Diclofenac patch (On the skin)
Diclofenac Epolamine (dye-KLOE-fen-ak e-POLE-a-meen)
Treats pain caused by minor strains, sprains, and contusions (bruises). This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
FlectorThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to diclofenac, aspirin, or other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Celebrex®, Ecotrin®, Motrin®, Voltaren®). Do not use this medicine to relieve pain right before or right after a type of heart surgery called coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
How to Use This Medicine:
- Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
- Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
- If any of this medicine gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, rinse the medicine off right away.
- Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin.
- If the patch begins to peel off, the edges of the patch may be taped down. Put on a new patch if the old one has fallen off and cannot be reapplied.
- Do not wear the patch when bathing or showering.
If a dose is missed:
- If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:
- Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®), other pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Celebrex®, Ecotrin®, Motrin®, Voltaren®), blood pressure medicine (such as enalapril, lisinopril, Accupril®, Lotrel®, Zestril®), a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], torsemide, Demadex®, Lasix®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), or a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use this medicine during the last part of a pregnancy unless your doctor tells you to.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF), or other heart or circulation problems. Tell your doctor if you have edema (fluid retention), liver disease, kidney disease, a bleeding problem, stomach ulcers, or asthma.
- This medicine may increase your risk of having a blood clot, heart attack, or stroke. This is more common for people who already have heart disease. People who use this medicine for a long time might also have a higher risk.
- This medicine may cause bleeding in your stomach or intestines. This is more likely if you have had a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the past, if you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, if you are over 60 years old, if you are in poor health, or if you are using certain other medicines (such as a steroid or a blood thinner).
- This medicine may also cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may occur more often in patients who are allergic to aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have very fast or irregular breathing; wheezing; fainting; very fast and irregular heartbeats or pulse; hive-like swellings on the skin; or puffiness and swelling of the eyelids or eyes.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
- Bloody or black, tarry stools.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
- Cold sweats and bluish-colored skin.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Pain in your lower leg (calf).
- Rapid weight gain.
- Severe stomach pain.
- Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Sudden or severe headache, or problems with vision, speech, or walking.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Burning, itching, or swelling where the patch is applied.
- Mild headache, dizziness, or drowsiness.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 1/4/2011
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