclofenac sodium, 1%. 


Avoid using diclofenac sodium gel if you have any allergies to diclofenac, aspirin, or other NSAIDs.

Avoid using diclofenac sodium gel if you have a history of experiencing asthma, hives, or any other allergic reaction after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

Avoid using diclofenac sodium gel before coronary artery bypass graft surgery. 



See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

Cardiovascular Risk

  • Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause an increased risk of
    serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke,
    which can be fatal. 
  • Voltaren┬« Gel is contraindicated for the treatment of peri-operative pain in the
    setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Gastrointestinal Risk
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Voltaren┬« Gel,cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. Elderly patients are at greater risk for serious gastrointestinal events
  • Before you begin using diclofenac sodium gel, 1%, you and your doctor should discuss: 
    • If you have any allergies
    • Any medications you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines
    • Your medical conditions and medical history
    • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
    • If you are currently breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
  • Severe and potentially fatal cardiovascular thrombotic events, heart attack, and stroke can be caused by NSAIDs. If you are at risk for cardiovascular disease, use the lowest dose of diclofenac sodium gel.
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation can be caused by NSAIDs. Let your doctor know if you have ever had ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Abnormal liver tests can be caused by using diclofenac gel. If you have abnormal liver tests that worsen or won't go away, your doctor may discontinue the use of diclofenac gel. 
  • Continual use of NSAIDs can cause kidney problems. Caution should be used in elderly patients, patients with kidney problems, heart problems, and liver problems, and patients who take fluid pills and certain blood pressure medications. 
  • High blood pressure can be caused by NSAIDs. 
  • The retention of fluid can be caused with the use of NSAIDs. Caution should be used if you have heart problems or if you are retaining fluid.
  • Skin reactions that can be serious and fatal can be caused by NSAIDs. Get medical attention immediately if you develop a rash or other signs of a skin reaction.

Side Effects

Skin irritation is the most common side effect of diclofenac sodium topical gel, 1%. 

Immediately inform your doctor if you experience troublesome or continuous side effects. 


Voltaren Gel Prescribing Information. Parsippany, NJ: Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.; 2009.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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