February 19, 2020
People suffering from arthritis will soon have a new over-the-counter treatment option.
Voltaren Arthritis Pain, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory topical gel, has been approved for over-the-counter sales by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug is the first prescription strength NSAID topical gel for arthritis.
It has been available via prescription since the FDA first approved it in 2007.
Almost 30 million Americans are living with osteoarthritis. Voltaren is indicated for temporary relief of arthritis pain in the hand, wrist, elbow, foot, ankle or knee in adults 18 years and older.
Voltaren will be available over the counter in the next couple of months.
The Osteoarthritis Research Society International also updated its guidelines for nonsurgical management of osteoarthritis to include a strong recommendation for the use of topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for individuals with knee osteoarthritis based on its consistent effectiveness and minor side effects.
The FDA's approval of Voltaren was based on clinical data used for GlaxoSmithKline's original prescription approval, which demonstrated substantial pain relief within the first week of use. It is not indicated for immediate pain relief.
Alcon's Pataday Twice Daily Relief and Pataday Once Daily – medications for red and itchy eyes caused by – allergies also received approval for over-the-counter use.