Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use it for any other condition without first checking with your doctor. This medicine may cause unwanted effects if it is used too much, because more of it is absorbed into the body through the skin.

This medicine should only be used for problems being treated by your doctor. Check with your doctor before using it for other problems, especially if you think that an infection may be present. This medicine should not be used to treat certain kinds of skin infections or serious problems, such as severe burns.

If you are using the topical jelly or ointment:

  • A nurse or other trained health care professional may give you this medicine before having a medical procedure.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, do not apply this medicine to open wounds, burns, or broken or inflamed skin.
  • Be careful not to get any of the ointment in your eyes, because it can cause severe eye irritation. If any of the medicine does get in the eyes, wash the eyes with water for at least 15 minutes and check with your doctor right away.

If you are using the viscous topical solution:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Use of an accurate measuring device is recommended, to avoid using more than the prescribed amount of medicine.
  • If you are using this medicine in the mouth, swish the solution around in the mouth and spit it out.
  • If you are using this medicine in the throat, gargle the undiluted solution. You may also swallow the solution.

If you are using the skin patch:

  • Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. It will work only if applied correctly.
  • This medicine should only be used on the skin. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off with water or saline right away.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
  • Keep the patch in its protective envelope until you are ready to put it on. You may cut the patch into smaller sizes with scissors after removing the patch release liner.
  • Apply the patch to a clean, dry, intact skin. Choose an area with little or no hair and free of scars, cuts, or irritation. Avoid putting the patch on areas where it could be rubbed off by tight clothing.
  • Put on a new patch if the old one has fallen off and cannot be reapplied.
  • Do not use the patch when you take a bath, shower, or swim. Always keep the patch dry.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage form (ointment):
    • For pain and itching caused by minor skin conditions:
      • Adults—Apply to the affected area three or four times a day. The largest amount of ointment that should be used in a single application is 5 grams. If you use the 5% ointment, this is about 6 inches of ointment from the tube.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
  • For topical dosage form (skin patch):
    • For pain caused by shingles:
      • Adults—Apply 1 to 3 patches to the painful area for up to 12 hours each day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For topical dosage form (solution):
    • For treatment of irritated or sore mouth or throat:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 15 milliliters (mL) tablespoonful every 3 hours. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. Do not use more than 8 doses in a 24-hour period.
      • Children 3 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 3 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose should be no more than 1.2 mL applied to the immediate area with a cotton-tipped swab. Wait at least 3 hours between doses, and do not use more than 4 doses in a 12-hour period.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

After removing a used patch, fold the patch in half with the sticky sides together. Make sure to dispose of it out of the reach of children and pets.