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Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

What are Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories?

Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (often abbreviated to NSAIDs) are creams, gels, rubs, solutions or sprays that contain a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent and are designed to be applied directly to the skin overlying a painful joint or area of bone. They are used to relieve pain and to treat symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation, swelling, and stiffness. Topical NSAIDs may also be used in the treatment of actinic keratosis (a precancerous patch of thick, scaly or crusted skin).

NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation), analgesic (relieve pain) and antipyretic (lower temperature) effects. Although different NSAIDs have different structures, they all work by blocking cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. There are two main types of COX enzymes: COX-1 and COX-2. Both types produce prostaglandins; however, the main function of COX-1 enzymes is to produce baseline levels of prostaglandins that activate platelets and protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, whereas COX-2 enzymes are responsible for releasing prostaglandins after infection or injury. Prostaglandins have a number of different effects, one of which is to regulate inflammation. Most NSAIDs inhibit both enzymes, although a few are available that mainly inhibit COX-2. The pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs are mainly due to inhibition of COX-2, and their unwanted side effects are largely due to inhibition of COX-1.

Topical NSAIDs are less likely than oral NSAIDs to cause gastrointestinal side effects or to interact with other medications, although elderly people may be more susceptible to these effects. Short-lived, mild redness at the site of application is the most commonly reported side effect.

List of Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories:

View by  Brand | Generic
Drug Name Avg. Rating Reviews
Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
7.1
255 reviews
Flector Patch (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
7.2
84 reviews
Pennsaid (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
7.4
49 reviews
Solaraze (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
4.8
4 reviews
Ziclopro
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
Xrylix (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
No reviews
Sure Result DSS Premium Pak
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
NuDiclo SoluPak
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
Licart (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
No reviews
Lexixryl
Generic name: diclofenac
No reviews
Klofensaid II (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
No reviews
Inavix
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
Diclozor (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac
No reviews
Diclotral Pak
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
DicloStream (Pro)
Generic name: diclofenac / menthol
No reviews
Dicloheal-60
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
Diclo Gel with Xrylix
Generic name: diclofenac
No reviews
Diclofex DC
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
DermacinRx Lexitral PharmaPak
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
Capsinac
Generic name: capsaicin / diclofenac
No reviews
For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).

See Also

Medical conditions associated with topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories:

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.