THE TRANSDERMAL PATCH
A transdermal patch is a medicated adhesive patch that is placed on the skin to deliver a specific dose of medication through the skin and into the bloodstream. Often, this promotes healing to an injured area of the body. An advantage of a transdermal drug delivery route over other types of medication delivery such as oral, topical, intravenous, intramuscular, etc. is that the patch provides a controlled release of the medication into the patient, usually through either a porous membrane covering a reservoir of medication or through body heat melting thin layers of medication embedded in the adhesive. Transdermal drug delivery offers controlled release of the drug into the patient, it enables a steady blood level profile, resulting in reduced systemic side effects and, sometimes, improved efficacy over other dosage forms. The main objective of transdermal drug delivery system is to deliver drugs into systemic circulation through skin at predetermined rate with minimal inter and intra-patient variations.
Transdermal therapeutic systems are high-tech patches that make treatment much more convenient and pleasant for the patient. Instead of having to take lots of tablets, you only have to apply a new patch. In addition, patches from “Me and Hue” also ensure a constant drug level for the entire duration of wear.
What is an advantage of using the transdermal delivery system?
Advantages associated with topical/transdermal delivery include non-invasive delivery, bypass of first pass metabolism, prolonged duration of action, reduced dosing frequency, constant levels of drug in the plasma, reduced drug toxicity/adverse events, improved patient compliance
Now, transdermal delivery systems are not necessarily new, with the first — a scopolamine patch2for motion sickness — launching nearly 40 years ago. However, the industry has continued to view this segment as niche and with a specific set of limitations, leaving oral solid dosage and injectable solutions as the market mainstays.
Yet, further developments in transdermal delivery technology and changing needs of the patient population is perhaps starting to buck the familiar trends.
However, thanks to the development of new technologies, such as better adhesives, nanoparticles, chemical permeation enhancers that can improve drug solubility, or other active approaches, like ultrasound or high-voltage electrical pulses, the options available for transdermal delivery are expanding.
By using a transdermal route of administration, the drug can bypass the stomach, which could improve treatment efficacy and reduce side effects. Particularly helpful for drugs that have a significant impact on the gastrointestinal mucosa or for those that are poorly or variably absorbed by the gut after oral administration or are subject to extensive metabolism in the liver.
Multiple drug administrations can be avoided as the drug can be delivered from a patch over an extended period of time — this also offers potential cost benefits.