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Voltarol/NSAID pain relief gels

Hey, just after some clarification and thought some of you may have the answers :)

So I have an old shoulder injury (lots of dislocations followed by an operation to stabilise the joint) that has flared up over the last 10 days - your typical over the counter pain meds are not really touching it so I must go and sort a GP/nurse appt out... But the pharmacy assisstant (pharmasist not available) I spoke to yesterday said to try Voltarol gel. After explaining that I had asthma and a problem with asprin, ibruprofen etc she didn't suggest an alternative but did state that with a gel based product I was a lot less likely to have a problem as it would be localised to one area??

I decided not to take the risk!! But does anyone else who has a problem with NSAID's find gels to be ok? I've just never heard this before and wondered what the general consensus was.

Thank you!

6 Replies

Hi Lee,

Having joint problems my self OA in most of my joints,I am on lots of pain relief but makes me tired.I would recomend a TENS MACHINE.It will be the best thing and you wont regret it.volterol only seems to help surface problems and strong meds not good if you drive.the Tens can be hidden under your clothes and kept on your body area and turn it on as you need it.volterol would be ok if you clear it with your GP.You can get a Tens machine for around 15.00 and can use it in most places from a beep penertrating pulse to a mild massarge.Hope this helps it will be money well spent.

If you have a medical condition check with your GP if a Tens is ok for you xxx


I have had an operation on my shoulder and have developed OA of the shoulder joint. I am unable to take NSAI, however I am using ibruprofen 10% gel and I found that this does not cause my asthma to flare up like the tablets, but it does solve the pain. This is because the gel is only applied to the specific joint and not taken orally therefore there is less chance of a reaction. (explained to me by a pharmacist)and prescribed by a GP, who also shares the same point of view. I have been using it for over a year.


Personally I wouldn't take the risk - I have a severe delayed reaction to NSAIDs (I didn't make the link for a while because it's not immediate) - but I would be interested to know medical opinion on this as all the gels are NSAID. I have been told no NSIADs, no aspirin, so I won't be taking them or using gels. If you ask your GP, I'd be interested to know what he/she says though. I find the disposable heat pads (the ones that self heat) or a hot water-bottle in combination with paracetamol or stronger prescribed painkillers the best option.



I've used Voltarol before for a problem with my legs and didn't find it to make me symptomatic. I find using heat pads and if you can tolerate it, deep heat.

Hope it gets sorted

Vicky x


Thanks for all your replies guys. It seems as though some of you are fine with the NSAID gel's and the general consensus is that they are less likely to cause a problem. It's good to know the gel's are possibly an option but I think I will check it out with my GP surgery (now have an appt for next week) before deciding what to do - I'm too scared of making my asthma horrid through trial and error (memories of what happened when I first took ibruprofen are not good).

The heat pad tips sound good, I've been using a hot water bottle but the pads would be portable which would be great for getting through work.

Thank you :) and fingers crossed for an easy solution next week!


As NSAID are bound to induce asthma so asthma patients are not suggested to take any NSAID medicines or pain killers. It is better to used gel form than pill form.


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