This drug may rarely 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.Who should not take diclofenac epolamine transdermal?
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.
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 right away 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.
See also Warning section.
Itching, burning, irritation, redness, or dry skin may occur at the application site. Nausea or change in taste may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: swelling of the ankles/feet/hands (edema), sudden/unexplained weight gain, unusual tiredness, change in the amount of urine.
This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver problems. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using diclofenac, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin; or to other NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: aspirin-sensitive asthma (a history of worsening breathing with runny/stuffy nose after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), recent heart bypass surgery (CABG).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: stomach/intestine problems (e.g., bleeding, ulcers), liver disease, poorly controlled diabetes, heart disease (e.g., history of heart attack), high blood pressure, stroke, swelling (edema, water retention), blood disorders (e.g., anemia, bleeding/clotting problems), asthma, growths in the nose (nasal polyps).
Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including diclofenac. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual change in the amount of urine.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
If you are going to have an MRI test, tell testing personnel that you are using this patch. Some patches may contain metals that can cause serious burns during an MRI. Ask your doctor whether you will need to remove your patch before the test and apply a new patch afterward, and how to do so properly.
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco may increase your risk for stomach bleeding, especially when combined with this medicine. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially stomach/intestinal bleeding, kidney problems and worsening heart problems.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage, trouble getting pregnant). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.
Based on information from related drugs, this medication may pass into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan), cidofovir, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), lithium, methotrexate, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide).
This medication may increase the risk of bleeding when used with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as celecoxib, ibuprofen, or ketorolac). These drugs are similar to diclofenac and may increase your risk of side effects if taken together. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, complete blood count, liver and kidney function tests) should be performed periodically to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Keep all doctor appointments and lab visits so your therapy can be monitored closely.
If you are prescribed this drug on a regular schedule (not just "as needed") and you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store patches in the envelope at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Always reseal envelope after opening. The patches expire 3 months after the envelope is first opened. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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