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Analgesic is the medical term for a pain-killer, a drug that can provide relief from pain. Some analgesics stop pain by desensitizing local nerve endings (for example, in the painful joint); others work ‘centrally’ in the parts of the brain where pain is perceived.
Pain receptors may be stimulated directly or, more commonly, by chemical mediators such as prostaglandins released by damaged or inflamed tissue. Signals from pain receptors are transmitted via sensory nerves to the brain, which perceives pain. Like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Voltaren® relieves pain by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins.
The duration of treatment depends on the indication and the response obtained. The gel should not be used for more than 14 days for soft-tissue injuries or soft-tissue rheumatism, or 21 days for osteoarthritis pain, unless recommended by a doctor. When used without medical prescription, patients should consult their doctor or pharmacist if the condition does not improve within 7 days, or if it gets worse.
Voltaren® Emulgel® should be applied only to intact, healthy skin and not to skin wounds, infections, exudative dermatoses or open injuries. It should not be allowed to come into contact with the eyes or mucous membranes, and should never be taken by mouth.
Voltaren® Emulgel® contains propylene glycol, which may cause mild, localised skin reactions in some people.
Voltaren® Emulgel® can be used with non-occlusive bandages but should not be used with occlusive dressing.
The use of diclofenac in pregnant women has not been studied; therefore, Voltaren® Emulgel® should not be used during pregnancy.
It is not known whether topical diclofenac is excreted in breast milk; therefore, Voltaren® Emulgel® is not recommended during breast-feeding.