This information describes the Flector® patch, including how to apply it, guidelines to follow while wearing it, and side effects to look out for. 

The Flector patch contains a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is absorbed through the skin. The Flector patch is also known as the diclofenac epolamine topical patch.

The patch is used to treat:

  • Inflammation (swelling)
  • Mild to moderate pain from sprains, strains, contusions, and arthritis

The patch delivers medication directly to the area of discomfort. Because of this, other areas of the body are not as affected by it.

Applying the Patch

  • If the area where you are applying the patch needs to be washed, rinse it with water and pat it completely dry.
  • Remove the clear film on the patch before applying it to your skin.
  • Apply the patch to the most painful area.
  • The patch must stick completely to your skin. Press it firmly with your hand for about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Wash your hands after applying and removing the patch.
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Guidelines for Using the Patch

  • Do not shower or bathe with the patch on. It should not get wet.
  • Do not allow the patch to come into contact with your eyes. If it does, immediately flush the eye with water and call your doctor.
  • Do not use lotions or moisturizers on the area where the patch will be placed. They will prevent the patch from sticking to your skin.
  • If you have hair on the area where the patch will be placed, clip the hair with scissors. Do not shave the area.
  • Do not put the patch on damaged skin, such as where there are burns, wounds, infections, rashes, eczema, or any area that has received radiation.
  • If the patch begins to peel off, tape the edges down.
  • Use only the number of patches prescribed by your doctor.
  • Several patches come in 1 sealed package. After removing 1 patch, reseal the package. The remaining patches will dry out if the package is left open.
  • Store the patches at room temperature. Do not put the patches in the refrigerator or expose them to heat.
  • Dispose of used patches by folding the sticky sides together. Discard used patches where children and pets cannot get to them.
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Side Effects

Remove the patch immediately if you develop any of the side effects listed below.

Common side effects

  • Rash or skin reaction in the area where the patch is placed

Rare side effects

  • Stomach upset or bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling in your arms or legs
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Worsening of high blood pressure or kidney, liver, or heart disease

The rare side effects listed above are experienced more often when the medication is taken orally (by mouth).

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  • Do not use this medication if you have ever developed a rash, itching, asthma, or any allergic-type reaction after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.
  • Do not take any oral NSAIDs while you are using the patch unless instructed to do so by your doctor. Examples are ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) celecoxib (Celebrex®), naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®), and diclofenac (Voltaren®).
  • Tell your doctor if you take other medications, such as ACE inhibitors to control your blood pressure, steroids, aspirin, diuretics (water pills), lithium, methotrexate, any blood thinners, or pain medication.
  • Do not use this medication if you have had recent heart surgery, have a history of stomach ulcers or a bleeding disorder, or are pregnant or nursing.
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Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:

  • Any of the symptoms listed under “Side Effects”
  • Changes in the amount or color of your urine
  • Any new or unexplained symptoms
  • Any questions or concerns

Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately if you are having chest pain or problems breathing.

The information on this card is selective and does not cover all possible side effects; others may occur. Please report any problems to your doctor.

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