A science team have produced the world’s first ibuprofen patch.
The patch delivers the drug via the skin, and remarkably does so by administering a steady and consistent dose of the painkiller over a 12-hour period.
The patch takes the form of a transparent adhesive patch and it is classified as a type of medical device called a transdermal.
The patch was developed at a Warwick University company called Medherant. To achieve the feat, the researchers used a development of polymer technology.
This is balanced with getting the right level of the drug, to allow for the slow release (the optimal level was found to be 30 percent weight). The new technology means the patch can hold up to 10 times more than a gel. Moreover, the patch is thin, flexible and it adheres well to the skin.
Commenting further in a research note, Professor David Haddleton, Research Chemist from the University of Warwick noted:
“Many commercial patches surprisingly don’t contain any pain relief agents at all, they simply soothe the body by a warming effect. Our technology now means that we can for the first time produce patches that contain effective doses of active ingredients such as ibuprofen for which no patches currently exist.”
He also added:
“we can improve the drug loading and stickiness of patches containing other active ingredients to improve patient comfort and outcome.”
The technology paves the way for other long-acting over-the-counter pain relief products.