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Monday, 20 August 2012 21:04

Transdermal Patches: what are they?

Written by  Super User
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Transdermal patches are becoming more and more popular. They are used to provide medication through your skin.

The transdermal patch consists of an adhesive layer that attaches it to the skin, and a reservoir that holds the medicine. The medicine must first diffuse out of the reservoir and onto the skin, and then through the skin and into the bloodstream. Since diffusion through the skin is a much slower process than diffusion through the stomach lining and into the bloodstream, and, since the patch reservoir is capable of holding a greater quantity of medicine than a pill capsule, the transdermal patch offers a method for increased dosage over a prolonged period of time.


A transdermal patch uses a special membrane to control the rate at which the liquid drug contained in the reservoir within the patch can pass through the skin and into the bloodstream. The basic components of any transdermal delivery system include the drug(s) dissolved or dispersed in a reservoir or inert polymer matrix; an outer backing film of paper, plastic, or foil; and a pressure-sensitive adhesive that anchors the patch to the skin. The adhesive is covered by a release liner, which needs to be peeled off before applying the patch to the skin.

Drugs administered via skin patches include scopolamine, nicotine, estrogen, nitroglycerin, and lidocaine. Basically the molecules of the medication must be small enough to pass through the skin

This is a non invasive way to treat many diseases and disorders. In addition to the aspects of each patch - there are four types of transdermal patches. These four types are: Single layer drug in adhesive, multi layer drug in adhesive, reservoir and matrix.

Read 1529 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:46

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