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Voltaren Pill OTC availability in 2024

Reiner

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese( June or July 2020)
Hi,

Are Voltaren pills available OTC in Spain in 2024? (or France?)
(gel is available everywhere, we know, pill and gel are not the same, believe me, if you have arthritis in multiple joints. Voltaren pills are OTC in Greece)

If yes, what dosage is being sold?
25 mg, 50 mg, 75, or 100 mg?

If they are not available OTC, how easy is it to get a prescription in Spain?

For those of you who want to reply regarding the dangers of taking NSAIDs (as in past replies to the same question by others):
There are some of us that have arthritis in many joints, and taking NSAIDs is a must.
Traveling with 3+ months supply of medicines is not possible, some countries will actually take them away or fine you (or even worse, Japan, Middle East, etc).
I happen to be allergic to anything Tylenol, and Ibuprofen (usually availalbe OTC) is not the same when it comes to arthritis.

Pro tip for those of you struggling with Gout (if you had it in the knee, you know how bad it can get...):
I used to take Colchicne in the past (really bad stuff...).
It happens that Voltaren is really great if gout starts up in my knee. One or two pills
later, no issue. Just for real emergencies I still carry Colchicine around, but haven't used it in 5+ years.


Thanks!
 
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Voltaren pills
Hi @Reiner!

First of all, I have no experience with buying Voltaren medication in Spain.

I searched, however, for the term Voltaren in the CIMA database. CIMA is run by AEMPS which is the Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios and belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Health. The result of this search is a list of 9 pharmaceutical products, with indication of its nature and dosage. All of them are authorised for commercialisation in Spain and can be bought in pharmacies. All 9 products are labelled "con receta" which I understand to mean "with prescription". Best of luck and Buen Camino!


You can also search for Diclofenaco which is the main ingredient (47 products in the database).
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Hi @Reiner!

First of all, I have no experience with buying Voltaren medication in Spain.

I searched, however, for the term Voltaren in the CIMA database. CIMA is run by AEMPS which is the Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios and belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Health. The result of this search is a list of 9 pharmaceutical products, with indication of its nature and dosage. All of them are authorised for commercialisation in Spain and can be bought in pharmacies. All 9 products are labelled "con receta" which I understand to mean "with prescription". Best of luck and Buen Camino!


You can also search for Diclofenaco which is the main ingredient (47 products in the database).
In Spain it is usually called Voltadol Forte. I always buy the gel there, or in other Euro countries or in Canada and Mexico. While it is available in the US, it is very low strength and does nothing for my arthritis and some additional spinal issues.
 
You can also search for Diclofenaco which is the main ingredient (47 products in the database).
I've bought Diclofenaco 50mg tabs over the counter in Spain in the past, last time was about five years ago. I don't know if it's still available without prescription..
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
in Spain it is usually called Voltadol Forte
The Spanish official pharmaceutical database CIMA mentioned earlier is a useful tool. You can enter both Voltadol Forte and Voltaren and you see that both products are available in Spain in gel form and what the differences are. One is listed as "sin receta" and the other one is listed as "con receta".

However, the OP asks about Voltaren in pill form and not in gel form.

As to buying OTC pharmaceutical products in Spain, I have no practical experience. I have read, however, that Spain is known to German pensioners living part-time in Spain and German tourists as "pill paradise" because pharmaceutical products are considerable cheaper in Spain than in Germany and there appears to be less strict control on pharmacies in the sense that they sell pharmaceutical products without prescription even when a prescription is officially required. I don't know whether this information is printed on the packaging.
 
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As to buying OTC pharmaceutical products in Spain, I have no practical experience. I have read, however, that Spain is known to German pensioners living part-time in Spain and German tourists as "pill paradise" because pharmaceutical products are considerable cheaper in Spain than...

That doesn't surprise me. I picked up that particular medication for a friend a few times, usually on my last day before heading home. At the time, it was costing about €4 in Spain without prescription, the equivalent product was about €25 here at home.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
That doesn't surprise me. I picked up that particular medication for a friend a few times, usually on my last day before heading home. At the time, it was costing about €4 in Spain without prescription, the equivalent product was about €25 here at home.
Bear in mind that Spanish salaries are mich lower than in other parts of Europe.
 
Yes, purchased Voltaren 50mg tabs in Estella a few weeks ago. No questions asked. Ibuprofen is sold 400mg tabs which not usually sold in NZ (usually 200mg) and paracetamol 1g tabs (usually 500mg). Meds only in pharmacy- although u can get some from the vending machines along the Frances. I had tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.. yes and the only cure is rest (and physio)🤣
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Hi,

Are Voltaren pills available OTC in Spain in 2024? (or France?)
(gel is available everywhere, we know, pill and gel are not the same, believe me, if you have arthritis in multiple joints. Voltaren pills are OTC in Greece)

If yes, what dosage is being sold?
25 mg, 50 mg, 75, or 100 mg?

If they are not available OTC, how easy is it to get a prescription in Spain?

For those of you who want to reply regarding the dangers of taking NSAIDs (as in past replies to the same question by others):
There are some of us that have arthritis in many joints, and taking NSAIDs is a must.
Traveling with 3+ months supply of medicines is not possible, some countries will actually take them away or fine you (or even worse, Japan, Middle East, etc).
I happen to be allergic to anything Tylenol, and Ibuprofen (usually availalbe OTC) is not the same when it comes to arthritis.

Pro tip for those of you struggling with Gout (if you had it in the knee, you know how bad it can get...):
I used to take Colchicne in the past (really bad stuff...).
It happens that Voltaren is really great if gout starts up in my knee. One or two pills
later, no issue. Just for real emergencies I still carry Colchicine around, but haven't used it in 5+ years.

Thanks!
yes they are. I purchased the pills in 400mg doses without prescription, while I was on the Via de la Plata in May 2023. At one pharmacy I was offered 600mg dose without a prescription because they had run out of the 400mg !
 
yes they are. I purchased the pills in 400mg doses without prescription, while I was on the Via de la Plata in May 2023. At one pharmacy I was offered 600mg dose without a prescription because they had run out of the 400mg !
Just curious as you mention a dosis of 400 mg and of 600 mg and in order to avoid confusion: are you talking about Voltaren or about Ibuprofen? The main ingredients are different between the two.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Hi,

Are Voltaren pills available OTC in Spain in 2024? (or France?)
(gel is available everywhere, we know, pill and gel are not the same, believe me, if you have arthritis in multiple joints. Voltaren pills are OTC in Greece)

If yes, what dosage is being sold?
25 mg, 50 mg, 75, or 100 mg?

If they are not available OTC, how easy is it to get a prescription in Spain?

For those of you who want to reply regarding the dangers of taking NSAIDs (as in past replies to the same question by others):
There are some of us that have arthritis in many joints, and taking NSAIDs is a must.
Traveling with 3+ months supply of medicines is not possible, some countries will actually take them away or fine you (or even worse, Japan, Middle East, etc).
I happen to be allergic to anything Tylenol, and Ibuprofen (usually availalbe OTC) is not the same when it comes to arthritis.

Pro tip for those of you struggling with Gout (if you had it in the knee, you know how bad it can get...):
I used to take Colchicne in the past (really bad stuff...).
It happens that Voltaren is really great if gout starts up in my knee. One or two pills
later, no issue. Just for real emergencies I still carry Colchicine around, but haven't used it in 5+ years.


Thanks!
Note to anyone who decides to take Voltaren orally, in particular those who have never taken it before.
Like all OTC meds, one needs to take care, especially with pain relievers, NSAIDS.
Voltaren can adversely affect the liver. I have a friend who was prescribed oral Voltaren. Not long after, she had some major alterations in liver enzyme levels and it was attributed to Voltaren. She had to discontinue the drug. She does routinely consume what I consider to be a significant amount of wine on a regular basis, so I guess it’s possible her liver was already in a less than optimal condition. Anyway, it’s something to consider— please take care when self-prescribing OTC meds. Sometimes they can seem harmless, but that’s not always the case.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Hi,

Are Voltaren pills available OTC in Spain in 2024? (or France?)
(gel is available everywhere, we know, pill and gel are not the same, believe me, if you have arthritis in multiple joints. Voltaren pills are OTC in Greece)

If yes, what dosage is being sold?
25 mg, 50 mg, 75, or 100 mg?

If they are not available OTC, how easy is it to get a prescription in Spain?

For those of you who want to reply regarding the dangers of taking NSAIDs (as in past replies to the same question by others):
There are some of us that have arthritis in many joints, and taking NSAIDs is a must.
Traveling with 3+ months supply of medicines is not possible, some countries will actually take them away or fine you (or even worse, Japan, Middle East, etc).
I happen to be allergic to anything Tylenol, and Ibuprofen (usually availalbe OTC) is not the same when it comes to arthritis.

Pro tip for those of you struggling with Gout (if you had it in the knee, you know how bad it can get...):
I used to take Colchicne in the past (really bad stuff...).
It happens that Voltaren is really great if gout starts up in my knee. One or two pills
later, no issue. Just for real emergencies I still carry Colchicine around, but haven't used it in 5+ years.


Thanks!
I was told no to the oral Diclofenac at one pharmacy in Spain. I did not ask at any other pharmacies. HOWEVER, I find the people at the counter in Spanish pharmacies sometimes have little training about what is OTC and what is not. It doesn't hurt to ask at more than one pharmacy. I can relate two stories that happened to me.

The first experience was two years ago on the French Camino. I stopped in a pharmacy and asked for my OTC allergy medication (Cetirizine). I've been using it OTC for well over 30 years in the USA. I purchased it a couple times at Spanish pharmacies without any problems prior to this experience. She told me no that it was only by prescription and tried to sell me something else. I knew better and declined what she offered. I walked about 5 minutes down the same street and purchased my medication at a different pharmacy without any problems.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago on the Portuguese Camino shortly after crossing into Spain, I went into a pharmacy to purchase topical Diclofenac Gel, which I had previously purchased in Portugal and had two years prior purchased several times in Spain. The lady told me no, that all Diclofenac products were by prescription. I got a little irritated because my feet were really sore from plantar fasciitis and said that I've previously purchased it in Spanish pharmacies OTC. She was intransient in her position so I ended up purchasing some Ibuprofen gel which I really disliked because it also contained menthol, but it was all she would sell me and I was desperate. Two days later, I walked into another pharmacy in Spain and purchased two tubes of Diclofenac Gel with no problem.

My point isn't to criticize Spanish pharmacy techs, but rather to advise you that sometimes they don't always have the training to understand all of the nuances of the complicated OTC vs prescription drug world. It doesn't hurt to ask at multiple pharmacies. But in your specific situation, I believe I read somewhere after doing some Google research that topical Diclofenac is OTC in Spain but oral Diclofenac is by prescription only.
 
Hi,

Are Voltaren pills available OTC in Spain in 2024? (or France?)
(gel is available everywhere, we know, pill and gel are not the same, believe me, if you have arthritis in multiple joints. Voltaren pills are OTC in Greece)

If yes, what dosage is being sold?
25 mg, 50 mg, 75, or 100 mg?

If they are not available OTC, how easy is it to get a prescription in Spain?

For those of you who want to reply regarding the dangers of taking NSAIDs (as in past replies to the same question by others):
There are some of us that have arthritis in many joints, and taking NSAIDs is a must.
Traveling with 3+ months supply of medicines is not possible, some countries will actually take them away or fine you (or even worse, Japan, Middle East, etc).
I happen to be allergic to anything Tylenol, and Ibuprofen (usually availalbe OTC) is not the same when it comes to arthritis.

Pro tip for those of you struggling with Gout (if you had it in the knee, you know how bad it can get...):
I used to take Colchicne in the past (really bad stuff...).
It happens that Voltaren is really great if gout starts up in my knee. One or two pills
later, no issue. Just for real emergencies I still carry Colchicine around, but haven't used it in 5+ years.


Thanks!
I have never heard of a restriction of the number of pills you can bring into Spain. And I have come into Spain 4 times, and Portugal once and never had any of my meds checked/searched. Just bring whatever number that you need and you should be fine.
 
I have never heard of a restriction of the number of pills you can bring into Spain. And I have come into Spain 4 times, and Portugal once and never had any of my meds checked/searched. Just bring whatever number that you need and you should be fine.
You may never have heard of it and you many never been checked/searched (which is unlikely anyway) but nevertheless the amount of medication that a traveller is legally allowed to bring into Spain from another country, and that includes from another EU country, is the amount that the traveller needs for 3 months maximum, and only what the traveller needs for his or her own personal consumption.

The OP is well informed when writing that "traveling with 3+ months supply of medicines is not possible". At least not possible for those who are aware of applicable laws and intend to comply.
 
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Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I always take Voltaren pills on my Caminos, after it was recommended to me by a Doctor who I met on the Norte, I don't take them frequently but they are the most effective medication I've found for the aches and pains...I've lived in Spain for 5 years, they used to be easy to get without a prescription but now almost impossible , so now I get a prescription from my doctor...as stated in previous posts be aware of side effects...
 
Healthcare in Spain is largely devolved to the autonomous regions, so it is possible that medication that can be bought over the counter in one region may requure a prescription in another - I believe Murcia is especially liberal/lax, and Asturias strict.
 

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