The formulation and evaluation of transdermal patches

There is a particular type of adhesive patch that many people have used before. It is called a transdermal patch. Unlike a Band-Aid, it’s specific uses to deliver medication that is saturated on the patch that will be sent into the body through the skin and subsequently into your bloodstream. There are many reasons for using transdermal patches. They can promote healing, especially to injured areas. There are many advantages to this particular type of drug delivery, even over intravenous, topical, intramuscular, or even taking prescription drugs orally. The reason is that it provides what is called the controlled release of whatever medication you have been prescribed. The medication will be in the patch, and is often delivered as a result of body heat effectively melting the different layers that hold the medication. Let’s discuss the formulation, and the evaluation, of transdermal patches.

When Were Transdermal Patches First Manufactured?

The production of transdermal patches first occurred in the late 1970s. They had to first be approved by the US FDA. Their initial use was for those that suffered from motion sickness. They were able to deliver a drug called scopolamine that would serve this purpose. Today, they are used for a wide variety of reasons. The most popular is the delivery of nicotine into the bloodstream. Opiate medications are also delivered in this manner to help control pain. Women often have hormonal patches that can help balance out estrogen levels.

Do Transdermal Patches Have Any Side Effects?

These patches do have certain side effects that have been noted. Some of them have been discussed and addressed by the FDA. For example, back in 2005, it was reported that many people had died from fentanyl transdermal patches that they were using. Fentanyl is a very potent opiate, one that is often substituted by drug dealers, selling them to those looking for opiates such as Vicodin or Percocet. Others were recalled because the protective release liner was defective. Others have been severely burned while wearing these patches during MRI scans. For the most part, however, transdermal patches are perfectly safe. As long as you are using prescribed medications, or even nicotine, there should not be any problems at all. The evaluation process for determining if a transdermal patch is safe or not will depend upon what others have experienced and what the FDA has been able to determine.

How Are Transdermal Patches Made?

These are the result of combining many different physical components. There is a liner that will protect the patch prior to it being used. They will all have some type of a drug that is going to be dispersed into the body. There will also be an adhesive component, allowing it to stay on the skin for extended periods of time. Membranes are used to control the release of the specific drug that you are prescribed. The thicker the patch, the higher the number of membranes. There is also a backing, permeation enhancer, and also a matrix filler, all of which work together to simply deliver pharmaceutical drugs or other substances into the body on a continual basis.

Different Types Of Dermal Patches That Are Used Today

The most common distinction between dermal patches, other than the pharmaceutical drug or substance that is being delivered into the body, is the number of layers that it has. There are those that have a single layer, whereas most of them will have multiple layers so that the drugs can be delivered on a longer-term basis. Patches can come in different sizes, and they will also use different types of adhesives. There are some people that cannot have certain adhesives on their skin for extended periods of time without experiencing some type of discomfort or damage to the skin. If you do have sensitive skin, this needs to be presented to your physician before the prescribed one particular patch over all of the others.

Are There New Formulations For Transdermal Patches Available Today?

If you do a little research, you will see that there are several different styles available. Some of them will have either a large or small reservoir that will contain the drug to be administered. They also have what is called a Matrix system, and those that are called a vapor patch. The size, configuration, and the thickness of the patches are the main variations that you will notice.

How To Know If Your Transdermal Patch Is Working For You

Although your physician is going to prescribe the ones that are the safest, there is always the possibility that you may experience reactions that others do not. Some of those have already been mentioned including irritation to the skin, but you may also experience circulation problems in the skin where the patch is located. That’s why they recommend rotating the patches to different parts of the body. You can choose to place these on your abdomen, forearm, or even on your wrist. Other people prefer to have them on their shoulder. The key is to not place these patches in the same location every time so as to not develop what could become a very severe skin irritation.

If you need to get a transdermal patch for nicotine, or perhaps for pain relief, this information can help you decide on which one will be right for you. Your physician will have recommendations for ones that they believe will be the best choice, but you do need to monitor how these patches are affecting your body and also the surface of your skin where they are attached. By being aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of transdermal patches, you can get the most benefit from the ones that you will use. If these are store-bought, and there are many different brand names, you may want to try several different types to see how you react. Whether these are store-bought, or if they do come from your physician, you need to always monitor how you are reacting to these patches which are designed to help you.


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