Solaraze is a gel manufactured by Almirall. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used in the medication of actinic keratosis. It is applied to the affected patches of skin for a period of up to 90 days. You need a prescription to buy Solaraze in the UK.
Actinic keratosis (or solar keratosis) is a skin ailment caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. It generally affects older people who have spent long periods in the sun over several years.
It is extremely common, affecting more than 20 percent of those over 60. It manifests as very small patches of scaly skin usually on the legs, arms, hands, face or forehead. In men it may also occur on bald areas of the scalp and the ears. The size of the affected area varies from a pinprick to a diameter of up to three centimetres, and the patches often become very rough and bumpy, resembling warts.
Factors that can increase your susceptibility to actinic keratosis are having fair skin that burns easily, working outside, having outdoor hobbies or living in a hot country. As the disease is caused by ultraviolet light, the use of tanning machines also increases risk.
Lesions may often disappear after a short period but the areas of skin can become irritated and sore, and people can have several keratoses at the same time. In a small proportion of cases it can lead to the skin cancer squamous cell carcinomaif left untreated. If your doctor believes there is a risk of this, or your symptoms are severe, they may advise treatment. This may include Solaraze gel and regular monitoring with your physician.
Solaraze usually forms a course of treatment lasting between 60-90 days. The active component, diclofenac sodium, is thought to work by inhibiting the ability of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase to produce prostaglandins. These are organic compounds which can promote inflammation in the body.
Please note that we do not offer this medication through our site. Contact your GP if you are seeking treatment for keratosis, or are looking to renew your prescription.
Follow the directions closely, paying special attention to any additional instructions given to you by your doctor. Careful use will help the medicine to work effectively and lessen the chances of side effects.
- Apply as prescribed.
- Pierce the aluminium foil at the top of the tube with the cap before using.
- Apply the gel to the affected area. A pea sized amount (around 0.5 grams) will treat an area of 5cm diameter.
- Do not apply to areas affected by dermatitis, or wounded or infected skin.
- You will normally apply the gel twice a day.
- The maximum dose is eight grams a day.
- Unless you are treating them, wash your hands thoroughly after application.
- Keep away from the eyes, mouth and the inside of the nose.
- Do not swallow.
- The course of treatment normally lasts between 60-90 days, with courses closer to 90 days being the most effective.
- If you forget an application, administer the next dose as usual. Do not use extra gel to make up for the doses you have missed.
- If you accidentally use too much Solaraze, it can be washed off with water.
- Exposure to sunlight should be avoided while using this medicine. This includes tanning machines.
The above is an abridged set of directions. Please refer to your patient information leaflet for complete instructions.
Download Solaraze patient information leaflet
This treatment may cause side effects, but they will not affect everyone that uses it. If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives (nettle rash), swelling in the face, a runny nose or breathing difficulties, stop using the gel and see a doctor immediately.
If you discover the following side effects and they persist for longer than a few days or become severe, stop the treatment and see your doctor: blistering; itchy, tender, red or inflamed skin; rashes; or contact dermatitis.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Irritated or tingling skin on treated areas, rashes, dryness, sagging, ulceration or tenderness of the skin, allergic reactions, conjunctivitis, eczema, dermatitis, or paraesthesia (pins and needles).
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Abdominal pain, dry, weeping or painful eyes, hair loss, nausea, diarrhoea, swelling of the face, oily skin, bleeding, or a rash similar to measles.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Blistering of treated areas.
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Gastrointestinal bleeding, problems with breathing, kidney failure, increased skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light, or skin rashes leading to infection.
This list of side effects is not exhaustive. A full list can be found in the leaflet enclosed with this product.
Taking it with other medicines
Inform your doctor of any other medications you are using. Solaraze is not thought to interact with any of those medicines taken orally, but do not use any other form of external medication on the affected areas of skin. You should also wait at least half an hour after applying Solaraze before using any moisturisers or sun creams to allow it to be absorbed properly.
Conditions to look out for
This gel is not suitable for those who have an allergy to NSAIDs.
Your clinician may choose not to prescribe this medicine if you have had: stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding; a heart, kidney or liver condition; or a blood clotting disorder (for example if you bruise very easily).
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Solaraze may not be suitable for use during early pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it should absolutely not be used during the final three months of pregnancy.
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive should speak to their GP for specific advice before using this medication.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes, Solaraze is not thought to interact in any way with alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes, your ability to drive will not be affected while you are using this treatment.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It must not be used during the final trimester. If you are pregnant, thinking of having a child or breastfeeding, you must consult your doctor first as this may affect your dosage or length of treatment.
How should I store it?
At room temperature, below 25°C and out of reach of children. The shelf life of this medicine after opening is six months.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This gel consists of the following: diclofenac sodium, benzyl alcohol, macrogol monomethyl ether 350, sodium hyaluronate and purified water. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients then this treatment is not suitable for you.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You need a prescription to buy Solaraze in the UK.
Is it right for me?
Your GP will need to assess your symptoms in person in order to be able to determine whether this treatment is appropriate for you. If you haven’t taken this medication before, make an appointment with them so that they can assess your condition.
We do not provide this treatment through our site.
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