Flector Patch

diclofenac topical
Chemical Name: diclofenac epolamine
Drug Type: topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

Diclofenac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac, especially in older adults.

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation.

Diclofenac transdermal (skin patch) is used to treat pain caused by minor sprains, strains, or bruising.

Diclofenac transdermal may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Diclofenac can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Even people without heart disease or risk factors could have a stroke or heart attack while using this medicine.

Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using diclofenac, especially in older adults.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, Cambia, and others), or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

To make sure diclofenac is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;
  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
  • a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;
  • asthma;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • fluid retention.

Using diclofenac transdermal during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether diclofenac transdermal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Diclofenac transdermal is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Using extra skin patches will not make the medicine more effective, and could cause dangerous side effects.

Apply the skin patch directly to the area of pain. The skin patch can be worn for up to 12 hours and then removed. Apply a new patch at that time if pain continues.

Do not apply diclofenac transdermal on an open skin wound, or on areas of eczema, infection, skin rash, or burn injury.

Wash your hands after applying or removing a skin patch.

If the patch does not stick well, you may place medical tape around the edges. You may also use a mesh netting sleeve to hold a patch in place on your skin. Do not cover the patch with a bandage or other covering that does not allow air to pass through.

After removing a skin patch fold it in half, sticky side in, and throw it away in a place where children or pets cannot get to it. Keep both used and unused skin patches out of the reach of children or pets.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Reseal the storage envelope each time you remove a patch from it.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Apply a skin patch as soon as you remember, and wear it for 12 hours before applying a new one. Do not use extra patches to make up the missed dose. Do not wear a diclofenac skin patch for longer than 12 hours.

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Do not wear a skin patch while taking a bath or shower or while swimming.

Avoid getting a skin patch near your eyes, nose, or mouth. If this does happen, rinse with water. Call your doctor if you have eye irritation that lasts longer than 1 hour.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medication. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or other medicines similar to diclofenac. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose; wheezing or trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Stop using diclofenac and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or
  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • heartburn, gas, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
  • diarrhea, constipation; or
  • mild itching, burning, redness, or other skin irritation where the patch was worn.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ask your doctor before using diclofenac if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • cyclosporine;
  • lithium;
  • methotrexate;
  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic or "water pill"; or
  • steroid medicine (prednisone and others).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with diclofenac, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Your pharmacist can provide more information about diclofenac transdermal.