Lactose free meds?

Hi, I have a fair bit of joint pain and a few other things wrong with me and my body to boot.

I have been given (and I know I should not have taken them) ten Voltarene LP 75mg tablets by a friend while in France. I took two over two days a few months ago, my joint pain was a great deal better after the second tablet, then I stopped as I am lactose intolerant/allergic and the symptoms started up.

I have been in a great deal of pain recently and took three more over three days, the pain is so much better, but the lactose thing is back. so I will stop.

I have tried to find out if there is a lactose free diclofenac out there, and been unable, so I thought of HealthUnlocked. I hope one of you can tell me of something, So I can go and see my useless Doctor armed with what I need rather than be told to take paracetamol, every few hours which does not help much.

15 Replies

  • you can get diclofenac gel - not quite as quick acting as oral meds, but I find it works quite well if used regularly for a while over the sore areas. The branded version is voltarol emulgel, and its definitely prescribable. Packet says to only use on two areas at any one time, but I will sometimes use it over more (with the blessing of my GP, as I still don't go over the maximum weekly amount to use).

    The other option for intolerances of tablet fillers is to see if there is a liquid form of it. It does pay to do a bit of homework though on brands - ask your pharmacist to look at all the pack labels and see if they can find a specific brand that doesn't have lactose, then get your GP to prescribe that brand by name. My tablet filler intolerance is maize starch and that seems to be in just about everything, but I still usually manage to find some form of whatever med it is that I need that doesn't have maize in.

  • Thanks for your answer, My pain is in both knees and my lower back all the way into my SIJ, and often my hips. So I would need a bucketful! :-) I have had meds that have been changed in the past to ones without lactose, not by the Doctor but by the Pharmacist, who is very helpful and seems to have a lot of time for me.

    During my research I see most of the NSAIDs are causing a high degree of coronary risks which I am concerned about as I have problems with my veins and heart.

    I won't be trying the five tablets I have left, due to the lactose.

  • Just to assure you about NSAIDs. Before being considered for any of those which carry warnings for possible cardiovascular issues it's recommended that a full CV check is undertaken before prescribing. I've taken Arcoxia (etoricoxib, which is a COX-2 NSAID) for 4 years now & need to have this check yearly to ensure I can continue on it. Your Rheumy should ask your GP to arrange this if you're considered for an NSAID which carries this warning.

  • I believe it's Voltaren and available OTC.

  • Voltaren still contains lactose

  • Have you asked your Pharamacist? They usually know the most about what different forms of drugs are available. Failing that, check out children's versions which whilst often lower strength (so you have to take more obviously) also can be lactose free or available in liquid form. But there are hundreds of useful NSAIDS so surely one of them would be lactose free & ok for you.

  • I'm on regular Diclofenac MR and am unable to tolerate any lactose. GPs don't have ingredients lists when they prescribe so it's difficult for them to help with this but they can specify a lactose-free preparation in the comments on the green prescription. It's worth speaking to your local pharmacist as they are the one who can source lactose-free preparations for you.

  • I cannot have lactose and all my tablets are made at Martindales which is a small company making up prescriptions for those with problems. Don't have the liquid variety as it is usually full of flavourings and sugar etc. I take my prescription to the chemist who phone up Martindale and order it. By the way I did phone them up and agreed the filling needed inside the capsule and agreed on calcium. I need extra anyway.

  • PS there are no drugs available for osteoporosis with out lactose in them.

  • Hi jointpain,

    Your local pharmacist should be able to help. I have also put a link to a list of preparations that contain diclofenac in the EMC guide. You can find out what are the constituents of all of these preparations by looking at the patient information guide (PIL). It will list all the ingredients and you can look for one without lactose:

    Hope this helps

    Beverley (NRAS Helpline)

  • Thank you Beverley after using your link I have narrowed the available tablets down to three Fenactol, Motifene and Rheumatac Retard, all 75mg all Lactose free.

  • Hi jointpain,

    glad it was of use but I would also check with the pharmacist as well for good measure,


  • I will, and see my Doctor first. Thanks again.

  • I believe diclofenac in suppository form doesn't have lactose as an added ingredient. If Voltarol is something that controls your pain it might be worth questioning if your GP will prescribe them for you.

  • You can get Lactase supplements that might help you to take regular medication. I bought mine on Amazon. They're also useful when eating out.

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