Diclofenac sodium liquid/gel

Drug Class: NSAIDs
Brand Names:  Pennsaid (prescription), Voltaren Gel (prescription), Voltaren Arthritis Pain (over-the-counter)


Voltaren Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain
For OA:
2 g for each elbow, wrist or hand, 4 times a day
4 g for each knee, ankle or foot, 4 times a day

For OA: 40 drops on each knee, 4 times a day (1%) or 20 mg applied to each knee, twice a day (2%)

Potential Side Effects

Dry, red or itchy skin; constipation; diarrhea, nausea; abdominal pain.

Special Instructions

Apply to clean, dry skin. Do not apply to open skin wounds or infections.

Dispense 10 drops at a time. Spread evenly around front, back and sides of the affected each time before applying the next 10 drops until you complete 40 drops. (for Pennsaid 1%)

Prime the pump of the bottle by pushing down fully 4 times. Discard any solution that comes during the priming process. Then press the pump 2 times completely to get one dose. Spread evenly around front, back and sides of the affected area (for Pennsaid 2%).

Use the dosing card for each application of the product. (for Voltaren Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain).

Do not get into your eyes, nose or mouth.

Wash hands completely after administering the product.

Wait until the area is completely dry before covering with clothing or applying sunscreen, insect repellent, cosmetics, topical medications or other substances.

Avoid showering/bathing for at least 1 hour after the application to the treated area(s).

Minimize or avoid exposure of treated area(s) to natural or artificial sunlight.

Be Aware

Do not use Pennsaid if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Do not use Voltaren Gel or Voltaren Arthritis Pain late in pregnancy.

Before taking any type of NSAID, tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or take blood thinners (including warfarin), ACE inhibitors, lithium or furosemide. Also report any sensitivity or allergy to aspirin or similar drugs. All NSAIDs may cause an increased risk of serious blood clots, heart attacks and stroke, which can be fatal. All NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) problems including bleeding and ulcers. These risks may increase with dose and duration of use. Patients who have or who are at risk for cardiovascular disease may be at greater risk for these complications. NSAIDs should not be used for pain if you are having coronary bypass surgery.

LAST UPDATED: 4/2/2020

The Arthritis Today Drug Guide is meant for education – not self-medicating. Arthritis Today, the Arthritis Foundation and the Drug Guide Medical Review Panel do not endorse any products mentioned in this guide. While we endeavor to keep the information up to date, we make no representations or warranties about the completeness of the information provided.