Revolutionary patch a massive breakthrough for back pain sufferers

Image: University of Warwick

Scientists in the UK have developed an ibuprofen patch that can deliver significant amounts of the drug for up to 12 hours without the need to take it orally and have it absorb via the stomach. The world-first ibuprofen patch delivers the drug directly through skin to exactly where it is needed at a consistent dose rate and has the potential to change the lives of backpain sufferers by delivering up to 10X the dose of the drug.

The University of Warwick researchers and Medherant have invented a transparent adhesive patch that can consistently deliver a prolonged high dose of the painkiller ibuprofen directly through the skin. 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.

This novel patch incorporates polymer technology developed by the global adhesive company Bostik and exclusively licensed for transdermal use to Medherant.

The key features of the new patch technology include that the patch remains highly tacky and thus adheres well to skin even when the drug load reaches levels as high as 30% of the weight/volume of the patch. The drug load made possible by this new technology can be 5 -10 times than that found in some currently used medical patches and gels.  And, no one knows the sufferer is wearing it as it is transparent.

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“Many commercial patches surprisingly don’t contain any pain relief agents at all, they simply soothe the body by a warming effect. 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. Also, we can improve the drug loading and stickiness of patches containing other active ingredients to improve patient comfort and outcome,” said University of Warwick research chemist Professor David Haddleton.

And the product is not that far away from commercial release when you consider how long it can take for some.

“Our first products will be over-the-counter pain relief patches and through partnering we would expect to have the first of those products on the market in around 2 years. In addition to our pain relief products, our technology also works with drugs in many other therapeutic areas. We can see considerable opportunities in working with pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative products using our next generation transdermal drug-delivery platform,” said Nigel Davis CEO of Medherant.

Do you suffer from back pain?  Would this product benefit you?