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  • Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

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    Old 12-18-2020, 05:46 PM   #1
    phaedrusumbra
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    Question Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    Hi I have looked all over the Internet and have not been able to find any authoritative answer to this question:

    I have been given Diclofenac Sodium topical gel, an NSAID. It contains no menthol or capsaicin or anything like that, just the Diclofenac. It was given to me for an injury to my arm.

    Do I really need to apply it to the affected area on my arm or could I just as well apply it to say, my ankle. My understanding of NSAIDS is limited but I believe that they do not act topically, and must enter the bloodstream to affect the central nervous system.

    So the same amount applied to my arm or my ankle would have the same effect. Can anybody clarify this please, thanks !

     
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    Old 12-19-2020, 05:53 AM   #2
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    Re: Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    Diclofenac is an excellent NSAID! And yes, it works topically. Know several instances with friends who have used it and says it works well. I've taken the oral version which works well also.

     
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    Old 12-19-2020, 08:29 AM   #3
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    Re: Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    Yes...you apply it to the area that has the pain.
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    Old 12-19-2020, 09:41 AM   #4
    phaedrusumbra
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    Re: Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    Oh agreed. Don't get me wrong - I would prefer a topical gel after learning NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding, etc etc. Going through the skin and getting directly absorbed into the bloodstream sounds way better. but it shouldn't really matter where you apply it.

    The package even says apply directly to the affected area. Hilarious if these would be placebo instructions on a prescription product but that's exactly what I think is going on here.

    Topical anesthetics like lidocaine, capsaicin, camphor etc act locally, not globally. They disrupt the local nerve activity. In a way as to lessen pain. You don't ingest them.

    NSAIDS do act globally. A pill will ease pain anywhere in the body. You don't normally rub ibuprofen on a sprain because it acts through the central nervous system and it needs to get into the bloodstream for that to happen. But it can do that also through a topical gel.

    That's what it seems to me at any rate. .

     
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    Old 12-19-2020, 06:57 PM   #5
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    Re: Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    Diclofenac works primarily by inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis to reduce inflammation in the affected tissues.

     
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    Old 12-20-2020, 07:00 AM   #6
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    Re: Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    Why don't you just try it and see if it works for you? It's OTC and has excellent reports vs other topicals.

     
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    Old 12-20-2020, 12:26 PM   #7
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    Re: Do topical NSAIDS really need to be applied locally?

    I did and it works great. I also noticed I get the same pain relief when I rub it on my *good* arm, which is what I expected. Its the "spot" application claims I find dubious, for all topical NSAIDS. However I think with what I've learned about gastric bleeding with NSAIDs I think I'll never take one orally ever again even for a headache. I'd use a topical on my arm instead. I realize that likely doesn't mitigate the cardiac issues but at least you're avoiding the GI. Maybe this is more well known but I'm a newbie to pain :-) in any event I'm really glad I discovered diclofenac. Thanks!

     
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