Topical NSAIDs: A Safer Option
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) come with potential risks. Topical versions may be an alternative.
Diclofenac gel (Voltaren Gel®) can be used to treat pain from osteoarthritis in the hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. It may be applied four times daily. The liquid formulation (Pennsaid®), which can be used for osteoarthritis of the knee, is applied twice daily. The patch (Flector Patch®) is placed over the painful joint. It should be changed every 12 hours. Without insurance, the patch can be expensive, at over $100 for 10patches.