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Alpharma gets FDA approval for Flector patch


BRIDGEWATER, N.J. Alpharma Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its Flector patch 1.3 percent, which is indicated for the topical treatment of acute pain due to minor strains, sprains, and contusions.

The drug will be used to replace traditional oral anti-inflammatory medications. “The main drawback of commonly used oral anti-inflammatory medications is that many people cannot tolerate them,” said Robert Sheu, director of the Pain Division in the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York. “There are a lot of physicians and patients who would prefer a more targeted approach to treating pain at the site of an injury, and a topical patch accomplishes this while avoiding the stomach and digestive tract.”

Studies have shown that up to 50 percent of patients who suffer from pain have intolerance to traditional oral anti-inflammatory drugs.

The drug is recommended to be applied twice daily, on the most painful area and not to be worn for more than 12 hours per day. The patch contains 180 mg of diclofenac epolamine. The drug is the first and only prescription anti-inflammatory pain relief patch in the U.S. The company will start marketing the drug immediately.

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