Humans continue to try to find ways to make life more comfortable and healthier, whenever possible. In this quest, it cannot be helped when some will choose not to settle for existing modes of delivery for treatments and medications and seek other options. People are naturally interested in products or services that can provide the greatest degree of effectiveness, convenience , the least cost without sacrificing results, and the desired solution to their needs or medical conditions.
One of the most recent innovations in drug delivery for active treatment or prevention of certain diseases is transdermal delivery. This option is essentially made possible through the use of a transdermal patch which contains the required substance that is released to the bloodstream through the skin. The US Food and Drug Administration defines a transdermal patch as a medical device combined with a specific drug or substance designed to deliver treatment through direct adhesion to the skin. The very first FDA-approved transdermal patch is the scopolamine patch used to prevent motion sickness.
Most Common Uses of Transdermal Patches
To date, there are at least two common uses of transdermal patches that can be purchased over the counter, These are the analgesic patch for body pain and the anti-mosquito patch to deter mosquitoes from making contact with a person’s skin. Another commonly used patch is the nicotine patch or smoking patch intended to help smokers in their goal to stop smoking.
The use of medications applied to the skin such as creams, lotions, ointments, and oils have been existing for quite some time already. In fact, they have been known to be used since ancient times. This practice forms the foundation in which transdermal delivery of drugs is based.
Pain relief patches contain analgesic ingredients such as menthol and methyl salicylate which mainly works to diminish pain signals in particular parts of the body. Anti-mosquito patches contain Vitamin B1 which is believed to reduce human odors that are attractive to mosquitoes. Nicotine or smoking patches contain nicotine that gradually release pre-determined amounts of nicotine to the body system to minimize the usual withdrawal symptoms encountered by smokers who are trying to stop the habit.
Other Uses of Transdermal Patches
The transdermal delivery of health treatments has been the object of much study and investigation in its possible role in providing a more viable option for people who have to take in medications regularly. The act of taking drugs orally for extended periods of time has been proven to have a negative effect on the liver. The very reason why the transdermal option is being meticulously studied is because of the advantage of bypassing the liver in drug delivery.
Regulated transdermal patches have been made available with the strong recommendation to consult a professional doctor prior to use. This is because the substances they contain can possibly counteract with existing medical conditions. Some of these are the hormonal patches used for contraception and body enhancement, the nitroglycerin patches used to prevent chest pains, the clonidine patches used to treat high blood pressure, the antidepressant patches used to treat major depression disorders, the methylphenidate patches used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children up to age 17, and the multi-vitamin patches used to provide additonal nutrients to the body. Pain management patches for conditions such as cancer are likewise available.
The results obtained from the use of these patches vary in effectiveness, thus the need for further study and improvement. Transdermal delivery proposes an advantage in convenience and the absence of pain especially in relation to drugs that have to be injected into the body. These advantages have resulted to higher patient compliance thus it is important to ensure that patients are given the most effective and suitable transdermal patch so as not to defeat the purpose of getting well or making a medical condition more manageable.
Transdermal delivery of medication is a possible option in the treatment of certain health conditions although it may not be for everyone. Transdermal patches may have varying effects. It is always best to consult a medical professional before using them.