Transdermal patches are an effective way to deliver medication. A Transdermal patch is affixed to the skin and the drug from the patch is absorbed into the body over a recommended period of time.
Transdermal patches are used to deliver a range of drugs into the body. Some of the most prevalent symptoms and issues that patches treat can be:
- Pain management
- Addiction treatment
- High blood pressure
- Hormone therapy
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Some common drugs that are delivered via transdermal patch may include:
- Fentanyl (learn more about safe administration)
The medication in these patches tends to last for many hours, days, or even weeks before they need to be changed. Another benefit to this type of drug administration is that it’s more difficult to abuse substances that come in patches or transplants; however, it’s not impossible.
You will also need to carefully read the instructions that accompany the patch and if there is any questions or concerns you absolutely should consult with your physician or pharmacist.
Transdermal Patch Application
In order for the patches to work effectively and without reapplication it is important to follow some simple steps.
- Follow doctors orders and read the instructions that come with your specific patch. Instructions will direct you where the patch is to be placed and the duration of time that the patch should remain on the skin in order to be effective.
- Be sure to clean your hands with soap and water.
- Old patches should be removed as per the directions included on the package, in the box, or from your physician or pharmacist. In almost all cases carefully peel back corner and pull the patch off slow and a slow angle to keep from putting stress on the skin. Fold the patch together on itself and throw it in a trash receptacle that is safe from pets and children as it may still contain trace amounts of medication.
- Follow the instructions and recommendations for the placement of the new patch. In most cases the patches are placed on upper chest, on the shoulder or tricep, or in some cases the abdomen or hip.
- If possible try and choose a location where skin is not oily or in areas of heavy perspiration. Avoid excessive hair and be sure skin is free of scars, cuts, burns, or irritation. If the directed location does not met any of the above criteria, then consult a doctor about a secondary adhesive. In some cases placing a Hy-Tape adhesive patch over the transdermal patch may protect and hold on difficult to stick areas. In some cases picture framing the outer edge of the patch with a 1.5 inch roll of Hy-Tape, or a width suitable to leave a .5 – .75 inch width of tape on the skin with another .5 – .75 inch on the patch will ensure adhesion.
- Prepare the skin for by removing lotions, oil, and perfumes with warm water a simple non-perfumed soap. In some cases where oily skin prevents patches from staying, rubbing alcohol may be used with permission from a health care professional. Thoroughly pat dry skin. The success of the adhesive lies in the preparation of the area.
- While carefully opening the package, avoid tearing across the patch. Damaged patches should be discarded.
- When removing the patch from package, avoid contact with the adhesive. In some cases the adhesive may also contain traces of the medication. If contact is made, rinse hands generously with water and wash with soap.
- Use the palm of your hand to apply patch. Firmly and carefully run fingers around the perimeter of the patch to smooth out wrinkles and bumps.
- Properly discard of packaging and wash hands again.
Here are some tips to help with application:
- Avoid cuts, irritated skin, and sores.
- Keep patch away from areas of heavy perspiration.
- Choose an area where friction is not prevalent.
- Wear clothing that does not rub or crease where the patch is applied.
- Trim or shave hair if possible to increase the adhesives surface area.
Not all skin will bond with the patches adhesive. Secondary adhesive support may be required. Hy-Tape is a proven solution when patches will not adhere or start to peel away from the skin. Hy-Tape is waterproof for showering or swimming. It is thin and conforming so it will not feel awkward or uncomfortable. Our tape is also latex free, zinc oxide based, and non-reactive so to not exasperate already sensitive skin. In all cases, Hy-Tape will protect the transdermal patch.