Transdermal patches offer many benefits over traditional pill, powder, or liquid medication delivery methods. The first benefit of using patches is the method’s direct-to-bloodstream delivery while bypassing the liver’s metabolic activity. A patient’s body heat activates a patch, prompting it to begin releasing medication through the skin and into the bloodstream.
The second benefit of using patches is that medication is supplied gradually and constantly, rather than in a large, single dose. Patches utilize the skin’s natural barrier properties in order to achieve a constant permeation of the drug and achieve steadier blood levels as compared to injectables and most oral medications.
Another benefit of using patches is that their use allows a medication to bypass the acidic environment found in the digestive system. Traditional drug delivery requires a pill, powder, or liquid to enter the digestive tract, where it is broken down by acid in the stomach. This breakdown can be difficult on a patient’s digestive system, and it can result in diminished effectiveness of the medication taken. Also, because the medication bypasses the gastrointestinal tract, patches may also reduce the risk of side effects.
Additionally, patches are painless, eliminating the need for injections that can cause a patient irritation and discomfort. Patches are simply placed on the skin, worn for a prescribed period of time, and removed. This also makes them convenient. A patient can remove and replace a patch himself without an added trip to the doctor’s office for a shot.