"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Flector Patch Consumer
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
DICLOFENAC PATCH - TOPICAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Flector
WARNING: This drug may infrequently cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. This side effect can occur without warning at any time during treatment with diclofenac. The elderly are at increased risk for serious stomach/intestinal bleeding.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including diclofenac) may rarely increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or increased risk for heart disease (for example, due to smoking, family history of heart disease, or conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes), or with longer use. This drug should not be taken right before or after heart bypass surgery (CABG).
Stop using diclofenac and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects: black/bloody stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, slurred speech.
USES: Diclofenac patches are used to relieve pain from various conditions (e.g., sprained ankle). This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using diclofenac and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
The patch comes in a resealable envelope. When opening the envelope for the first time, cut it open as instructed. Remove a patch from the envelope and reseal the envelope. It is important to reseal the envelope after each opening, or the remaining patches will not stick correctly.
Before applying the patch, remove the clear liner. Apply the patch to the skin to cover the most painful area. Do not apply the patch on burns, cuts, or irritated skin (e.g., eczema). Change the patch usually every 12 hours or as directed by your doctor. Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together, and discard out of reach of children and pets.
If the patch begins to peel off, you may tape the edges to the skin.
Do not wear the patch during bathing or showering. Take baths/showers at times that you normally change the patch.
To avoid getting the medication in your eyes, nose, mouth, or vaginal area, wash your hands after handling the patch. If the medication or patch does come in contact with those areas, flush with plenty of water. Contact your doctor immediately if irritation persists.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce side effect risks (e.g., stomach bleeding), use this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or use it more often than prescribed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are using this drug "as needed" (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medicine may not work as well.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
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