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Salonpas pain relief patch

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Treatment for pain relief comes in many forms, not just tablets and capsules. Pain relief patches are an alternative option. Salonpas pain relief patches offer targeted pain treatment directly where it’s needed. Unlike transdermal pain patches, there is very little medication absorption into your bloodstream (systemic absorption), so there are fewer side effects.

You can buy Salonpas pain relief patches from your pharmacy without a prescription. Each patch lasts around eight to twelve hours. You should only use one patch at a time, but you can use two a day if necessary; the treatment length should not exceed three days in a row.

Doctor’s advice

Who is the medication for?

Salonpas pain relief patches can help relieve minor aches, pains, and inflammation, such as sprains, strains, and backaches. They are only suitable for adults, not children.

How does the medication work?

The patches contain methyl salicylate, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is converted to its active form, salicylic acid, by enzymes in the skin. Salicylic acid works by blocking the body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are released in response to illness or injury. Prostaglandins can cause pain and inflammation to alert the body that it is unwell. By stopping prostaglandin production, pain and inflammation are reduced. The patches also have a counterirritant effect that reduces your perception of pain and only acts locally on the area they are applied to.

Who should not use the medication?

As always, do not use the medication if you are allergic to any ingredients. You should also avoid the medication if you have had an allergic reaction or asthma attack after taking any NSAID.

Children should not use the medication; neither should anyone with a bleeding disorder, severe liver or kidney problems, or severe heart failure. You should speak with your doctor before using the medication if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have asthma.

Are there any side effects?

As with all medications, some people may experience side effects. Some common side effects at the site of application can include:

  • redness
  • itching
  • pain
  • the medication can also cause headaches

If you develop any bothersome side effects, stop using the medication and speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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