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Article 3 (Jan 2021): Muscle aches? New topical pain reliever

January 28, 2021
The FDA has approved a new over-the-counter topical gel for pain in muscles from arthritis or muscle aches and sprains.
Sold as Voltaren Arthritis Pain, the gel is a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called diclofenac.
The American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend this topical NSAID as an early pain treatment.
The advantage of a topical gel is that lower levels of the drug enter the bloodstream. This might well be a safer way to relieve pain. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, reduce inflammation and relieve pain for conditions such as arthritis, but they are thought to increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke. In fact, in case you haven't noticed, there is a warning on the labels of these drugs that says exactly that.
Cardiologists recommend taking the smallest possible dose of an NSAID for the shortest possible time, according to The Harvard Heart Letter.

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