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Osteoarthritis Health Center

FDA OKs Voltaren Gel for Osteoarthritis

Voltaren Gel Is 1st Prescription Skin Gel for Osteoarthritis Joint Pain
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 23, 2007 -- The FDA has approved Voltaren Gel, the first prescription skin gel to treat osteoarthritis joint pain.

Voltaren Gel contains diclofenac sodium, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that's also in oral Voltaren. The gel can be applied to joints that hurt because of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It happens when the cartilage in joints breaks down and wears away.

The FDA approved Voltaren Gel based on studies that together included more than 900 patients with knee or hand osteoarthritis, according to Novartis, which makes Voltaren Gel.

Voltaren Gel was shown to cut pain in knee and hand osteoarthritis, states Novartis.

It wasn't evaluated for use on joints of the spine, hip, or shoulder, according to the drug's label.

The most common side effects reported in clinical trials of Voltaren Gel were skin reactions; 7% of patients had reactions on the place where the gel was applied.

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