When we pull a muscle, we use ice and ibuprofen as a remedy. It’s theirs is a headache, relaxation and ibuprofen are almost always the first treatment option we think of. Heat and ibuprofen, on the other hand, is the most common way of managing mild arthritis.
In each of the above-mentioned situations, the widely used over-the-counter painkiller ibuprofen is taken orally in form of a pill. Oral intake of the drug although extremely common often make patients suffer from unwanted side effects such as stomach upset. To bring an end to that problem, researchers at the University of Warwick have come up with an ibuprofen patch.
The research team us referring to the newly developed patch as the “world’s first ibuprofen patch”.
This is not the first patch with medicinal uses. The market already has patches meant for delivering certain medicines like scopolamine (to fight motion sickness), nicotine (to deal with smoking cessation) etc.
How will the ibuprofen patch work? Like the majority of the other medicine patches, this will also be delivering a concentrated dose of the drug (ibuprofen) directly through the user’s skin.
It’s true that one can apply topical ibuprofen gel onto his on her skin for relieving pain, but still it would be not as effective as the patch as the researchers have designed the patch for providing a more controlled dose of the drug in an extremely convenient format.
On their rear, every ibuprofen patch carries a sticky polymer matrix filled with the drug. The researchers have designed the matrix in a way so that it adheres well to the user’s skin.
One feature that makes this patch unusual is its ability of carrying a high dose of the drug. The patch, according to its creators, will be able to deliver the drug for up to 12 hours. They said that this patch can hold drug load as high as 30%, which is 5 to 10% of the drug load we find in the majority of the gels and medical patches available currently. For those who don’t know: the term drug load means weight of a given drug in comparison with the total content of the dose.