Flector patch for cancer pain

Flector Patch is a topical  non-steroidal(NSAID) drug diclofenac. Diclofenac has antiinflammatory, analgesic, and anti-fever effects. Each FLECTOR® Patch measures approximately 4 inches by 5.5 inches and contains 180-mg of diclofenac. The recommended dose of FLECTOR® Patch is one patch to the most painful area twice a day (12 hours at a time). FLECTOR® Patch should be applied to intact or non-damaged skin. Some physicians feel that these patches can be cut into smaller portions but this has not been formally studied.

A meta-analysis in 2004  showed that drugs of this class applied through skin are effective and safe in treating acute painful conditions for 1 week. Whether this is also true of this patc is not known. Flector patch had also been studied for ostearthritis and localized pain of rheumatic conditions.

Flector has not been adequately studied for pain of metastatic cancer. The oral version, Voltaren, allows the morphien dose to be decreased. However, it can cause liver damage. How well it works as a patch for painful metastases has not been studied.  It is not a completely innocuous drug, especially for a cancer patient who is on chemotherapy and more susceptible to side effects, or with possible liver metastases.

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