Flector (Page 3 of 5)


7.1 Aspirin

When diclofenac is administered with aspirin, the binding of diclofenac to protein is reduced, although the clearance of free diclofenac is not altered. The clinical significance of this interaction is not known; however, as with other NSAIDs, concomitant administration of diclofenac and aspirin is not generally recommended because of the potential of increased adverse effects.

7.2 Anticoagulants

The effects of anticoagulants such as warfarin and NSAIDs on GI bleeding are synergistic, such that users of both drugs together have a risk of serious GI bleeding higher than users of either drug alone.

7.3 ACE-inhibitors

NSAIDs may diminish the antihypertensive effect of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Consider this interaction in patients taking NSAIDs concomitantly with ACE-inhibitors.

7.4 Diuretics

Clinical studies, as well as post marketing observations, have shown that NSAIDs can reduce the natriuretic effect of furosemide and thiazides in some patients. This response has been attributed to inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis. During concomitant therapy with NSAIDs, observe the patient closely for signs of renal failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)] , as well as to assure diuretic efficacy.

7.5 Lithium

NSAIDs have produced an elevation of plasma lithium levels and a reduction in renal lithium clearance. The mean minimum lithium concentration increased 15% and the renal clearance was decreased by approximately 20%. These effects have been attributed to inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis by the NSAID. Thus, when NSAIDs and lithium are administered concurrently, observe patients carefully for signs of lithium toxicity.

7.6 Methotrexate

NSAIDs have been reported to competitively inhibit methotrexate accumulation in rabbit kidney slices. This may indicate that they could enhance the toxicity of methotrexate. Use caution when NSAIDs, including diclofenac, are administered concomitantly with methotrexate.

7.7 Cyclosporine

Diclofenac, like other NSAIDs, may affect renal prostaglandins and increase the toxicity of certain drugs. Therefore, concomitant therapy with diclofenac may increase cyclosporine’s nephrotoxicity. Use caution when diclofenac is administered concomitantly with cyclosporine.

7.8 Oral Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Concomitant use of oral and topical NSAIDs may result in a higher rate of hemorrhage, more frequent abnormal creatinine, urea and hemoglobin. Do not use combination therapy with Flector Patch and an oral NSAID unless the benefit outweighs the risk and conduct periodic laboratory evaluations.


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category C prior to 30 weeks gestation; Category D starting 30 weeks gestation.

Starting at 30 weeks gestation, avoid use of Flector Patch, and other NSAIDS, in pregnant women as premature closure of the ductus arteriosus in the fetus may occur, Flector Patch can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman starting at 30 weeks gestation. If this drug is used during this time period in pregnancy, inform the patient of the potential hazard to a fetus. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Prior to 30 weeks gestation, Flector Patch should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were administered 1, 3, or 6 mg/kg diclofenac epolamine via oral gavage daily from gestation days 6-15. Maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity, and increased incidence of skeletal anomalies were noted with 6 mg/kg/day diclofenac epolamine, which corresponds to 3-times the maximum recommended daily exposure in humans based on a body surface area comparison. Pregnant New Zealand White rabbits were administered 1, 3, or 6 mg/kg diclofenac epolamine via oral gavage daily from gestation days 6-18. No maternal toxicity was noted; however, embryotoxicity was evident at 6 mg/kg/day group which corresponds to 6.5-times the maximum recommended daily exposure in humans based on a body surface area comparison.

Nonteratogenic Effects

Male rats were orally administered diclofenac epolamine (1, 3, 6 mg/kg) for 60 days prior to mating and throughout the mating period, and females were given the same doses 14 days prior to mating and through mating, gestation, and lactation. Embryotoxicity was observed at 6 mg/kg diclofenac epolamine (3-times the maximum recommended daily exposure in humans based on a body surface area comparison), and was manifested as an increase in early resorptions, post-implantation losses, and a decrease in live fetuses. The number of live born and total born were also reduced as was F1 postnatal survival, but the physical and behavioral development of surviving F1 pups in all groups was the same as the deionized water control, nor was reproductive performance adversely affected despite a slight treatment-related reduction in body weight.

8.2 Labor and Delivery

The effects of Flector Patch on labor and delivery in pregnant women are unknown. In rat studies, maternal exposure to NSAIDs, as with other drugs known to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, increased the incidence of dystocia, delayed parturition, and decreased pup survival.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human-milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Flector Patch, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Flector Patch did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients.

Diclofenac, as with any NSAID, is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to Flector Patch may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken when using Flector Patch in the elderly, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.


There is limited experience with overdose of Flector Patch. In clinical studies, the maximum single dose administered was one Flector Patch containing 180 mg of diclofenac epolamine. There were no serious adverse events.

Should systemic side effects occur due to incorrect use or accidental overdose of this product, the general measures recommended for intoxication with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken.

For additional information about overdose treatment, call a poison control center (1-800-222-1222).


Flector Patch (10 cm × 14 cm) is comprised of an adhesive material containing 1.3% diclofenac epolamine which is applied to a non-woven polyester felt backing and covered with a polypropylene film release liner. The release liner is removed prior to topical application to the skin.

Diclofenac epolamine is a non-opioid analgesic chemically designated as 2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl) amino]benzeneacetic acid, (2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl) ethanol salt, with a molecular formula of C20 H24 Cl2 N2 O3 (molecular weight 411.3), an n-octanol/water partition coefficient of 8 at pH 8.5, and the following structure:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

Each adhesive patch contains 180 mg of diclofenac epolamine (13 mg per gram adhesive) in an aqueous base. It also contains the following inactive ingredients: 1,3-butylene glycol, dihydroxyaluminum aminoacetate, disodium edetate, D-sorbitol, fragrance (Dalin PH), gelatin, kaolin, methylparaben, polysorbate 80, povidone, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, sodium polyacrylate, tartaric acid, titanium dioxide, and purified water.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). In pharmacologic studies, diclofenac has shown anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activity. As with other NSAIDs, its mode of action is not known; its ability to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, however, may be involved in its anti-inflammatory activity, as well as contribute to its efficacy in relieving pain associated with inflammation.

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