The FDA recently approved Voltaren Arthritis Pain (gel) for nonprescription, or over-the-counter (OTC) use1. This was done through the Rx-to-OTC switch process to make Voltaren Arthritis Pain the second FDA-approved OTC topical pain reliever on the market. As consumers make their way to the store shelves, please see below for additional information about Voltaren Arthritis Pain and its differences from our flagship product and the first FDA-approved OTC topical pain reliever, the Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE.
Both the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommend using topical NSAIDs for treating arthritis pain2. Although Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel is the first FDA-approved OTC topical NSAID in gel form, it is important for pain sufferers and the medical community to know that Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE was the first FDA-approved OTC topical NSAID and can be used in place of Voltaren Arthritis Pain when treating pain related to arthritis.For a link to the official FDA press release, please click here.
What is the active ingredient in each product?
The active ingredients in Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE are Methyl Salicylate (10%), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and Menthol (3%), a counter irritant. The active ingredient in Voltaren Arthritis Pain is Diclofenac Sodium (1%), an NSAID2.
What is each product used for?
Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE is the only OTC pain reliever (topical or pills) to be labeled to relieve mild to moderate aches & pains of muscles & joints associated with arthritis, strains, sprains, simple backache and bruises. Voltaren Arthritis Pain is only labeled for the temporarily relief of arthritis pain1. Voltaren Arthritis Gel can only be applied on joints and is not labeled for any other body area such as back (most common source of body pain)3, hip or shoulders4. It has not been shown to work for strains, sprains, bruises or sports injuries1.
How do I use the products?
For Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE, clean and dry the affected area, remove the patch from the backing film and apply to the skin for up to 8 to 12 hours. Use only one patch at a time and only use up to 2 patches per day. For Voltaren Arthritis Pain, use the included Dosing Card to measure the appropriate amount of gel depending on the area of application4. For an upper body application, use 2.25 inches long (2 grams) at a time. For a lower body application, use 4.5 inches long (4 grams) at a time. Do not cover the applied area with clothes or gloves until 10 minutes after application and be sure to wash the Dosing Card after each application.
How soon should I expect relief when using each product?
For Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE, pain relief generally occurs within 1 hour of application. However, in some individuals, pain relief may occur more rapidly and in others, longer. Some individuals may not experience pain relief until several hours after applying. Voltaren Arthritis Pain could take up to 7 days (168 hours) to work for arthritis pain and is not to be used for immediate relief from arthritis pain4.
How long does each product last?
Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE provides pain relief for up to 8 to 12 hours per dose (1 patch at a time and up to 2 patches per day) while Voltaren Arthritis Pain provides pain relief for up to 6 hours per dose (apply up to 4 times per day)4.
Are there any warnings associated with these products?
Salonpas Pain Relief Patch LARGE has an allergy and stomach bleeding warning. Voltaren Arthritis Pain warns against severe stomach bleeding, but also has a liver warning and a heart attack and stroke warning3. Voltaren Arthritis Pain also has a severe allergy alert for people who are allergic to aspirin.
1. FDA Press Release (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-three-drugs-nonprescription-use-through-rx-otc-switch-process)
2. GSK Press Release (https://us.gsk.com/en-us/media/press-releases/fda-approves-gsk-s-voltaren-arthritis-pain-for-over-the-counter-use-in-the-united-states/)
3. Data on file
4. Voltaren Arthritis Pain Website (https://www.voltarengel.com/)