What are the advantages of using a transdermal patch?

If you’ve seen advertisements for a nicotine patch, then you’ve already gotten a glimpse of where adhesive patches and transdermal absorption fit within our modern world. That, however, is far from the only use these small-but-important medical items have.

The development of adhesive patches to medicate people is one of the most impressive medical advancements of our time. Over the years, it’s become clear that this method has numerous advantages. We wanted to look at five key benefits of adhesive patches and transdermal absorption and where the adhesive component fits in the process.

Transdermal Patches in a Nutshell

What exactly are transdermal patches? As mentioned in the nicotine patch example above, transdermal patches are convenient for administering medication for various conditions. They stick to the skin and gradually release the drug in specific, pre-set doses through the skin rather than other, more traditional methods.

Typically, adhesive transdermal patches are composed of several different elements, including the backing, the drug reservoir, a membrane, and the adhesive that attaches to the skin. These elements are all designed to work together with the specific drug to release appropriate amounts over the right amount of time. New advancements in this field have removed the need for the drug reservoir and mixed the medicine in with the adhesive, which makes the transdermal patch more inconspicuous.

So, why is this way of medicating patients so beneficial? Let’s go over some of the most significant advantages.

Read More: Life-Changing Applications of Adhesive Tape

1. Convenience

While we wouldn’t exactly say “set it and forget it” when it comes to anything related to health, transdermal patches offer convenience in that a patient (or medical professional if needed) can place the patch on the skin and continue the day as normal. Depending on the patch type and assuming all goes according to plan, the patient doesn’t have to stop what they’re doing to take a pill, or worry about the invasive poke of a needle.

Along with how easy the patch can be attached, it can just as easily be removed — though not so easily that it will just fall off on accident.

2. Compliance

It’s not always easy for medical providers to get their patients to adhere to a medication schedule or even take medications at all. This is related to the convenience factor. The ease of use with adhesive patches makes it easier for patients to comply with their doctor’s orders and take their medicine as needed. 

In addition to helping the person who needs this drug, it also maintains a good relationship between doctor and patient.

3. Smoother Dosing

The transdermal absorption method smoothly delivers the medication, continuously dosing the patient with the appropriate amount over an extended period of time. This can sometimes make for better treatment than the uneven dosing that might occur when taking drugs orally.

This can also make it easier to combat adverse side effects if experienced. If it isn’t working or the patient is experiencing adverse side effects, they can peel it off and the medication will stop being administered. It’s possible that those side effects may go away sooner due to the nature of how the drug is delivered.

4. Avoiding Digestive Side Effects

While transdermal patches are not entirely without the risk of negative side effects, one particular type of side effect can generally be avoided: digestive. 

Sometimes oral drugs can cause digestive side effects, like nausea or upset stomach. That can be specifically because the drug was taken by mouth and landed in the stomach. The transdermal patch delivers the drug to the bloodstream through the skin, avoiding a trip through the digestive tract and possibly any side effects that come with it.

5. Alternative Administration to Nauseated or Unconscious Patients

Transdermal patches aren’t just for easy take-home use for patients; they can also be used in moments of acute care, possibly in urgent situations. If a patient is unconscious and needs a drug in their system immediately, these patches are one way to administer it. 

Similarly, suppose a patient is nauseated and can’t keep anything down. In that case, transdermal absorption can work as an alternative delivery method to bypass their digestive system and get the drug they need into their bloodstream.

The Role of Adhesives in Transdermal Patches

When creating transdermal patches, it is essential to consider the adhesive. The adhesive needs to stick to the skin without falling off when covered up with clothing while also being easy enough to remove without irritation.

Additionally, the adhesive must withstand other conditions, like sweat, heat, cold, and other environmental factors. All this while still making sure the drug can pass through it to reach the patient.

Considering Adhesives in Your Projects

We believe that if your project — whether it is the creation of transdermal patches or anything else — requires adhesives, an adhesive converter should be involved early in your design process. Strouse can help!

First, we recommend downloading our useful guide, which aims to help you succeed in your development process by bringing in an adhesive converter from the get-go. Failure to consider the adhesive component early could cost you time and money. Call Strouse at (800)-410-8273 or click the link below to get your copy today. Don’t let your adhesives be an afterthought! 

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Scott Chambers

Written by Scott Chambers

As the VP of Marketing for Strouse, Scott oversees the content creation team and drives demand to the sales team. Scott graduated from Coastal Carolina with a degree in Business Management. He then attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, earned his JD, and passed the bar in 2016. In addition to marketing and business development, Scott serves as Strouse's In House Counsel. Scott is currently earning an MBA from Indiana University.

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