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The diclofenac patch, sometimes called a Flector patch, is a transdermal application of the drug. In other words, it is placed onto the skin to deliver treatment.


This patch is typically used for the treatment of pain from minor strain or sprains. 

NOTE: As with all patches it is important to follow directions precisely. Never cut patches, apply heat, or modify patches in anyway.

Side Effects

This transdermal patch can cause dry skin, itching, taste changes, headaches, and tingling skin. Some people report feeling sleepy with this drug, too. 


What is the diclofenac patch?

The diclofenac patch is a transdermal application of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. The drug is absorbed through the skin from a patch one wears. 

How long does a diclofenac patch take to work?

Generally, people experience benefits in one or two days

Where do you apply the diclofenac patch?

The patch goes on the site of the pain. For example, someone with elbow pain would put the patch on their elbow. 

Is diclofenac stronger than ibuprofen?

Prescription diclofenac is stronger than over-the-counter options like ibuprofen (Advil). 

What is the Flector patch used for?

It is for the treatment of pain from minor strains or sprains. 

Is the Flector patch a controlled substance?

In the United States, the Flector patch requires a prescription. 

Is the Flector patch the same as lidocaine?

No, they are not the same. A lidocaine patch contains the anesthetic (painkilling) drug lidocaine (Lidoderm, Recticare, Lidocaine Viscous). A Flector patch contains the NSAID diclofenac. 

Is the Flector patch good for back pain?

The Flector patch is for the treatment of acute pain. There are no studies to show it is effective for all kinds of back pain, though.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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