From the title itself, diclofenac sodium topical gel 1 is used for external purposes only. It belongs to the drugs used to relieve arthritis and joint pain. In other words, it is one of the NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Any form of inflammation may fight through this gel.
However, if you are taking medication for chronic inflammation, it is much safer if you will ask your doctor first about the use of diclofenac gel or other non-drug treatments.
How to Use?
Upon the purchase of the product, a guideline or instruction is enclosed with. You may follow this instruction before using the gel. Additional questions may be asked by your pharmacist or doctor.
The use of this medicine is for topical use only. Meaning to say, it is only applicable to the skin. Swallowing the product is extremely prohibited.
A dosing card/s is/are provided together with the medication. Thus, to measure the dose, use the dosing card. Here’s how to:
- Find a flat surface and put the dosing card on it.
- You may notice that there are prints or marks in the card. The prints will be your guide for the right dosage.
- Use these marks to measure the suggested dosage by squeezing a straight line of the medication to the dosing card.
- Apply the gel in the affected joint.
After applying the gel to the affected joint, remember to wash your hands with soap and water. Not unless you are using the remaining gel to treat your hands. Moreover, do not let the treated area be wet. So it is best to avoid washing and bathing for at least one hour after the medicine application. Also, let the treated area open for at least 10 minutes. After that time, you may cover it with clothing or gloves, but bandage and wrap are not allowed as well as applying heat to the treated area.
Usually, directions of the gel’s application are 4 times a day or vary depending on the prescription of the doctor. Stay the diclofenac gel away from any rashes, infections, or cuts.
The diclofenac gel may take effect after a week or two upon regular use. But if the drug is prescribed as a “need” and not a “regular” scheduled type, then it will work best at the first sign of pain. If the pain reaches the next level, the medicine will most probably not work.
How Many Doses Should You Put?
In terms of the dose that will be applied to the painful joint, it will vary depending on your medical issues as well as how your body responds to treatment. For the joint on the lower part of your bodies such as foot, ankle, and knee, you should not apply greater than 16 g of the gel per day. On the other hand, upper parts of the body such as elbow, wrist, and hand, should not get further than 8 g of the gel per day. Lastly, any joints of your body, no matter how many you are treating, should not get more than 32 g of the gel per day.
The dosing card enclosed in the medicine can be used to apply the gel. Additionally, if the packaged instructed that the card is reusable, then you should rinse and dry the dosing card. If the card is ready to be discarded, fold it in half and put the empty medication inside it. Throw it in the area where children and pets can’t reach it.
The warning section in the package is your number one precaution guideline to avoid its possible side effect.
Otherwise, if you are allergic to the product, inform your pharmacist or doctor right away. The same with other NSAID’s product if you have an allergy with it. Or if you have any existing allergy, your doctor has to know. This information is important as the product may have an inactive substance, which can trigger your allergies or other problems.
Overall, before using the product, your doctor must know your medical history especially if you have or had a stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach problems, liver disease, asthma, blood disorders, swelling, and bleeding.
Keep yourself hydrated as what your doctor instructed you. Inform your doctor for any changes in the amount of urine you are producing. NSAID medication can sometimes cause kidney problem. Thus, fighting it is through being hydrated.
Risks of Using Diclofenac Sodium Gel
Using diclofenac has benefits and risk—almost any medication has. Thus, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the possible benefits and risk so you will be fully aware of it.
Nevertheless, decreasing the non-drug medication’s side effect is possible if you apply the lowest dose. Never try to add from the prescribed dosage as well as use more often than what your doctor told you. Do not even try to apply the gel to any parts of your body without your doctor’s permission. Also, stay it away from your eyes, mouth, and nose. If any of the mentioned parts of your body has accidentally been applied, wash it with plenty amount of water. Then if irritation, call your doctor immediately.
If your doctor prescribed this medicine, most probably, your doctor trust that you will get the benefit of the drug more than its side effects. Nonetheless, a few people still get its side effects though it is not serious. Some of it are:
- Redness or skin irritation on the applied area
- High blood pressure
- Dark urine
- Yellowing skin/eyes
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in the throat, tongue, and face
- Itching and rash
If third up to the seventh symptoms persist, a rare case of serious liver disease may occur to the patient. Eighth up to eleventh symptoms, on the other hand, may be a sign of a serious, but rare, allergic reaction.
Furthermore, this list of symptoms is not complete. If side effects rather than the mentioned occur in you after using diclofenac gel, make an appointment with your doctor.