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By Sophie Kang, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University

Curist delivers FDA-approved medicines to your door at a fraction of the price of traditional brands. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this time.

What is Voltaren for Arthritis?

Voltaren is a gel used for arthritis pain. The active ingredient in Voltaren is diclofenac. Diclofenac belongs to a class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Diclofenac works by temporarily blocking the effects of hormones in the body called prostaglandins that lead to pain signals and inflammation. Because of diclofenac’s anti-inflammatory effects, the gel can be used to relieve joint pain and other local injuries when applied to areas of the body experiencing pain. Voltaren can specifically alleviate arthritis-related joint pain in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and feet. 

To shop diclofenac gel online at a more affordable price, check out Curist Arthritis Relief.

What is Pennsaid for Arthritis?

Pennsaid is a topical solution used for arthritis-related pain in the knees that is only available as a prescription. The active ingredient in Pennsaid is diclofenac, an NSAID. Diclofenac inhibits chemicals in the body that cause pain and inflammation. Pennsaid contains a 2% topical solution of diclofenac and is applied to the knees to relieve arthritis-related pain.

Is Voltaren the Same Thing as Pennsaid?

No, Voltaren is not the same thing as Pennsaid. Voltaren and Pennsaid both contain the same active ingredient, diclofenac. Diclofenac is an NSAID that inhibits hormones in the body that cause inflammation and pain. Pennsaid is a prescription-only topical solution with 2% diclofenac compared with Voltaren which is an over-the-counter gel that is available at 1% diclofenac strength.

To shop diclofenac gel online at a more affordable price, check out Curist Arthritis Relief.

How Does Voltaren Work to Treat Arthritis?

Voltaren contains an NSAID, diclofenac, and is a topical gel. To treat arthritis, Voltaren is applied to areas of pain, like the knees, hands, and elbows. The diclofenac gel is absorbed through the skin, exerting anti-inflammatory effects to relieve pain.

How are Voltaren and Pennsaid Similar?

Voltaren and Pennsaid contain the same active ingredient, diclofenac, an NSAID that relieves pain. Voltaren and Pennsaid are both topical and applied only to areas experiencing pain. Unlike oral medicines taken by mouth, topical medicines are absorbed through the skin and not through the stomach. Because Voltaren and Pennsaid are both topical, the medicines cause less side effects compared to oral NSAIDs, which are absorbed from the stomach into the bloodstream and can cause more gastrointestinal side effects.

How Should Voltaren Be Taken?

Voltaren comes with a label and a dosing card. The label has instructions on how to apply the gel and use the dosing card. Use the dosing card to measure and apply the following amounts to the areas where you are experiencing pain:

  • Upper body areas (hands, wrists, elbows): 2.25 inches
  • Lower body areas (knees, ankles, feet): 4.5 inches

Gently rub the gel onto any affected areas. The gel can be used up to four times a day everyday for up to 21 days. You may start to feel relief if using the gel four times a day. If your pain gets worse or lasts more than 21 days, talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Be sure not to use the gel on more than two body areas at the same time.

To shop diclofenac gel online at a more affordable price, check out Curist Arthritis Relief.

How Should Pennsaid Be Taken?

Wash and dry your hands before applying Pennsaid. Apply Pennsaid to the front, back, and sides of your knees. Once applied, protect the treated knee from sunlight. When applying Pennsaid, avoid contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth. You should also avoid skin contact with other people and the knees to which Pennsaid is applied until your knees are completely dry. Pennsaid should not be applied to open wounds, infections, or rashes. Avoid showering for at least 30 minutes after applying Pennsaid. You can wear clothing over your knees where Pennsaid has been applied to ensure the treated knee remains dry.

Can I Use Voltaren and Pennsaid Together for Arthritis Treatment?

No, Voltaren and Pennsaid should not be taken together. Because they both contain the same active ingredient, diclofenac, only one of Voltaren or Pennsaid should be taken at a time.

Treating Pain & Arthritis: Voltaren vs Pennsaid

Treating Pain & Arthritis: Voltaren vs Pennsaid

This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.