In western countries the patches are widely used, but not so much in India.
By Lanka Samanth
Bangalore, Jan. 29, 2019.
“I prescribe nicotine patches to quit smoking, but patients re-visit me complaining of bad side-effects. This is due to a lack of awareness about patches. But it shows more effective outcome than other route of administering the drug,” said Dr. Vasunethra, a pulmonologist.
Trans-dermal patches deliver drugs effectively to specific sites. As it avoids first-pass metabolism, the sustained drug release can take place.
The patches are used as pain killers’ delivery route, motion sickness, against angina, and in hormone replacement therapy, among other usages. For example, women suffering from hormonal imbalances between the ages of 20 to 30 are still unaware of patches and use oral route, or IV administration of medicines, which is not advisable.
“In Hormone Replacement Therapy, drugs through trans-dermal patches are recommended. In other drug delivery systems the drug is administered whole at once, where as in trans-dermal drug delivery system by patches, it ensures the sustained release of drug for a prolonged period of time,” said Dr. Vishnupriya to The Softcopy newspaper.
“As skin as an efficient protective barrier it allows only the drug molecules which are small enough to pass-through it, which is a main advantage of this method,” explains Sravan, a fellow in Doctor of Pharmacy. Despite its effectiveness, some patients wrongly believe it allows gain weight and menstruation loss in women. When asked about the side effect, Sravani explains that, “No doctor prescribes medicine which causes abnormal side effects.”
“More and more awareness should be created. People should be educated about this,” said Dr. Vishnupriya. It is not cared for in India, but in developed countries trans-dermal patches are widely used,” said Gangula Sravani, a student in hospital pharmacy.
Another reason why some patients are reluctant to use skin patches is the possibility of allergic reactions. A patient – not willing to reveal his name – was affected with a dermatological illness due to abnormal usage of patches. When asked about the issue, Indraja, a Hospital Pharmacy intern explained to The Softcopy newspaper, “Patches are the mode of drug delivery systems in which the drug is embedded in an adhesive with micropores. When stuck to the skin it starts the release of drug for a prolonged period of time.”