Which Medications can be Delivered in Patch Form?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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There are many types of medications in patch form, called transdermal delivery, that can help those who dislike swallowing pills, can’t swallow pills, or who need consistent levels of certain medications. The most well known are nicotine patches, and patches that provide birth control from estrogen and progesterone.

The nicotine patch has been of significant help to those who need to level off nicotine at a slow rate. Though the smoker no longer smokes, he or she gets nicotine through the patch. This helps to satisfy physical craving for the chemical so that the new non-smoker can deal with the emotional cravings that occur as well.

Birth control pills, when they are in patch form, are also thought advantageous by many. They mean women cannot forget to take “the pill.” A woman can forget to change the patch, however, which risks ovulation and greater chance of pregnancy. As well, a pregnant women using birth control medications in patch form is at risk for harming her unborn child.

Some children with attentional disorders also use medication patches. This can be helpful for the child who is not compliant or who has difficultly taking pills. Generally, the patch must be changed daily, however. Some children and adults have discomfort or itchiness from the patches. Children may take them off because they itch and possibly expose other children to unneeded medication.


Pain medications in patch form are also now available, and may be quite helpful for those with chronic pain conditions. They tend to offer a quicker delivery system than those medications taken orally. However, the absorption of the medication may be affected by where the patch is located. Patients applying their own patches need education about where to best apply patches.

Patches are also available for some forms of anti-depressants, for testosterone, and some are looking at development of an insulin patch for diabetics. Those medications that irritate the stomach when taken orally, such as Fosamax, which is used to treat those with osteoporosis, may be better in patch form.

Medications in patch form are still a new market, and there are some issues. Patients need to be taught where an how to place the patch. In addition, not all people absorb medication from patches equally. Things like skin heat and also skin tolerance can affect absorption. In tests on this form of medication for attentional disorder, about 13% of patients became tolerant of the medication, blocking the skin from absorbing it.


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Post 5

I currently take Norco 10 for my chronic pain but it seems that I am getting up in the middle of the night after I take ambien and don't recall taking one. So now I am going to be short pain meds before they can refill again.

Is there a patch for Norco? That way I can't take too much. I don't want to stop my ambien. It is absolutely the only thing that will help me sleep.

Post 4

Cupcake15- That sounds horrible. I think that patch medication for nicotine addiction has been favorable. Here people can get weaned off the nicotine little by little and not have to resort to smoking a cigarette which hurts their lungs and is offensive to the people that they surround.

There are also new developments with respect to birth control patches as well and many people seem to like this method of medication.

I know that is seems convenient but I prefer traditional methods of medication instead. I don’t have a problem taking pills orally and at least I know that it is the right dosage for me.

Post 3

Latte31- Wow that sounds scary. I would have never thought of that happening.

I do know that some patch medications are not entirely safe to begin with and have enormous risks.

For example, Daytrana is a patch medication to treat children with ADHD. However, the potential side effects sound worse than the actual condition.

This medication has been linked to psychiatric disorders like bipolar, psychosis, and aggression.

If that were not enough, it also been linked to severe heart ailments with increased blood pressure. This medication is supposed to be for children for age’s six to twelve, but with these side effects I would not take a chance.

Post 2

The patch form of medicine might be a blessing for people that are uncomfortable taking pills and want another method of transmission.

However, there are some problems with patch medications. For example, the drug Fentanyl offers strong pain relief at narcotic levels.

People that take this medication usually have chronic or severe pain to the point that nothing else will help.

The problem with this drug is that if the patch becomes damaged or ripped or cut in any way it can release fatal dosages into a person’s system and kill them.

This happened to man that was featured on an autopsy show. However, in his case the patch was defective to begin with so you really have to be careful with patch medications.

Post 1

Patch follows the zero order rate equation.

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