What Are Transdermal Patches?
Transdermal patches can be defined as a medicated patch that is placed on the skin as a way to deliver drugs to the body. Transdermal patches help to deliver a specific and fixed dose of medication over a period of time through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Following are some of the common drugs that are administered transdermally:
- Nitroglycerine (Antianginal)
- Clonidine (Blood Pressure Medication)
- Rivastigmine (Alzheimer’s treatment)
- Testosterone & Estrogen
- Some Types of Contraceptive Medication
- Daytrana (Transdermal Ritalin)
- Ensam (Antidepressant)
- Buprenorphine (Opioid)
- Scopolamine (Anti-Nausea)
- Fentanyl (Opioid)
Transdermal patches can also be customized for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills or tablets. A compounding pharmacy can make customized transdermal patches by including specific ingredients as prescribed by your doctor or physician. Currently, with the increased consumer interest in healthy-looking skin, most of the modern consumers are now using cosmetic compounding medication in the form of a transdermal patch as they supply multiple benefits with minimal effort.
How Do Transdermal Patches Work?
Transdermal patches offer a non-invasive and painless method of drug delivery by providing a consistent therapeutic dosage over a predetermined time period.
Transdermal patches are placed on the affected area of the skin and the medicine is delivered topically, wherein they’re absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream. The patch provides a consistent and controlled release of the medication into the patient’s bloodstream through the skin. The length of wear time, the strength, and the amount of medicine delivered may vary from patch to patch.
A transdermal patch acts as a drug delivery carrier, holding the medicine until the point of application. At the point of application, the adhesive present in the patches attaches itself to the skin. This allows the medicine present in the patch access to the skin, where permeation begins.
Once the transdermal patch is applied, it continues to administer the medicine until either the medicine is fully absorbed, or the patch is removed.
How to Apply a Transdermal Patch?
The application transdermal patch application differs from system to system. Here is the basic guide to applying a transdermal patch.
1. Wash and Clean your Hands & Clean the Area Where the Patch will be Applied:
As patches are packed into sterile pouches during their manufacturing phase, it is imperative to wash your hand in order to remove any impurities. A dry and clean application area in the skin will help the patch adhesive to easily stick to the skin.
2. Hold the Patch Properly:
Hold the patch in such a way that the plastic backing is facing you. This aligns the patch such that the adhesive is facing down, which would make it easier for you to apply it to your skin.
3. Carefully Take Off One Side of the Patch Backing:
Don’t touch the exposed patch, hold the other side of the patch with intact backing as a handle.
4. Apply the Exposed Half of the Patch Into Your Skin:
Be still and make use of the liner as a handle to ensure the adhesive side of the patch is facing down. Now apply the exposed part of the patch to the application area of your skin.
5. Apply Some Pressure & Smoothen the Patch:
Apply some light pressure with your fingers to smoothen the patch and remove any air bubbles. This ensures that the patch is properly stuck to your skin.
6. Peel off the Other Side of the Patch:
Now fold back the other side of the transdermal patch by holding onto the remaining piece of plastic backing. Then, remove the plastic and smoothen it across the skin. Press it to ensure there is good contact across the patch’s full surface area.
7. Wash Hand:
Now wash your hand with soap & water to remove any adhesive that remains on your hand.
8. Removing the Patch:
It is imperative to safely dispose of the patch by folding and pressing the adhesive side together. The skin that was covered with the patch should be properly cleaned with soap and water. The application area of the skin may appear red for some time. If the redness does not go away after some hours, you must contact your doctor, as this could be a reaction to the patch adhesive.
The body has a consistent supply of the necessary medication when the medications are administered through transdermal patches. The patient does not have to remember to take their medicine orally or at a certain time of day; instead, they can just put the patch on once, and it stays there for the length of the dose with minimal side effects.