Aleve Arthritis Gel Vs. Voltaren Gel: What Is The Difference?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist compares Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel To Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel.

Question

Can you tell me the difference between Voltaren Gel and Aleve Arthritis gel? I have constant knee pain my doctor diagnosed as osteoarthritis. I am looking for the best treatment I can get over the counter.

Asked by Sandy On Sep 03, 2021

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

On Sep 03, 2021

Key points

  • There is very little difference between Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel.
  • They both contain the exact same active ingredient (diclofenac 1%) and the same inactive ingredients.
  • Choice of product essentially comes down to availability and cost. Voltaren gel is, however, available in a larger pack size (150 gram) and some come with an easy twist cap.

Hello and thank you for the question!

Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel are very similar products.

In fact, Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel contain the exact same active ingredient, at the same strength, diclofenac 1%.

Over-The-Counter Diclofenac

Both Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel are marketed as having prescription-strength diclofenac due to the fact that prior to the launch of the first OTC (over-the-counter) diclofenac product in 2020 (with the launch of Voltaren Gel), it was available via prescription only.

After the FDA approved the prescription to over-the-counter switch on February 4th, 2020, several products that contain diclofenac 1% gel have since become available. These products include:

  • Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel
  • Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel
  • Salonpas Arthritis Pain Relief Gel
  • Dr. Scholl's Arthritis Pain Relief Gel Extra Strength

They all contain 'prescription strength' diclofenac (1%).

Comparing The Aleve & Voltaren Gel

Overall, there really is very little difference between Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel. They both:

  • Contain the same active ingredient, diclofenac 1%.
  • Contain the same inactive ingredients (see chart below)
  • Come in a 50-gram and 100-gram pack size
  • Have a similar cost (see chart below)
  • Include a 'dosage card' which allows you to easily measure a precise dosage

The only real difference between the two product offerings is that Voltaren Gel is available in a larger size (150 grams) and is available with an easy twist-off cap, as shown below.

Voltaren Easy Twist Cap Product

You can't go wrong with either product if you're looking for something that contains diclofenac 1% over-the-counter.

Product Active Ingredient(s) Inactive Ingredients Approximate Cost
Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel 50 gramsDiclofenac 1% gel Carbomer homopolymer Type C, cocyl caprylocaprate,
fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether,
propylene glycol, purified water, strong ammonia solution
~$10.00
Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel 100 gramsDiclofenac 1% gelCarbomer homopolymer Type C, cocyl caprylocaprate,
fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether,
propylene glycol, purified water, strong ammonia solution
~$17.00
Voltaren Arthritis Pain Relief Gel 50 gramsDiclofenac 1% gelCarbomer homopolymer Type C, cocoyl caprylocaprate,
fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether,
propylene glycol, purified water, strong ammonia solution.
~$10.00
Voltaren Arthritis Pain Relief Gel 100 gramsDiclofenac 1% gelCarbomer homopolymer Type C, cocoyl caprylocaprate,
 fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether,
 propylene glycol, purified water, strong ammonia solution.
~$18.00
Voltaren Arthritis Pain Relief Gel 150 gramsDiclofenac 1% gelCarbomer homopolymer Type C, cocoyl caprylocaprate,
 fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, polyoxyl 20 cetostearyl ether,
 propylene glycol, purified water, strong ammonia solution.

~$24.00

Final Words

As Aleve Arthritis Pain Gel and Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel are so similar, choice of one product or the other really comes down to cost and availability. You'll get the same pain relief from both.

We appreciate you reaching out to us!

Feel free to contact us again with any further questions.

References

  • Prescription to Over-the-Counter (OTC) Switch List, FDA
  • Voltaren Gel Manufacturer Website, Voltaren
  • Aleve Manufacturer Website, Aleve

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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