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Voltaren/Diclofenak warning!!!!

Hali

Member
Voltaren or Diclofenak is a very popular anti-inflammatory product used as a painkiller either as tablets or gel and is often recommended on this site. I would recommend it myself as it has helped me many times with sports injuries.
After a terrible experience lately I feel that a warning is necessary for those who haven't used NSAID (Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs) before, if you turn out to be allergic to NSAID these drugs could ruin your Camino!

I have been prescribed Voltaren for many years as I have chronic neck pains from a slipped disk. Never had any problems with it before but after being bedridden for a week with high fever (over 40C) I took a Voltaren tablet and all of the sudden I had become allergic to it.
My reaction was severe, I was hospitalized with cramps, burning sensations and a rash all over my body. This happened 4 weeks ago and I have been recovering very slowly. Unfortunately I got blod clots in my veins from the intravenous drip at the hospital which worsened my situation.
The allergic reaction can last for many weeks. I still have cramps every night although now only in my legs. The burning sensations and skin sensitivity all over my body lasted for 3 weeks and I couldn't go out in the sunny weather we had here in Sweden.
This has ruined my Camino preparations. We begin our walk July 8th and around Easter I was in great shape, going on 20 K walks with my backpack. Now I'm totally drained of energy and have to start working my way back. I'm praying that I will get back in shape in the short time I have now.
The only consolation is that I lost 4 kg which means my 3.5 kg backpack should be easy to carry....

My advice to those who think they might use these drugs during the Camino, try a very small piece óf a tablet (or a very small amount of gel) at home before you go, to see if you have any reaction against it. It would be a nightmare for anyone to get the severe reaction I got while walking the Camino!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hali, I would like to add something here to the forum members.
If you have ever been allergic to anything - pollens, dust, grass, seafoods, chemicals etc, take antihistamins with you.
In 2006 when I walked to Rome, my walking buddy Kathy had a terrible reaction to the grasses we walked through. Her eyes swelled up, she couldn't breathe, she got large red welts all over her body and she itched terribly. She said that she used to be allergic to certain summer plants as a child but had not had a reaction for many years.
So, even if you think that you have outgrown those allergies, they can flare up again in a different country.
 
Hali, I'm sorry to hear you had such a time! I'm glad to hear that you are on the mend & wish you a speedy recovery so you can enjoy your Camino!

For everyone else, be mindful of what medications you are taking. The ibuprofen in Spain is sold in much stronger doses than elsewhere (like the US). You will get 600 mg over the counter, as opposed to 200 mg here in the US. What works best for me is to take it with a meal, or just after, and then not every day.

I'm tucking a neti pot in my back pack to help with my sinuses. All the harvesting on the meseta really did a number on me the last time. So if you're on the Camino in September & you see some chick in the bathroom pouring water up her nose, say "Hi Kelly." :lol:

Kelly
 
N

nathanael

Guest
About Voltaren, I have it here before me it was recommended to my Mom who has severe arthritis and it helps so I decided to use it on my knees and also on a sore back great stuff..I didn't get any reaction so I guess I am okay..but thanks for the info.
n
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
People can develop allergies or reactions to anything at any stage of life.

My grandmother took Advil from the time it came out, then one day took it and ended up in an ambulance.

My dad was a beekeeper his whole adult life and developed allergies to beestings in his 50's.

I used perfumes until I was 40, when I developed Chemical Sensitivities and became deathly ill from anything scented.

People eat peanut butter or strawberries for years, then one day have allergies. It can be the food, but sometimes it's due to the chemicals sprayed on the food, according to my specialist.

Chemicals can build up in tissues, bones, and organs and at some point we experience overload or allergies.

It's a risk we take living in our world every day.

I'm sorry you had such a problem. It must have been frightening!
 
N

nathanael

Guest
About Voltaren can purchase here but in case I run out is it possible to purchase it in Spain.
n
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
?
nathanael said:
About Voltaren can purchase here but in case I run out is it possible to purchase it in Spain.
n

Nathanael,

No problem whatsoever in getting Voltaren in spanish ''farmacias''.

Cheers,
Jean-Marc
 

Susanna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2008 2014
Hi There.
I had severe heel pain and would not have been able to walk the Camino if it hadn't been for Ibuprofen the Spanish 600mg, it felt like drinking 3 glasses of wine when I first started taking it but I got used to the higher dosage. It was a God send..... I had never had that pain before or since!!
Don't know if Voltaren is different.
Thank heaven I didn't have any reaction that would have been the end of my walking.
Susanna
 
N

nathanael

Guest
about Voltaren, it was a god send for me on the Camino this summer applied it every morning on the sorry spots and it was a great relief.I plan on taking it with me on the next Camino.
n.
 
D

Deleted member 22638

Guest
I'm bringing this thread back due to a BBC report today - link below

Takeaway : Concern that those with serious heart conditions should avoid Voltaren/Dicofenenak entirely, ( tablets I assume) and those with high blood pressure /cholesterol etc under Doctors supervision.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23109314

People with heart problems have been advised to stop using one of the most commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs in the UK.

The medicines regulator said painkiller diclofenac could significantly increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke for some patients.

The advice has been updated after a European review of the risks.
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
Good idea to share this info Kevin... people do tend to think that some medications used commonly must be of lesser risk than others...... all medications of any sort can be of risk to anyone at any time... best to be educated about the risks.
 

longwalker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2007 back 09 and 12 and 13
Of course all drugs have side effects and that's why you need a doctor. As a person who has undergone total knee replacment I'm often asked about the surgery. Generally people complain about their sore knee and figure the only real solution is a knee replacment. They say, " I'm not into taking drugs" and I say to them, "you are a fool". There are a panoply of drugs that can provide years of relief from arthritic pain all less risky than surgery. And that is my two cents worth.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
Couldn't help but wholeheartedly agree with longwalker. I've been taking anti-inflammatories every day since 1979 for back problems and hip replacements. For many years now that has been Voltaren, or Diclofenac. Little miracles of science that have enabled a pain free life. Listen to what your doctor says and let the fools suffer.
 

ParistoCapeCod

"Come on mom this 14k isn't going to walk itself."
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese, Primitivo, Norte. Hospitalera
@WolverineDG of course only distilled water in your neti pot, and where do you get that on the camino?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Because of knees and ankles sports injuries in my earlier years Diclofenac helps me a lot when inflamation happens in my joints. Usually I take Naklofen (only prescripted here in Slovenia) and Diclofenaco Normon in Spain (over the counter) which helps a lot. Of course I don't take the pills everyday, more like when in the evening I feel something is "cooking up" in my knee.

Few days ago I got e-mail warning about damaging effect of diclofenac on livers which gave me a bit of worries. Anyone know more about this?
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
Because of knees and ankles sports injuries in my earlier years Diclofenac helps me a lot when inflamation happens in my joints. Usually I take Naklofen (only prescripted here in Slovenia) and Diclofenaco Normon in Spain (over the counter) which helps a lot. Of course I don't take the pills everyday, more like when in the evening I feel something is "cooking up" in my knee.

Few days ago I got e-mail warning about damaging effect of diclofenac on livers which gave me a bit of worries. Anyone know more about this?
I remember being warned many years ago about the possibility of liver damage and that taking 100gms or less per day negated this possibility.
More recent research has shown that patients who take diclofenac are at increased risk of heart disease (16% from memory).
My doctor has therefore recommended I decrease my daily intake to 50gms unless I find I really need the extra 50gms.
From one who could not walk the Camino (or lead a reasonable life) without diclofenac,
Kind regards
Gerard
 

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