Does Voltaren gel expire?
Does Voltaren gel expire?
Yes, Voltaren gel does expire. You can see the expiry date printed on the packaging of your Voltaren gel. The gel doesn’t necessarily become toxic to use once it’s past the expiration date.
However, I would not recommend you use it past the expiry date, especially if it isn’t stored ideally. This is because liquid or semi-liquid pharmaceutical preparations are not as stable as solid dosage forms and they tend to degrade much faster.
The high moisture content present in them also makes them susceptible to bacterial growth once the preservatives are expired. Voltaren gel can be applied to different areas of your body, such as your neck, back, knees, elbows, etc. Using expired medication may cause allergy in the area of exposure.
What are the dangers associated with the use of expired Voltaren gel?
There isn’t any typical danger that could affect your health after using expired Voltaren gel. Most probably you will not be able to achieve the local pain relief you’re hoping for, since Volatren is a pain-relieving gel(1).
This usually happens because the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the gel begins to lose its potency with time. Other ingredients added may still be okay, but they don’t possess any pharmacological activity. It is the active chemical which should be fully potent to work in the best possible way.
Physical degradation of the product can also affect the absorption rate of the drug into your skin, which could delay the onset of action. This is why it is not recommended to rely on an expired Voltaren gel to relieve your pain, or any expired medication for that matter(2).
It’s best to check the expiration date and look for physical signs of degradation, like changes in smell, colour, or texture of the gel before you apply it to your skin.
What to do if you have used expired Voltaren gel?
You don’t need to worry if you have used expired Voltaren gel for pain relief. However, if you see signs of an allergic reaction at the site of the gel application, consult your healthcare provider.
As expired Voltaren gel will not help you with your pain, it’s best to buy a new tube. If your pain is severe, talk to your doctor. You may need oral medication to treat it in a better way. If Voltaren gel is unavailable or expired, other OTC gels like Aleve arthritis gel can be used as a suitable alternative.
Was this helpful?
Diclofenac Topical. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2020, [Cited 2023 Oct. 20.]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a689002.html.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Don’t Be Tempted to Use Expired Medicines. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/special-features/dont-be-tempted-use-expired-medicines.