A power painkiller, Ibuprofen, has just gotten a whole new way of administration.
Scientists in the UK in collaboration with Medherant, a drug delivery firm, have created a clear gel patch that administers the drug over the course of half a day, with the added bonus of discretion, by wearing it under your clothes.
The gel patch is strong enough to stick to the skin and has the flexibility to allow the body free movement.
The patch is designed to provide quick relief to those who are in need of pain relief, and the patch is more effective, as putting one or two on a day is less strenuous than having to remember to take one every four hours.
Through it, the drug can be administered when it’s needed at a constant dosage, and up to 30% of the materials weight can be the Ibuprofen. The team at the University of Warwick explain:
"This opens the way for the development of a range of novel long-acting over-the-counter pain relief products which can be used to treat common painful conditions like chronic back pain, neuralgia and arthritis without the need to take potentially damaging doses of the drug orally. Although there are a number of popular Ibuprofen gels available these make it difficult to control dosage and are inconvenient to apply."
According to researchers, finding a polymer that sticks to the skin without leaving anything once taken off was not an easy accomplishment. To overcome the hurdle they had to identify a drug that could be dissolved as required, and that drug was Ibuprofen.
Nigel Davis, CEO of Medherant, says the first consumer patches could be available and on sale within two years.
"Many commercial patches surprisingly don't contain any pain relief agents at all, they simply soothe the body by a warming effect," says David Haddleton, one of the research chemists.
"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 adds.
"Also, we can improve the drug loading and stickiness of patches containing other active ingredients to improve patient comfort and outcome."